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