Journeys Before Waking at HSU

Multimedia dance performance at Humboldt State University explores meaning in the landscape of dreams: Gist Hall Theatre for five successive evenings at 7:30 pm (NOTE NEW EARLIER TIME!) from Tuesday, September 26, through Saturday, September 30, with a 2 pm. matinee on Sunday Oct. 1. Tickets $10, $8 student/senior, free to HSU students for limited Gist Hall seating. 826-3928. A production of HSU Dept. of Theatre, Film & Dance.

Friday, September 22, 2006

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

In the Media

Tune in to ART WAVES on KHSU at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, September 26 for Wendy Butler's interview with Sharon Butcher and Jandy Bergmann on Journeys Before Waking, which opens that very night!

Did you see the photo on the inside front page of the Eureka Times Standard weekend magazine, Northern Lights today? And the large color photo leading the Events calendar in the Eureka Reporter Arts section, also today? Both are from the show.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

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Journeys Before Waking

Journeys Before Waking brings together artists from HSU, College of the Redwoods and the North Coast community to create a performance that uses song, spoken poetry, projected photos, scenic design and costuming as well as dance to explore meaning in the landscape of dreams.

“The idea comes from a poem by Walt Whitman, called ‘The Sleepers,’ explains Sharon Butcher, Assistant Professor in the HSU Department of Theatre, Film and Dance and one of the show’s choreographers. “In the poem, the narrator enters into the dreamworlds of other people and gains greater perception and awareness of the human condition.”

In the HSU performance, principal dancer and choreographer, Jandy Bergmann, is the narrator who enters the dreams of others and interacts with the dreams, eventually changing the dreamers. “It’s about a journey into darkness that results in greater understanding and compassion,” she said.

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Original music composed for the occasion is by J. Brian Post, who teaches music at HSU, and local performing artist Lila Nelson. Besides being a popular performer and songwriter (with a song currently featured on Neil Young’s web site), Lila is Jandy Bergmann’s younger sister. Several other Nelson sisters have been involved in HSU theatre in the past decade. “I changed all their diapers,” Bergmann claimed.

Among Lila’s compositions for Journeys Before Waking is a song that sets to music the words of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Brian Post used some of Nelson’s folk-influenced melody in his own more modernist contributions.

The photography that will be projected to further illustrate the landscape of the dreams is also original, created by Kevin Peer and Rosa Rashall of Lost Coast Studio. Both are experienced nature photographers; Peer created films for National Geographic and the National Park Service. For this project, Butcher explained, “the photographers went out with us to North Coast locations—the ocean, Mad River, a cave, a grassy field, the roof of a barn—where we imagined these dreams were happening.” Peer and Rashall used a unique process to create these images which included moving the camera during the slowly exposed shot to create a slight blurring effect, suggesting a dreamlike motion.

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In addition to Bergmann, the dancers include Erin Fernandez and Jaese Lecuyer from the HSU dance faculty, Susie Kidd of the CR dance faculty, and students and community members Athena Clune, Rebecca Rubenstein, Sarah Carlton, Trisha Leister, Laura Lopez-Ayllon and Brian Early. Besides photographers Peer and Rashall and musician Lila Nelson, costume designer Kevin Sharkey also comes from the North Coast community.

“Journeys Before Waking” will be performed in Gist Hall Theatre for five consecutive nights, beginnng Tuesday, September 26 to Saturday, September 30, at the new curtain time of 7:30 pm. There will also be a matinee performance at 2 pm on Sunday, October 1.

“We want to people to be especially aware of the change in curtain time,” Butcher said. All HSU Theatre, Film & Dance department evening shows will begin at 7:30 this year. “Also, since this performance is in the smaller Gist theatre, we urge everyone to reserve their seats early.”

Tickets are $10, $8 students/seniors, with limited free seats to HSU students. Call 826-3928 for reservations, or visit the HSU ticket office in the campus bookstore.

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Jandy Bergmann and Sharon Butcher

Photographers (projected images):
Kevin Peer and Rosa Rashall (

Brian Post
Lila Nelson

Lila Nelson
Excerpts from Walt Whitman’s “The Sleepers”

Set Design:
Jody Sekas

Light Design:
Emily Blanche

Costume Design:
Kevin Sharkey

Athena Clune
Erin Fernandez (HSU dance faculty)
Rebecca Rubenstein
Susie Kidd (CR dance faculty)
Sarah Carlton
Trisha Leister
Laura Lopez-Ayllon
Jaese Lecuyer (HSU dance faculty)
Brian Early

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More on the Choreographers

Jandy Bergmann

Jandy Bergmann has been teaching in the dance program at HSU for six years and has choreographed numerous dances for HSU’s Dance Theater Productions.

Jandy created and pioneered, Body Works, one of the dance program’s most popular courses. She also teaches part-time at College of the Redwoods, HealthSport, and periodically at the Dancenter and elsewhere in the community. Jandy earned her M.F.A. in Dance at Mills College in Oakland, CA. and her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

Jandy is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and maintains a practice in Arcata. She balances the time she spends teaching with forays to the San Francisco bay area, playing with her horse and two burros, swimming, gardening, and enjoying her many siblings who live in the area. On Saturday mornings, Jandy is often found at the farmers market assisting her husband, Bob, at his enchanting flower stand.

Sharon Butcher

Sharon Butcher teaches dance courses for the Department of Theatre, Film, and Dance and serves as the Director of the Interdisciplinary Dance Studies major. She has a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland at College Park and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Colorado in Boulder . She trained intensively with Erick Hawkins and danced professionally with Kei Takei's Moving Earth in New York .

