This epic Mexican-American tale follows Lucila who sees the evening moon for the first time while her mother, Carmela, explains that her ancestors have been adoring the moon for generations . Through Carmela’s storytelling, Lucila and audiences are transported into the time of Mexico’s Joan of Arc, Jovita, who fought for religious freedom during Mexico’s second revolution in the early part of the 20th century; then they will travel with Carmelo and Estela, two young lovers, who cross the Mexican border into the U.S. in search of the proverbial dream; and finally, enter the ancient story of the Aztec moon goddess, Coyolxauhqui whose battle with her brother, Huizilopchtli, the sun god, brought light to the night sky.


 MEET THE CREATIVE TEAM:

Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and Patricia O’Reilly, ARAD

Artistic Director and Choreographer

pattybiopic

I’m so happy to be working with an amazing group of creative forces to bring Por la Luz de la Luna to the Sebastiani Theatre stage in April 2016.
I’ve had a love affair with ballet and dance of all kinds since the age of 7.  For me, this is a vocation and a passion.  I feel blessed to be able to share it with the students, families and audience members who patronize our classes and shows.
Originally founded as Sonoma Ballet Conservatory in 1970, Sonoma Conservatory of Dance continues to offer the very highest quality classical ballet and dance instruction to youth and adults.
Patricia O’Reilly assumed directorship of the Conservatory in 2005 after 12 years of directing the Vallejo Ballet Conservatory, which she had founded in 1993.
Ms. O’Reilly received her teaching certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance and completed the Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Executant Examinations after extensive training with Katie Heil, graduate of the Royal Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program in London, England.  Patty performed professionally with Oakland Ballet, Santa Clara Ballet and Khadra International Dance Theatre before devoting her career to teaching her passion:  ballet.
Ms. O’Reilly’s students have been accepted into the most prestigious dance programs both locally, nationally and internationally, including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, LINES Ballet, The Ailey School, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Atlanta Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, Colorado Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Orlando Ballet, Ballet West, Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts, The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Dance, Marymount Manhattan College Dance Department, Loyola Marymount Dance Department, The Royal Ballet School of London, and The Royal Ballet School of Antwerp.
To date, she has also had students compete as semi-finalists in the Genée International Dance Challenge.

Aida Salazar, Librettist

Aida Bio Pic

Aida Salazar is a multidisciplinary writer, educator, arts administrator and mother. With an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts, her writings have appeared in publications such as the Huffington Post and Women and Performance: Journal of Feminist Theory. She was a resident writer at Hedgebrook Writer’s Colony, attended Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, is an alumni of the Op-Ed Project’s Write to Change the World Program and a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

She currently lives in Oakland, CA with her husband, Latin jazz musician, John Santos and home-schools her two fiery artist children for whom many of her children’s stories have been written. She is at work on a novel in verse for middle grades and a memoir, In the Womb of Love, about the death of her first-born infant child.
Her story, The Light of the Moon, is being adapted into a ballet production by choreographer, Isabelle Sjahsam and artist, Roberto Miguel for the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance.

Aida Salazar is a multidisciplinary writer, educator, arts administrator and mother. With an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts, her writings have appeared in publications such as the Huffington Post and Women and Performance: Journal of Feminist Theory. She was a resident writer at Hedgebrook Writer’s Colony, attended Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, is an alumni of the Op-Ed Project’s Write to Change the World Program and a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

She currently lives in Oakland, CA with her husband, Latin jazz musician, John Santos and home-schools her two fiery artist children for whom many of her children’s stories have been written. She is at work on a novel in verse for middle grades and a memoir, In the Womb of Love, about the death of her first-born infant child.
Her story, The Light of the Moon, is being adapted into a ballet production by choreographer, Isabelle Sjahsam and artist, Roberto Miguel for the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance.

