SUN & MOON ENSEMBLE
PREMIERES

LUNA

Created and performed by
Sun & Moon Ensemble

Directed by Maria Lexa

February 16 - March 12, 2006

Featuring:
Valentina Emeri & Michael McCamish
Music: Orlando Obligacion &
Eugene Jun
Lighting Design: Allen Willner
A theatre performance with drama
dance, humor, giant puppets, masks
and live music.

 

Performed at Ashby Stage, Berkeley and NOHspace S.F.

Luna is funded in part by the Zellerbach Family Fund and a CASH grant


Sun & Moon Ensemble premieres LUNA, a multi-media performance written and created by the Ensemble, and directed by Maria Lexa, February 16 through March 12, 2006, in Berkeley and in San Francisco.

LUNA is about the inner journey to free the spirit. As the piece unfolds, its evokes themes of the warrior’s quest, male and female energies, the dream world, the dark side, love, endurance, and the power of the human spirit. It is an intense performance covering a wide spectrum of image and emotion. Sun & Moon Ensemble is known for its unique theatrical style which combines drama, dance, humor, giant puppets, masks, and live music. This piece incorporates original texts as well as excerpts from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Creating a world of fable and myth as well as realism, LUNA elicits archetypes as well as social commentary, and is geared toward an adult audience.

In LUNA, the protagonists, a man and a woman, each experience themselves as isolated in their own ‘prisons.’ Through memories, dreams, and fantasies, they search for the source of their fate. They enter into each other’s imaginings, and their stories intertwine. The man comes from a long line of warriors, originating in the ancient highlands of Scotland. The woman harkens back to the tradition of the Tarantella, the female dance of life, and the wise old women of Italy.

After many struggles and defeats, the woman invokes the spirit of their ancestors, portrayed by a giant puppet, that embodies both Mother Earth and the Warrior. Through their dream-like dance together, she is transformed and freed. The man re-emerges with new life, and the two characters are each able to leave their prisons to reach out to one another.

Directed by Maria Lexa, the piece features two of Sun & Moon Ensemble's veteran performers: Michael McCamish as the man and Valentina Emeri as the woman. The Ensemble's long time collaborator Orlando Obligacion, joined by Bay Area composer/musician Eugene Jun, will provide live music for the piece. Puppets and masks are by Maria Lexa, Kirsten Gitz-Johansen, and Klaus Tams. Isadora Duncan Award recipient Allen Willner, who was lighting designer for the Ensemble's Longing For Light in 2004, returns to design Luna. Sun & Moon Ensemble continues in its ongoing collaboration with photographer John Spicer who designed our postcard and poster; and our webmaster Domingo Vazquez who created our video trailer.

Sun & Moon Ensemble is a San Francisco-based international performing arts organization founded in 2001 that presents indoor performances with cutting edge material as well as a repertoire of outdoor shows played for an audience of all ages and backgrounds. The Ensemble has appeared at theatres, festivals, schools, street fairs, and other events, including Union Square, Julia Morgan Theatre, Dance Mission Theatre, and First Night Monterey. They also appear regularly at Yerba Buena Gardens. Sun & Moon staff teach workshops in theatre arts for professionals, amateurs, and youth.

 

Valentina Emeri is a graduate of the National Academy of Dramatic Arts Silvio D'Amico in Rome, and has continued her education with John Strassberg, and at the School of Dramatic Art in Moscow with Anatolij Vassiliev and Jurij Alschitz. She has appeared in a variety of Italian films and TV productions, most recently playing the title role of Mary Stuart at the Bolzano Civic Theatre. Five years ago, she started a theater company in Bolzano, which participated in the New York Fringe Festival 2000. Valentina joined Sun & Moon Ensemble for a Dia de los Muertos show in 2003, and has remained with the group for all its subsequent productions.
Michael McCamish began working with Maria Lexa and the Sun & Moon Ensemble in 2002, and has been featured in all the Ensemble’s productions since then. He studied method acting in San Francisco with Shelly Mitchell. He also studied in Southern Italy and Denmark with Eugenio Barba, director of the renowned Odin Theatre, and interned with the Italian anthropological theatre group Proskenion. He returned to Calabria, Italy for the summer of 2004 to study mask work and the Tarantella, Italian traditional ritual dance and song.

Orlando Obligacion has extensive experience as a percussionist in various styles of music and has performed with Sun & Moon Ensemble since 2002. He is known for his inimitable technique of leading the Ensemble in street processions and dancing while playing on his djembe drum.Obligacion has played in numerous bands for the past thirty years. He has studied with teachers such as Francisco Aguabella, Armando Peraza, Jose ‘Chapito’ Areas, Jorge Bermudez, Dimensions Dance Theater, and Francisco Obligacion.

Eugene Jun is a musician and composer who plays guitar, violin, bass, percussion, and does vocals. He was a founding member of the ensemble Idiot Flesh, and the West Coast Chapter of the John Kane Society. He is experienced in playing music for performing groups, and has appeared with Butoh troupe URO and the Los Angeles based Blue Girl Troupe. LUNA is Eugene Jun’s debut with Sun & Moon Ensemble.

Maria Lexa, a graduate of Washington and Webster Universities in St. Louis, studied in Paris with master teacher Etienne Decroux, and launched her professional career with Studio II at Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark. She co- founded Institutet för Scenkonst in Östersund, Sweden, with Director Ingemar Lindh. From 1981, she based her activities in Denmark, where she worked as actress, master teacher, director, and leader of her own theatre group. In 1991, she founded Foreningen Freja, a non-profit cultural organization in Aarhus, Denmark, and presided successfully over six international women’s culture festivals, a series of theatre educational projects, and a professional touring company. In 2001, she returned to her native country, and founded the Sun & Moon Ensemble in San Francisco.

 

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