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~    An ocean-inspired dance show with a deep sea soundtrack.    ~


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    Upwelling is a multimedia performance, in theater and film, dedicated to connecting audience to the ocean. Performed by four women, the story is weaved with modern dance, a cappella singing, blue/green lighting, and an original underwater sound score.  
    The performance is an immersive experience with sensations and mysteries of the ocean. The visual and auditory journey leaves audiences with the desire to sit by the sea, their hearts full of wonder, and an impulse to save our seas.

 who we are 
Contributors of Past and Present:

Artistic Director and Founder: Amelia Nommensen

Sound Designer
: Joe Krempetz

Cathy Asmus, Charlie Boyd Brown, Annalise Constantz, Abigail Hinson, Varsha Iyengar, Audrey Johnson, Erica Stivison, and Wednesday Manners

Videographers: Aaron Hsia-Coron, Elena Nommensen

Photographers: Ashlee Burton, Douglas Calalo Berry, Morgan McMahon, Lea Salanon

(and many more who contribute their time, thoughts & creative juices)

~ Land Acknowledgement ~

While the artists included in this work are spread across many areas of land, we wish to acknowledge and thank the land where this idea seeded and grew, Ohlone Land. We are so grateful for our original premiere, 2019 at Vetiver Oakland, and all the meetings/dancing/dreamings/writings that have taken place on this land since. Stewarded by the Chochenyo peoples for thousands of years, we thank the ancestors and current caretakers for continuing to support this rich and fertile soil. We thank all those who look to the sky for rain, sink their hands in the soil, and continue grounding our communities. We all play a part. This land continues to nourish Upwelling in all its growth.

Thank you.

Inspiration ~ Blue Mind
November 2022

    This book came into my life nearly 10 years ago. When I was a student at UC Santa Cruz, the author came and gave a guest lecture about sea turtle restoration and nesting habitat protection followed by his signature gift of a blue marble. I received my first inkling into this blue planet society.

    This book shares so much insight, but what I keep coming back to is the many ways we can find blue mind in our lives. So much of our day is chaos, so much is stress, so much of living in society is a hardening, overstimulated, frantic world we just get through. And this moment of pausing, finding a body of water, taking a moment to connect with your own body of water and with the others around you. Change is possible.

    I find that I use this as my choreographic lens. I want to make soothing, peaceful art that encourages those watching to connect with themselves and lean into this blue mind space. “A restful involuntary attention” that which Nichols speaks of when taking about the repetition and novel patterns in water. It both keeps your attention and allows your mind to find a restorative space of calm and peace. It is a feeling, to create movement that feels like sitting by water. To use my dance composition knowledge, to engage the viewer, and also to fall into this intuitive space of what feels good, for both dancer and viewer. Blue Mind continues to find new pathways in my knowing, I hope it does for you too. Find out more here.

Insight into the Director's Mind ~ Speranza
February 2021
    Speranza was creating during the Winter of the pandemic from Nov 2020-Mar 2021. It was a time when we most needed hope. A time when the brightness of the end of the tunnel seemed so far away, and we needed a reminder that it was coming.
     The soloist represents a ship lost at sea, a weary traveler who has lost her footing and is uncertain of the way forward. We also engage with a duet staged at a lighthouse, acting as beacon to guide the lost ship to safety.
    The effort of this film is to share a bit of light, to feel found, rejoined, and allow others to see or seek their beacon for hope.
Insight into the Director's Mind ~ Matriline
June 2021
   After receiving notice of my acceptance into the Submergence gallery, I had 3 weeks to make my dance into a film. Here is the meaning...
   Matriline encourages us to look back at our oldest ancestors for wisdom. As Orcas exist in matriarchal societies, it is the responsibility of Mothers and Grandmothers to teach the next generation all the skills and knowledge necessary for their species survival. It is said the first Orca was carved out the yellow cedar (see Tlingit story of Natsilene). In the film, dancing with the driftwood is to go back to the oldest Orca to seek Wisdom.
     We can then reflect on our human matriarchal lineages. In modern day they are confined and distorted from living in a patriarchy. Our immediate bloodlines are constricted, we must go back, farther in the bloodline, to the oldest ancestors, to the Grandmother that taught us all. Here at the beginning, we seek Wisdom and Guidance to be Woman in all her power, in all her grace, in all her abilities, to heal this world in this present moment. It asks us all to go back to our Mother, Mama Earth, Gaia, Pachamama, Mother Nature to reconnect and see the way forward. It is by healing these wounds/disconnection that we begin to heal ourselves and this planet. If we listen, truly listen, we may begin to understand. The audio for the film asks just that. To go where Orcas live, to listen to their complex communication, to listen to their messages, and act from a place of compassion and healing. Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel article here.

We make it easy to donate. Donate with debit and credit cards, or use your PayPal account.

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