Sharon enjoys creating cross-disciplinary works that blend actors, visual artists, poets, musicians and modern dancers . Her choreography has been performed in the United States , England , Scotland and Spain . She has been an artist in residence and/or guest teacher for Estada International de Dansa, Banyoles, Spain; Shenandoah Conservatory, Winchester VA; North Coast Dance, Eureka; The Dance Place, Washington DC; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA; University of West Virginia, Morgantown; University of Maryland at College Park; University of Florida, Gainesville; and the American College Dance Festival's National Conference.

Sharon has received choreographic and production grants from various universities and art councils in Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and California. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for for the American College Dance Festival Association.

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More on Photographers

Kevin Peer

Kevin expresses his experience of living with Earth through photography, painting, and documentary filmmaking.

His published work consists mainly of films that he produced and directed for National Geographic and the National Park Service, which have garnered over 40 national and international film festival awards.

For Kevin, digital photography has become a fruitful alchemical playground where heightened perception, the yearning to create numinous visual artifacts, and a fascination for the evolving potential of the medium can be explored freely. "I offer these images as intimations of the brilliantly alive and beautiful planet where we are all doing our dance of awakening. May they help inspire us to apprentice ourselves to the path of living on Earth in a fashion where the lives of all beings can be nurtured and sustained."

For more on Kevin's past work and current projects visit the Institute for Sacred Cinema site.

Rosa Rashall

Rosa is an aromatherapist, gardener, writer, and sometime teacher who expresses her love of Earth through photographic explorations of plants, animals and landscapes. She first encountered the joy of seeing through the camera’s eye on an around-the-world journey that took her through New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, Nepal, India, Europe, Costa Rica, and the United States.

The seed of delight in photography that was planted in these more exotic locations has since flowered here at home, in the Lost Coast Wilderness and in her own garden. Rosa’s intent is for her images to make their way into the wider world, carrying missives of beauty and calm from the ‘Green Realm’ that feeds and sustains her so deeply. In her words: “May these photographs, these flowerscapes and watermovings, delight and inspire others towards an intimate connection with our home planet, our local landscapes, and our own backyards.”

The work of both photographers can also be seen at Lost Coast Studio.

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More on the Composers

J. Brian Post

J. Brian Post is currently teaching composition, music theory and music technology classes at Humboldt State University. He has a BA in piano performance from California State University, Hayward, a MM in Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado, and a DA in Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado.

Prior to his position at HSU, Mr. Post has taught at Emporia State University, University of Northern Colorado, Rocky Mountain Music Technology Workshop, Midwest Music Camp, the Interlochen Arts Camp, and the International Music Camp. His works have been performed nationally by the Greeley Philharmonic, Cal State Hayward Big Band, Interlochen Lab Band I, Interlochen Concert Band, ESU Wind Ensemble, Eranis Flute Ensemble, ESU A Cappella Choir, ESU Opera Company, Greeley Children's Chorale, ESU Faculty Jazz Combo and the HSU Wind Ensemble. He has recordings released on the Mark and IAC labels.

Lila Nelson

Lila Nelson has been composing songs since her single digits. The daughter of a modern dancer and a blues harp player, and granddaughter of the regionalist era painter/lithographer John S. de Martelly, it is no wonder that Lila looks at life through a lyrical lens.

At three, she drew an imaginary line down her middle, head to toe, and insisted, "I know where half of infinity is... right here." Later on, washing dishes to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Nina Simone, Nick Drake, Stevie Wonder, and the Beatles - practicing harmonies with sisters on walks in the Santa Margarita River Valley and writing lyrics for her brother's early three chord ventures on the guitar helped set the stage for a career as a prolific singer/songwriter.

Playing venues all accross the country; the "Freight and Salvage" in Berkeley, CA to "The Livingroom" in New York City; 2005's AMA Conference in Nashville, TN to "The Tractor Tavern" in Seatle, WA.; "The Pine Mountain Music Festival" in Southern CA to "The Main St. Cafe", in Southern FL... When Lila's not touring alone she can be heard singing alongside the LA troubador, Brian Joseph, Kenny Edwards (Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley) and Nashville's Amelia White (Funazalo Records).

A graduate of HSU, Lila participated in many theatre productions as a student and since. She wrote the music set to lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for the HSU production of "Mother Courage and Her Children" last year.

Lila's song "Fresh Paint" is featured on Neil Young's web site, Living With War. Check out Lila's web site and be sure to pick up her new EP, "High Gloss, Low Sheen"before it's gone.

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On the Walt Whitman poem, "The Sleepers"

"The Sleepers" for younger students

on "lucid dreaming" and remembering your dreams

on dreams, Jung and archetypes

Shakespeare's Ophelia

inspired by Ophelia


Thursday, September 07, 2006

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Coming Soon!

More information and photos soon: JOURNEYS BEFORE WAKING explores meaning in the landscape of dreams in a multimedia dance performance.

Performed in Gist Hall Theatre for five successive evenings at 7:30 pm (NOTE NEW EARLIER TIME!) from Tuesday, September 26, through Saturday, September 30, with a 2 pm. matinee on Sunday Oct. 1.

Tickets are $10, $8 student/senior, FREE to HSU students--but RESERVE early for limited Gist Hall seating! Reservations: 826-3928 or the HSU ticket office.

A production of HSU Dept. of Theatre, Dance & Film.