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,
                       Jean Fontana, Nicole Helfer,
                       Michael 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,
                                     Maia Scott
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 .

For video 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.

 

 

 

 

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