West Wave Festival, Saturday, September 26, 2015, Z Space (450 Florida Street, San Francisco) 8pm

Spider Inside Her (World Premiere)

Dancers: Lauren Aczon, Yael Berrol, Seosaimhín (Shosi) Black, Martha Friedberg, Michelle Johnston, Janey Madamba, Claudine Naganuma, Sylvie Rodgers and Cathy Quides
Original Music: Joel Davel
Costumes: Claudine Naganuma
Poetry: Martha Friedberg


Spider Inside Her is inspired by sexism in medicine. During its creation, we examined “histrionic personality disorder” and Sigmund Freud who believed it was a pathology of women and the “wandering womb” theory of Hippocrates. Three of the brave women performing in this ensemble have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.


The Spider Inside Her
There is a spider that lives inside my right rearview mirror,
no matter how I try to wash it away,
Or how many times,
In a day or two,
the web is back,
Implanted this kernel this female knot,
not good, not strong, not smart,
But still the spider weaves its web
Never mind
I can see through silken threads.
-Martha Friedberg


Martha Friedberg has been practicing immigration law in Oakland since graduating from Golden Gate University Law School in 1978. Presently, she is working less and dancing more. As a child, Martha took ballet classes on Long Island, and over the years dabbled with other forms of dance including modern, Bharata Natyam, and salsa, although she never performed before having Parkinson’s. She has been practicing yoga ever since her first class in New York City in 1970. Martha first experienced PD symptoms in 2008. She is grateful for our PD Active community, the wonderful, whimsical PD Dance classes, the opportunity to dance with dNaga’s sparkling dancers, young and old.


Michelle Johnston was born and raised in Scotland where she began learning Scottish country dancing as part of her elementary school curriculum, as Scottish country dancing is an integral part of the culture. After settling in California 40 years ago she became a Nurse-Midwife and a Mum, and dancing faded out of her life. Recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she was encouraged to join Claudine in dNaga and is now exploring dance and movement in ways she had never dreamed of.


Cathy Quides has spent the last twenty years working as a pediatric nurse practitioner for patients with developmental disabilities. The courage and dignity with which her patients and their families and caregivers face the challenges they encounter inspire her as she begins her journey as a person with Parkinson’s. Also inspirational to her are those in her Dance for PD class guided by the wonderfully talented and enthusiastic Claudine. Growing up, Cathy wanted to study dance but with the exception of a class here and there (including Disco back in the ‘80’s), the opportunity escaped her. In the meantime, piano, gymnastics, martial arts and taiko drumming have given her great pleasure over the years. Now, since dancing regularly with the Dance for PD folks (and classmates in a Hip Hop for seniors class) she feels she is finally fulfilling her childhood dancing dream. The privilege of performing with dNaga is icing on the cake and she is very grateful for the opportunity.
For a comprehensive list of all our dancers and their biographies, visit our dNagalers page.

One Comment

  • Patricia Needle says:

    Claudine, Martha and Joel–

    I will be there!

    Sexism in medicine? Midwives displaced by men. Birth changed from happy, natural function to a surgical, painful, high mortality rate business.

    I am really looking forward to your exploration of this theme, and the use of multi-generational dancers!

Leave a Reply