Isabelle Sjahsam, Lead Choreographer

Isabelle Bio Pic

Ms. Sjahsam has performed with Bay Area dance companies including SF Renaissance Dancers, Em Space Dance, Jenny McAllister/13th Floor Dance Theater, and Anna Halprin and Dancers. She appeared in the works of Michael Lowe while working with Moving Arts Dance, Black Diamond Ballet Theatre, and Menlowe Ballet, and has toured internationally with Leyya Tawil’s Dance Elixir.

Her choreography has been presented in venues
including Counterpulse, Temescal Arts Center, Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival, Cal Arts Electronic Music Festival, and West Wave Dance Festival. From 2005 to 2011 Sjahsam collaborated with actor and director Malinda Trimble to create new works for their dance-theater troupe ArtFace Performance Group. In 2008, she received a new work commission by Middlebury College Dance Company. The work she created
there, Standing Mother, premiered in Vermont and was also performed in Tabor, Czech Republic. In recent years she has collaborated with Saint Helena based Ehlers Art Society, and LA based artist Daniel Leland Crook.

She looks forward to her new project with Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and would not be where she is today without her ballet mentors Michael Lowe, Sarah-Jane Measor and Augusta Moore.

Giselle Lara, Production Manager and Guest Choreographer

Giselle Ballroom

With a background in Ballroom Dance at Arthur Murray and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Wisconsin – Madison, Giselle strives to meld these two passions and bring humanitarianism to the beautiful world of dance.
Through her work as Studio Manager at Sonoma Conservatory of Dance, as well as Production Manager/Guest Choreographer for POR LA LUZ DE LA LUNA, Giselle hopes to nourish the spirit and minds of SCD’s young dancers and to connect deeper with her Mexican-American roots, sharing this through the celebration of dance.

Jesus Cortes, Guest Choreographer and Performer

Jesus Bio Pic

Jesus Cortes, began his training in Mexican folk dance when he was 6 years old under the direction of his Great Uncle Juan Natoli. In 2000, he started dancing with Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. He became a soloist in the role of The Deer Dance “La Danza Del Venado” and toured Mexico, Europe and the US. He was the company choreographer and lead teacher for Los Niños de Santa Fe y Compañia. In addition he taught hundreds of elementary school children as part of the Arts in the Schools program in Española, New Mexico. He joined Moving People Dance Theater performing Contemporary, Jazz and Modern in June 2005. In 2006 he founded and was the artistic director of Arte Sin Fronteras, a new dance school/company in rural Northern New Mexico. Now know as Moving Arts Espanola.

Currently, he lives in San Francisco and teaches dance as an artist in residence for the SFUSD. He was also the sub-director for Ballet Folklórico Ensambles, He is a lead teacher and choreographer for Dancing Earth and is founder and artistic director of Cuicacalli Escuela de Danza (meaning house of culture in nahuatl dialect). He joined Printz Dance Project in 2009 as a guest artist for their tenth anniversary and has also joined the ALICE (Arts and Literacy in Children’s Education) program as a dance instructor since 2008 and has recently performed in their latest production called “Burning Libraries,” a multi-media performance about immigration stories. Mr. Cortes is also a dance consultant and choreographer for Ballet Folklorico de Stanford University. He also choreographed and performed John O’Keefe’s ‘Mystical Abyss’ directed by Theatre of Yugen’s Founder, Yuriko Doi, at the ODC Theater. In 2012 Mr. Cortes announced the birth of Cuicacalli Dance Company presenting their first production “Raíces Sin Límites” at the Brava Theater and last May they presented their newest production “Cicatrices.” In 2013, Mr. Cortes choreographed and performed a section of the production “Noche de Muertos” with Calidanza Dance Company at the San Francisco Symphony “Dia de los Muertos” Community Concert. In 2014, Mr. Cortes was later commissioned to choreograph and perform a solo to the music of  “La Llegada de los Muertos”  again for the San Francisco Symphony “Dia de los Muertos” Community Concert.

Also, for the last three years, Mr. Cortes has collaborated, choreographed, and performed for the Brava Theater Production “Baile en la Calle” Festival “The Mural Dances.” This year, he has been invited to choreograph and present Cuicacalli Dance Company at the San Francisco “Son Jarocho” festival at Brava Theater.

