Friday, October 27, 2017

Archives: Pasundayag, A Photographer's Perspective

Udlot Udlot Choreography by Elena Laniog
Dancers: Alexa Torte and Marveen Ely Lozano 

UP Dance Company put together "Pasundayag" to celebrate the Company's 30th year as a performing group. It was a look back at some of  the pieces that were contributed by their Artistic Directors, Elena Laniog, Herbert Alvarez, Flordeliza Fernandez-Punzalan and Basilio. With hardly any light except a few yellow bulbs I attempted to document their final rehearsal.  While my photographs are dark and grainy, their performance was completely the opposite. Their pieces were illuminated and soulful.  Their movements were crisp, clean and sharp giving justice to the historical pieces  of the Company. I'm quite sure the show was epic.  The curation of the show was commendable because it  showed the commitment of the Company to going beyond the ballet standard both in physicality and in concept. It's nice to see how a genre is redefined by different choreographers through time.  I loved how Flordeliza Fernandez Punzalan's bold and beautiful  "Femina" contrasted with Elena Laniog's intricate and internal "On Cracked Ground".  The performance also showcased the strength of the Company's technique and maturity. Herbert Alvarez' "Krystie Kyrie" is a make it or break it piece heavily dependent on strong ensemble work and technique. However the dancers were focused  on the group effort and delivered effortlessly a clean and beautiful performance. 

Thirty years after, I think the founders have a lot to smile about. They have a history that is artistically fulfilling with countless beautiful choreographic pieces. They have produced a number of dancer-choreographers who have lead their respective companies competently. They have adequately prepared their graduates for real careers in the industry.  They have produced competent  dance historians, educators and critics who push  the dance conversation to deeper levels. This kind of output speaks volumes. But perhaps the biggest achievement in their thirty year history is the creation of a legacy of uniqueness. UP Dance Company is a reminder to all that it is okay to find your own voice, own rhythm and own movement to celebrate dance. Conformity is over-rated. I look forward to another thirty years of ingenuity.

Cantina Choreographed by Basilio 
Dancer: Mark Robles

Cantina Choreographed by Basilio
Dancer: Aisha Polestico 

Femina Choreographed by  Flordeliza Fernandez-Punzalan
Dancers: Sarah Samaniego Aisha Polestico Honey Lyn Juntilla and Alexa Torte 

Udlot Udlot Choreography by Elena Laniog
Dancers: Alexa Torte and Marveen Ely Lozano

On Cracked Ground Choreographed by Elena Laniog 


Kristo Kyrie choreographed by Herbert Alvarez 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Then and Now, Ballet Philippines' "Exemplars" in Photos

I've always had a fascination with coffee table books. Through the years I  amassed a small collection mostly featuring art.  Honestly, getting the chance to see some of the pieces I've seen immortalized in books gave me quite a rush. Getting to photograph them amplified the thrilling experience. After the show, I started to look through my books and just as I remembered, there they were. In my Tuklas Sining and Sayaw books were the historical pieces in the glossy pages. So I figured I would do a retrospective blogpost. So here is my then and now , a tribute to the past  and current employ of Ballet Philippines. 

Note to self: Check the history books before shooting :) 

Note : Photos sources: Victor Ursabia, Tuklas Sining, Sayaw, Ballet Philippines Photo bank in Facebook (Unfortunately there are no photo credits to name :( )

Ang Sultan 
Choreography by : Gener Caringal 
2017 Cast :
Eugene Obille as Sultan
Victor Maguad as Lover 
Jemima Reyes as Princess


 Master  choreographer Gener Caringal as the Lover

Choreographed by  Pauline Koner
2017 Cast :
Denise Parungao 
Katrene San Miguel 
Gia Gequinto 
Jessa  Tangalin
Monica Gana 

Long limbed Ms. Edna Vida in Concertino 

Choreographed by Alice Reyes 
2017 Cast:
Amada : Candice Adea
Tadtarin: Sarah Alejandro 
Don Rafael : Ronelson Yadao 

National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes as Amada 


Songs of A Wayfarer
Choreographed by Norman Walker 
2017 Cast :
Young Man : Ronelson Yadao
Groom :Lester Regundin
Bride:Candice Adea 

Richardson Yadao  as the Young Man 

Ronelson Yadao as Young Man 

Carissa Adea as the Bride ?



Valse Fantasy 
Restaged by Nonoy Froilan Inspired by George Balanchine 
2017 Cast :
Denise Parungao
Monica Gana
Sarah Alejandro
Jemima Reyes
Katrene San Miguel
Victor Maguad