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Ibalon
Image from "Ïbalon" poster

‘Ibalon’: powerful display of love in dance and music

The Philippine Ballet Theater (PBT), on a mission to create and perform stories reflecting Filipino culture, opens its 37th season with a brand-new, full-length ballet titled “Ibalon.”  PBT artistic director and choreographer Ronilo Jaynario takes off from the Bicolano epic and reimagines the love story of Handyong (the warrior) and Oryol (the cursed creature) against the backdrop of Philippine mythology....

Pasinaya
Poster of Pasinaya 2023

CCP’s ‘Pasinaya’ breaks away from old notions and pandemic isolation

A wristband worth P50 allows a person to experience all the performances, workshops, art exhibits, and film showings being offered on Feb. 3-5 at the “Pasinaya 2023 Open House Festival” of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).  The festival, now on its 18th year, has “Piglas Sining” as its theme—a breaking free from the confinement and isolation imposed by...

How ‘pangalay’ brought ‘ginhawa’ and helped me through the pandemic
Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa dances "pangalay" with the song "Pokpok Alimpako," —PHOTO COURTESY OF ALUNALUN DANCE CIRCLE

How ‘pangalay’ brought ‘ginhawa’ and helped me through the pandemic

I found health in conscious breathing and wave-like movements. The Covid-19 pandemic affected all aspects of our lives, not just our physical health. The lockdown and stay-at-home policies closed businesses, cancelled social gatherings, and caused shifts in working and studying setups.  As the pandemic is more than a health crisis, we strived to be well holistically, taking care not only...

Dancing full circle at 80
Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa dances with metal claws or "janggay" in the "Pulse of Pangalay" show in Santa Monica, California. —PHOTO COURTESY OF MALAYA

Dancing full circle at 80

Dance is history; little is said, but much is understood.  I made history through research, documentation, and publication of the traditional performing arts and related folk artistic expressions of the Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines.  To keep a dance tradition alive, it must live in a dancing body. Instinct guided me to nurture “pangalay”—“gift offering” or “temple of dance”...

The exactness of Agnes
Agnes Locsin instructs a dancer on how to deliver the right intensity and angle that a step requires. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The exactness of Agnes

The rehearsal hall turns tense and the dancers stand still as Agnes Locsin critiques their execution of the steps. She slowly rises, touching her abdomen as she points to the exact spot where—and how—they must lift in order to deliver the right intensity and angle that the step requires. It’s clear that she has mastered her technique to a T,...

Dancers rebound with Alice Reyes Dance Philippines
Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP) artists in Erl Sorilla's "Kasadya" from Visayan Suite of Dances. —PHOTO BY ARMAND B. FRASCO

Dancers rebound with Alice Reyes Dance Philippines

Because the dance world operates on rather lean subsidies provided through donations by private entities or local governments, shifts in operations depend highly on socioeconomic situations. The pandemic just about crushed this art form, with theaters and other performance venues closing down, even curtailing dance companies’ additional sustenance from ticket sales, aside from denying dancers rehearsal and performance space.  Worse,...

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