Longing for Light
created and performed by
Sun and Moon Ensemble
A theatre performance with drama, dance, humor,
giant puppets, masks, and live music.
Director - Maria Lexa
Performers - Simone Bloch, Valentina Emeri,
Fontana, Nicole Helfer,
McCamish, Maia Scott
Musician - Orlando Obligacion
Lighting design - Allen Willner
Songs by - Ida Kelarova
Costume, scenery, puppet design - Maria Lexa
Costume assistants - Simone Bloch, Valentina Emeri,
Wooden masks - Kirsten Gitz-Johansen
Mexican masks loaned by - Jonathan French
Production assistant - Michael McCamish
Photos & postcard design - John Spicer
Poster & program design - Maia Scott
Email design - Domingo Vazquez
Videographer - Niki Lexa
This production was funded in part by a grant from
the Zellerbach Family Foundation and
the W. & F. Hewlett Foundation .
trailer click here
About the performance
Sun & Moon Ensemble's new production, Longing for Light,
weaves together drama, dance, humor, giant puppets, masks, shadow
play, and live music. The piece premiered at Dance Mission Theatre
in San Francisco on May 27 - 30, 2004, with a second run there on
Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 16-19, 2004. Audiences familiar with Sun & Moon
Ensemble's outdoor performances in the Bay Area will be pleased
to experience many new creative developments in this unique original
production, which is geared towards an adult audience.
Following a simple poetic through-line, the performance enters
a world of myth, metaphor, and strong visual experiences. Deeply
inspired by creation tales from around the globe, the piece begins
in the misty pre-dawn of the age of humans. It then zigzags through
the mystery, exuberance, and irony of several creation stories,
some traditional, and some rendered whimsically modern and off-beat.
From these beginnings, four characters emerge--the queen, the
warrior, the prophet, and the child. They embark on what the piece's
narrator calls their "first day on earth"-- metaphorically speaking,
a life cycle, a lifetime, or a human era. As dusk approaches, the
characters experience the shadowy night and all the dark forces
which lurk there. Among them are outrageous demons played in antique
Mexican masks, a dark angel as musical shadow play, and the Spirit
of Night as a fierce and formidable giant puppet.
Led through this allegorical journey by a wily trickster-troubadour
and the changing rhythms of his drum, the characters finally emerge
from their confrontations with the darkness into the light. A radiant,
illuminated giant puppet appears as The Spirit of Light herself,
drawing them into her tranquil domain--until they are brought back
to the here-and-now by their erstwhile drummer. With his irresistible
rhythms, he draws them as well as the audience into a warm and lively
celebration of life.
In Longing for Light, haunting gypsy songs by the renowned
Czech musician Ida Kelarova are masterfully and movingly performed
by Nicole Helfer in the role of the angel. Orlando Obligacion brings
his pulsating rhythms to the role of the drumming narrator. Award-winning
Allen Willner heightens the magical atmosphere of the piece with
his skillful light design. Through a unique creative process, the
Ensemble has developed their own texts, movement, and musical score.
Director Maria Lexa and the performers take us on a journey into
imagination and fantasy to bring us back to the familiar territory
of the human heart, with a show to uplift the spirit.
Special thanks to
Recreation Center for the Handicapped, School of the Arts, Fairview
House, Alexa Armenta, Cara Goldstein, Arjan and Debbie Bok, Mary
Alice Fry, Jonathan French, Cheryl Harrison, Tyler Cole.