Rabu, 24 April 2013
An explosion of youthful energy. Such characterized the opening ceremonies of the International Dance Xchange Festival and Workshop of the National Committee for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), held recently at the big City Coliseum of Puerto Princesa, capital of fabled Palawan. There were 22 Filipino and eight foreign dance groups in attendance, plus over 600 participants from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The foreign performers were from England, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, South Korea, South Africa and Thailand. Missed were the dancers from Malaysia and Brunei. Happy faces at the opening ceremonies During the opening ceremonies, one dance group after another, dressed in their formal (or “smart casual”) costumes, showcased their dancing ability to the pulsating, pounding rhythms of the Sinika and Pangkat Kalinangan bands, led respectively by good friend Nonoy Lanzanas, folk singer-songwriter, and Jovenee Sagun. The choreography was eclectic, including ethnic, national folk, traditional, Tagbanua chants, contemporary, gymnastics, hip-hop, entomodancing (Spanish duo), powerdance, breakdance, street dance, dirty dancing and what-have-you. The climax that morning came when the hundreds of dancers massed on the floor, fireworks were exploded, confetti rained down, and the participants gyrated around and posed for photo sessions. Big photo op for the performers A parade of the Filipino and foreign contingents followed in the afternoon, with the performers marching, sashaying and dancing on the streets from the provincial capitol to nearby Mendoza Park. There, all the groups, one after the other, showcased their talents and gave a spectacular performance of their best numbers. The Big Dance Company of England had an anti-bullying theme, while the EA and AE Dance Duo from Spain approximated the movements of animals and insects. The energy and hi-octane movements of PowerDance and Daredevils galvanized the crowd, and contrasted with the graceful, genteel demeanor of the ballet and folk-dance groups. The Kaaban Dance Collective from Lupon, Davao Oriental, drew oohs and aahs from the audience, and “out-bayanihan-ed” the Bayanihan with their bamboo poles and tinikling. Another scene-stealer was the Cebu Dance Company with their Spanish-influenced ballroom-dancing duo, the woman spinning like a top. That evening was, for me, the highlight of the four-day workshop-festival. It was a heady confluence of diverse talents and cultures, all in the name of dance. As festival director Shirley Halili-Cruz exhorted the youths: “Keep the passion [for dance] burning.” NCCA chairman Felipe M. de Leon Jr. concluded the event with a rousing lecture, including humorous asides, on Filipino cultural traits and on the importance of the arts.
MANILA, Philippines - Puerto Princesa City, led by Mayor Edward Hagedorn, will host a grand gathering of world-class performers billed as Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival on April 11 to 14. Artistic director Shirley Halili-Cruz The National Committee on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) National Committee on Dance, under the leadership of Shirley Halili-Cruz, established the annual big event five years ago. Its 2013 edition will feature leading dance companies and experts from Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, England, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Taiwan. Also participating are 22 Filipino dance companies. One of the said groups, the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet, will represent the country at the Dance Excellence USA in Los Angeles, California, from March 30 to April 7, before joining the Dance Xchange at Puerto Princesa. With its artistic director Shirley Halili-Cruz, the company won the coveted grand prize Dance Excellence trophy in the international contest participated by 50 American states, 30 countries and more than 10,000 dancers. A potential National Artist for Dance awardee, Shirley’s company has brought home top honors in several dance competitions, all over the world, in the last four years. Meanwhile, on the welcome dinner alone of Dance Xchange, hosted by Mayor Hagedorn, more than 1,200 delegates are expected to attend. With dance being the new and creative form of connecting people, culture and nations, Dance Xchange, one of the biggest events of the art, has proven very effective. Only a leading tourism attraction, Puerto Princesa’s hosting the Dance Xchange will further attract more visitors to Palawan from all over the globe. One of the highlights of the dance festivals is a tour of one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Puerto Princesa’s underground river.
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, April 10 (PIA) -- The National Commission for Culture and the Arts-National Committee on Dance (NCCA-NCD), headed by Shirley Halili-Cruz, heads Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival, on April 11 to 14 in Puerto Princesa City. It brings together the best dance companies and dance experts, both local and international, for a grand celebration of dance that includes activities such as artists’ forum, dance workshops to be conducted by dance directors/dancers from participating countries, masters classes, cultural tours, festival of dance performances and concerts at the Puerto Princesa City Coliseum. Through the 4 years of its implementation, Dance Xchange has engaged many dance groups from different countries, thus, making this event truly an international cultural destination every April. The Commission, headed by its Chairman Felipe de Leon Jr., and Executive Director Emelita Almosara, supports the organization of this country’s biggest dance spectacle in partnership with the city government of Puerto Princesa led by City Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn. With the theme “Cultural Connectivity Through Dance,” the event aims to strengthen network among dance groups in the ASEAN and beyond; enhance knowledge and skills of the dancers, dance teachers and choreographers on dances of the different countries; showcase the unique dances of each country to enhance cultural understanding; provide venue for interaction and facilitate learning among dancers, directors, dance teachers, choreographers; and harness the potential of the Philippines to be a cultural destination in Asia. Dance Xchange is also in celebration of International Dance Day, created under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris and held all over the world by the International Theater Institute (ITI) on April 29, and the Philippine National Dance Week, which is on the fourth week of April every year as declared by Proclamation No. 154 “to bring together dancers to demonstrate and realize the function of dance in the society and in the rest of the world. Expected to participate are dance companies from Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, England, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Taiwan and Vietnam. They will be joined by 22 dance companies from all over the Philippines. Dance Xchange has been held for five years now—2009 in Dumaguete City, 2010 in Roxas City, Capiz, 2011 in Metro Manila and 2012 in Cebu City. All PEHM teachers, PE professors and instructors, dance teachers, dancers, choreographers, cultural officers, tourism officers and festival organizers of the different local government units are invited to take part in this spectacular event. (NCCA/TBO/VSM-PIA4B)