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The History of Raven Returns and IMAGINOCEAN -
The Dream That Made Itself Come True

For some time, Jack was fretting over a two-hour performance scheduled in Calgary for May 1999. He wasnít sure what the performance would become. While Jack has an ample repertiore of stories to chose from, he didnít want to simply tell them over the course of two hours. He wanted something more, something with an impact that would not leave the audience for some time.

For this, he knew he wanted music and movement as a backdrop for the stories. The music to help focus the audience and accentuate the storiesí tone and emotion. The movement to provide visual cues and the idea of movement through the storylines, as well as tonal focus between stories and during extended, theatrical pauses.

As these ideas began to coalesce, Jack realized it was to become something much larger than one performance. He realized it was to become a phenomenom, something to be introduced to thousands of people around the world.

But storytelling with music and dance wasnít enough to make it something unforgettable. It needed an overall theme, something to tie the entire performance together as one piece. Something that brought all the stories together to tell one big story.

Jack was awoken one night to an idea, a dream. He tried to fall back asleep, promising to remember the idea in the morning. But the dream insisted attention immediately. What followed was two-and-a-half hours of writing. The experience he can only call divine inspiration.

What emerged was the orginal format for IMAGINOCEAN. Created in two parts, IMAGINOCEAN strove to tell the story of humanity with Saga of Creation and Stories of Completion. Saga of Creation focused on the Yup'ik and Yup'ik influenced stories of Jack's repertoire. Stories of Completion drew from Jack's contemporary stories. While the production was sincerely appreciated, Jack realized it could be better. On of the constructive critisisms of IMAGINOCEAN was the fact that the stories in Part 1 and Part 2 weren't linked to each other.

With this in mind, the concept grew. Saga of Creation's Yup'ik influenced stories were extremely popular. Soon Jack realized they could make an epic story of their own. From this arose Raven Returns.

With Part 1 becoming Raven Returns, Jack wondered what to do with rest of IMAGINOCEAN. Since many of Jack's contemporary stories were gaining popularity, he decided it would be a great way to showcase them.

Now Jack has two different shows highlighting the many different kinds of stories Jack tells: traditional, modern traditional, and contemporary. And as always, he is very excited about sharing these stories and his gifts with people everywhere.

All information, programs, titles, images and design are Copyright 1999 by Jack Dalton