Pemex, Visual Artist

In the world of graffiti and massive urban murals, Pemex is a hard name to overlook.  He’s paid plenty of dues, getting his hands dirty and rising through the ranks to be one of the most renowned urban artists putting in work up and down California.  And it wasn’t an easy road getting there.  Born and raised South Central Los Angeles, it would have been easy to fall victim to the environment that raised him, to follow the same disastrous path that so many others did.  He was able to do what few others have done, to process his experience and channel it to grow strong and resilient, self-capable and fearless.  Oh, and he’s endowed with a natural talent that astounds.  Watching him draw is a thing to behold, sitting down to a blank page and diving straight in with his pen, hitting each line with total precision.  Outside, with a can in his hand, he is no less awe-inspiring.  His street work is savage and unrelenting, stylish and possessing in it a humor and history unique to the artist himself.

Roberto Miguel, Artistic Consultant

Miguel bio real

Roberto Miguel is an artist and Dj from Oakland, California.  His first exposure to the arts was with baile folkórico in Richmond, California, and went on to study with Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts.  He has played in numerous bands, traveling touring the United States and England.  He is also an event organizer and put many events including “Hoodstock Oakland,” “Hoodstock New York” and “Special Delivery” in Berkeley in conjunction with Endless Canvas.  In 2012, he collaborated with renowned street artist “Gats” on an installation, which was the focus of a short documentary produced by Pharell Williams.

 

 

Jesus Cortes, began his training in Mexican folk dance when he was 6 years old under the direction of his Great Uncle Juan Natoli. In 2000, he started dancing with Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. He became a soloist in the role of The Deer Dance “La Danza Del Venado” and toured Mexico, Europe and the US. He was the company choreographer and lead teacher for Los Niños de Santa Fe y Compañia. In addition he taught hundreds of elementary school children as part of the Arts in the Schools program in Española, New Mexico. He joined Moving People Dance Theater performing Contemporary, Jazz and Modern in June 2005. In 2006 he founded and was the artistic director of Arte Sin Fronteras, a new dance school/company in rural Northern New Mexico. Now know as Moving Arts Espanola.

Currently, he lives in San Francisco and teaches dance as an artist in residence for the SFUSD. He was also the sub-director for Ballet Folklórico Ensambles, He is a lead teacher and choreographer for Dancing Earth and is founder and artistic director of Cuicacalli Escuela de Danza (meaning house of culture in nahuatl dialect). He joined Printz Dance Project in 2009 as a guest artist for their tenth anniversary and has also joined the ALICE (Arts and Literacy in Children’s Education) program as a dance instructor since 2008 and has recently performed in their latest production called “Burning Libraries,” a multi-media performance about immigration stories. Mr. Cortes is also a dance consultant and choreographer for Ballet Folklorico de Stanford University. He also choreographed and performed John O’Keefe’s ‘Mystical Abyss’ directed by Theatre of Yugen’s Founder, Yuriko Doi, at the ODC Theater. In 2012 Mr. Cortes announced the birth of Cuicacalli Dance Company presenting their first production “Raíces Sin Límites” at the Brava Theater and last May they presented their newest production “Cicatrices.” In 2013, Mr. Cortes choreographed and performed a section of the production “Noche de Muertos” with Calidanza Dance Company at the San Francisco Symphony “Dia de los Muertos” Community Concert. In 2014, Mr. Cortes was later commissioned to choreograph and perform a solo to the music of  “La Llegada de los Muertos”  again for the San Francisco Symphony “Dia de los Muertos” Community Concert.

Also, for the last three years, Mr. Cortes has collaborated, choreographed, and performed for the Brava Theater Production “Baile en la Calle” Festival “The Mural Dances.” This year, he has been invited to choreograph and present Cuicacalli Dance Company at the San Francisco “Son Jarocho” festival at Brava Theater