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Anatomy of a Cloud

Friday, August 17, 2007
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Sarah Day
Location Details:
The 418 Project.
418 Front St
Santa Cruz

For Immediate Release: Dance/ Theatre, Entertainment, Health, Family
Contact: Sarah Day, Co-Director
831-435-9557 or shahandblah [at]

Anatomy of a Cloud: a premiere dance theatre performance
by Shah and Blah Productions
at The 418 Project, 418 Front St.
August 17, 18, 24-26, 2007, 831-466-9770

Santa Cruz- If our sense of self is comprised of a life’s succession of memories, who are we as these memories fade and disappear? What remains of identity as the personal coordinates of our stories and our physical abilities disintegrate?

This August, Shah and Blah Productions present Anatomy of a Cloud, an evening of dance-theatre performance exploring the poignancy and intricacy of these questions.
The performance is being produced as part of The 418 Project’s two-year-old Artist in Residence program.

Anatomy of a Cloud is a compelling look at the continually shifting internal landscape of a mind in the midst of Alzheimer’s Disease. Inspired by the personal family experiences of co-directors/ performers Sarah Day and Daniel Bear Davis, this dance-theatre piece is an intimate and sometimes humorous portrayal of the elements of identity and the process of losing them.

According to Davis, “The questions this disease catalyzes about identity are the same questions tackled by Tibetan Buddhism and countless other spiritual traditions. Close examination requires us to acknowledge that we all have stories, and without them, there’s not much to hold on to.”

Featuring Day and Davis’ fusion of unique and dynamic movement, symbolic narrative, and original music composed by Ilan Heer, Anatomy of a Cloud illuminates the corridors of an episodic mind gradually dislocated in time and space…

The tinkling of music boxes twists and distorts. A chorus of whitewashed ghosts of memory hang suspended from a clothesline, swaying and empty but for spontaneous bursts of story echoing the moments of one woman’s life. A woman converses with her mirror image, unsure upon which self to apply her make-up. A tight clump of bodies becomes a mass of flailing heads and laughter, caught between fear and absurdity.

The desire to connect and the progressive inability to make connections is innovatively conveyed utilizing contemporary dance forms, butoh, live vocalization, traditional theatre, and video projection. The performers form a surreal chorus, embodying rapidly changing mental states and giving form to the personal ghosts we encounter as the notion of “self” and body disintegrate.
The Context- As the medical community develops greater understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease in the realm of scientific research, Day and Davis see the development and presentation of Anatomy of a Cloud as a way to engage, evoke, and raise awareness through artistic expression. A recently released study* states that the U.S. as a whole can expect a 44 percent increase in Alzheimer’s cases by 2025, strongly indicating that awareness of this debilitating disease must be brought to the forefront. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in Santa Cruz County alone there are 4,000 people grappling with Alzheimer’s Disease, not to mention the families, loved ones, and caregivers who’s lives are tremendously impacted. While there is much clinical documentation available to caregivers and related alliances, there is little artistic exploration.

According to Day, “Anatomy of a Cloud seeks to give creative voice to the personal essence and very human experience of this rapidly growing issue, promoting introspection while encouraging a community conversation.”

The Performers- Anatomy of a Cloud will be performed by Jo Birns, Laura Bishop, RD Bolam, Daniel Bear Davis, Sarah Day, and Amanda Greenlee. The piece is, true to Shah and Blah form, interdisciplinary. Original music from local composer Ilan Heer, and piano played by Jesse Autumn add to Shah and Blah’s already strong recipe of image-rich dance and evocative language.

Day and Davis catapulted onto the Santa Cruz performance scene two years ago. In that short time they have collaborated on five original movement theatre pieces exposing the layers of human psyche innovatively and evocatively. They have performed these works in Santa Cruz at the 2005 and 2006 SoWat Contemporary Performance Festivals, the Human Condition, What is Erotic, at Counterpulse in San Francisco, and Earthdance Center for Improvisational Dance in MA.

“Daniel was able to read my play, vision the execution of the performance and bring it to completion exactly as I always dreamed. Sarah embodied her character to a depth I myself never imagined. They are absolutely to be trusted as shepard’s of sensitive and complex emotional material.”
-Aliza Ansell, playwright/educator, Massachusetts

Daniel Davis has been performing in theatre and dance work for most of his life, training at Boston University acting conservatory before shifting focus towards performance art and movement-based work. He has trained with many renowned international teachers including Nancy Stark Smith, Eiko & Koma, and Nita Little, and has performed with a company dancing on construction scaffolding (Wire Monkey), in a site-specific dance film in Joshua Tree (Body Cartography Project), in an inter-generational company, in butoh and clowning performances, as well as numerous modern dance projects. Last summer he assistant-choreographed a dance for 35 seniors in Hamburg, Germany under English Choreographer Royston Maldoom (Rhythm Is It?).
Sarah Day has been engaging her relationship with the expressive potential of the body over the past 10 years. Initially influenced by contemporary dance forms and contact improvisation, Sarah has since found inspiration from her exploration of butoh, her studies with Frey Faust and Keith Hennessey, and performing with Berlin choreographer Felix Ruckert. Her background as a visual artist and writer allows her to utilize a strong sense of image-based material within her performance work.

The 2007 418 Artist in Residence (AIR) program culminates with a two-weekend run of Anatomy of a Cloud, an evening of performance by Shah and Blah Productions (Sarah Day and Daniel Davis). Anatomy of a Cloud opens August 17, and continues Aug. 18, 24, 25, 26. Tickets available through The 418. For more information contact 831-466-9770/

* “State Specific Projections Through 2025 of Alzheimer’s Disease Prevalence”


WHO: Shah and Blah Productions (Sarah Day and Daniel Davis)

WHAT: Anatomy of a Cloud, an interdisciplinary dance-theatre performance exploring the shifting internal landscape of a mind grappling with Alzheimer’s Disease.

WHEN: Fri-Sat August 17, 18, Fri-Sun August 24-26, 2007 @ 8pm (Sun @ 7pm)

WHERE: The 418 Project, 418 Front St., Santa Cruz

TICKETS: $15, contact 466-9770 for information



Added to the calendar on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 4:47PM
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