Inside Pasinaya 2012
A closer look by Regina S. Bautista
February 26, 2012
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philippines
Last February 26 CCP presented its annual open house festival, PASINAYA. My first experience in PASINAYA ’11 was as a dancer of a company outside of CCP. We were to present a repertoire of contemporary dance to a wide range of audience members. But this year, having been able to dance with a resident company in CCP numerous times, PASINAYA was a way to open what has become a second home to me, to audience members and performers alike.
In my first year, I performed and then left. Needless to say, I missed out on a lot of performances I could’ve seen; something I realized after experiencing the festival this year as someone familiar with CCP. I think it should be encouraged and highly recommended for the various performers and artists to stay the whole day of PASINAYA. The reason is that, among other things, the festival is a way for performers of different fields of art and culture to see each other and see the various artistic abilities present in our country, from ballet, to folk dance, to theater, and to film, among others.
One thing that I think can be added into the whole PASINAYA program, if I may, is a simple everyday ballet class or an orchestra rehearsal. It is after all an open house and it will seem so honest and real to show what happens in CCP on an everyday basis.
CCP Dance School in PASINAYA ‘12
This year the CCP Dance School, the official school of Ballet Philippines, presented something different for PASINAYA. It had the usual ballet program: Jewels from The Sleeping Beauty, performed by scholars and apprentices, and the Diana and Acteon Pas de deux, performed by Boston International Ballet Competition competitors Jemima Reyes and Emmanuelle Guillermo. The finale though was something different, hip-hop choreographed to a medley of songs by Lora Benedicto and Edana Labitoria, with some company members dancing. It is a significant change that comes with a new school director, Victor Ursabia who added the hip-hop classes to the curriculum to teach young dancers to move with rhythm. Moreover, it showed the growing versatility of the school, with most of the ballet performers changing from their tutus to the hip hop baggy garb at the end.
Pusong Wagas in PASINAYA ‘12
Ballet Philippines presented Pusong Wagas at the Main Theater as a resident company of CCP. Although the modern ballet by Alden Lugnasin was shortened, because the choreography and the dancers were all equally powerful, the delivery and events before our eyes needed no further explanations of the story or transitions to each event. Furthermore, the Main Theater Stage provided more space for the dancers to expand every movement, something that was lacking in the Little Theater stage.
Carissa Adea was so moving and gripping as Manda, partnered perfectly by Richardson Yadao as Luyong. The music by Cynthia Alexander that accompanied their Pusong Wagas pas de deux enhanced the strong emotions of love, along with the corps dancers of men as the river. Macel Dofitas as Anino ng Bwan was surprisingly powerful and held her own onstage, even if she is not yet a company member. Philip Rocamora was also powerful onstage, stable and effective as the Estranghero. Marvin Arizo was eye catching as the Datu Katapang. Overall the choreography was visually aesthetic and effective, and was complementarily accompanied by the dancers execution of quality and controlled power in movement.
UP Dance Company at the RH
The UP Dance Company opened its performance at the Rehearsal Hall with Ea Torrado’s Dog Days Are Over, to music by Florence + the Machine. It was a great piece to reintroduce the company to the PASINAYA audience for this year because it was new and it thrived on normally awkward movements (like bending arms in front of the body and opening the mouth) made interesting by the dancers and choreographer. Al Garcia’s Balyan followed and sparked interest, eliciting whispers among the audience. They were especially intrigued when Al as the balyan started looking at a single spot in the corner in intervals, symbolizing the coming of spirit giant Miti (from his recital program notes). He eventually cleanses himself of the spirit’s displease, as he undresses himself of the trousers he wore and carefully disposes of.
Next, Sarah Samaniego’s piece Bilang 1,2,3,4,5 to music by Alexander John Villanueva presented five men as they evolved from a counting-slapping game to an actual dance. Their movements were smooth and clearly progressed into bigger movements of jumps, drops, lifts etc with motivation. Equally smooth but in contrast to a dance of men was Ma. Elena Laniog-Alvarez’s female dance Silhouettes to music by Philip Glass. Taking from how the dance started – with a dancer spraying the venue with cologne – it is a dance that showed the scent and sensuality of a woman. The piece is easy and relaxing to watch as it perfectly harmonizes with Glass’ light music. Moreover, it was liberating to watch women transform from a powerful persona (the dancers wore pencil skirts and heels that resembled the office attire) to a caring persona (here the dancers wore something that echoed night attire or dusters even) in dance.
Maquiling Ballet at the RH
Maquiling Ballet presented Swan Lake excerpts for PASINAYA. It opened with a corps of swans who, young as they were, danced with solemn focus. Fourth year (Batch Maceda) students Jessica Pearl Dames and A.L. Frederick Abraham danced the classic white swan pas de deux, with flawless technical ability; however Dames needs to learn to fully embody Odette and not just be herself happily dancing, to be more effective. Her pleasantly arched feet were more expressive than her face because she sneaked in some tiny smiles here and there during the pas de deux, something that is hardly (if not never) seen in Odette. For the Spanish dance that followed, only Aisha Polestico was flirtatious and consistently expressive among her Maceda batch mates. The Neapolitan dance that followed danced by four young dancers (notably Eloisa Tangalin and Jhoy Anne Maverick) were very promising; even at a young age, they knew how to dance to the audience. The show closed with a mazurka character dance with numerous pairs. Over all, it felt too short of a program for a company that is known to be nurturers of future ballerinas, but it was worth it to see young talents emerging in ballet. -- Regina S. Bautista
Photos of UP Dance Company in Ea Torrado's Dog Days Are Over, Ballet Philippines' Carissa Adea and Richardson Yadao in Pusong Wagas, and Al Bernard Garcia in his Balyan on this page, and of Sarah Samaniego's Bilang 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on the homepage of Runthru, by Mimille Guzman. In lieu of payment for use of these photos, Runthru is making a donation for the benefit of Daisy Rhie Fernandez, a patient of the Philippine General Hospital cancer ward.