SHIFT – A Huge Success!




As a part of the 20th United States of Asian American Festival, Threading Resilience, SHIFT had a successful run at SOMArts Theatre. The performance had two components FREEDOM and PROTEINOLOGY. Built around human rights, Artistic Director, Claudine Naganuma sought to permeate the audience with a physical and visual awareness for social justice.


The performance started in SOMArts gallery surrounded by works inspired by Yuri Kochiyama. Yuri was a political activist who fought tirelessly her entire life for others. dNaga’s piece, FREEDOM has Yuri’s inspiration woven throughout. Through the gallery the dancers protested with their movements for the injustices displayed and yelled “FREEDOM!” which resonated throughout the immense room.


The audience was then ushered into the theatre where Naganuma danced a heartfelt solo for those detained in Japanese internment camps during WWII. Throughout this performance the following pieces themes of disenfranchisement, prejudice, isolation, wrongful incarceration, loss of home, loss of family, loss of movement and the journey of enduring the losses, finding inward ways to cope, and finding hope for tomorrow.

After the intermission, Proteinology was featured, a piece navigating through a myriad of issues for those dealing with Parkinson’s Disease.  It was mesmerizing as the tempo of each portion of the piece changed, the visual or audio fluctuated, and the wide range in the ages of the dancers was incorporated into the piece. Interviews showcased in the pieces gave the audience an insightful and impactful awareness of what daily life is like with its constraints, scary medical procedures, and dancing and performing with Parkinson’s Disease.


At the close of Proteinology, there was time for questions to the cast where dancers were able to share their personal stories with the audience.


Claudine Naganuma and the dNaga dance company give the audience a better appreciation for every life and each day. They leave the audience with a world of social injustices to ponder, thankfulness for the resilience of the human spirit to overcome circumstances, and with their souls touched.   


Music Composition: Joel Davel

Lighting Design: Dale MacDonald

Stage Manager: David Young

Dancers: Alexandra Ajose-Nixon, Yael Berrol, Shosi Black, Warren Brunetti, Lydia Clinton, Martha Friedberg, Michelle Johnston, Chiara Kovac, Ashley LeBlanc, Sema Lew, Ellie Kerwin, Leila Massoudi, Cathy Quides, Shaunnah Ray, Sylvie Rodgers and Gary Turchin


About Claudine

Claudine Naganuma (Choreographer/Teacher) received a liberal arts education from Dominican College, earning a BA degree in English Literature. She studied Early Childhood Education while she earned an MFA in Dance from Mills College in Choreography and Performance(1992). Claudine taught at Aurora Elementary School in the fourth/fifth grade classroom and at La Escuelita in a sixth grade classroom doing a fall semester empowerment workshop. She is currently a ballet teacher and Director of Danspace and its Dance for PD® program since 2007. Claudine served as the Artistic Director of Asian American Dance Performances for twelve years. There, she had the opportunity to curate and produce Asian Pacific Islander (API) dance makers and lead its resident dance company, Unbound Spirit. Together with San Francisco Community Arts Organizations, the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center was founded to support contemporary API work. As a choreographer, Claudine has received a Young Presenters award from Jacob’s Pillow, a Jack Loftis and Vibeke Strand Honorary Fellowship as a Djerassi Artist in Resident. She was also selected as an international exchange artist between the Hong Kong Fringe Club and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Claudine’s work was recently filmed as part of Dave Iverson’s documentary Capturing Grace. Her choreography set on the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Youth Company along with members of the Brooklyn Parkinson Group and dNaga performed at the World Parkinson Congress in September 2016. Claudine’s untiring dedication to the community is further evidenced by her GIRL project, now in its fourth year. This is a free art and empowerment workshop for middle school girls living in the San Antonio District of Oakland.

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