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Philippine Contemporary Dance “Takes Off” this October with Neo Filipino 2016

Philippine Contemporary Dance “Takes Off” this October with Neo Filipino 2016

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Denisa Reyes’s NEO FILIPINO once again bolts to the stage with new works from some of the most persistent voices in Philippine
contemporary dance. Beginning in New York in 1987, NEO FILIPINO is a platform for Filipino choreographers to make dance the central force, the impetus, and the muscle in collaborating with the other art forms: music, visual arts, literature, theatre, literature and film. Dance artists aired experimental and provocative works that spoke of inquiries about Philippine contemporary life through dance.

This year’s “TAKE OFF” premiers four original pieces by Raul Alcoseba, Jose Jay Cruz, Ma. Elena Laniog, Kris-Belle Paclibar-
Mamangun, and Ronelson Yadao, interpreted by the country’s leading performers; Candice and Carissa Adea, PJ Rebullida, Jed
Amihan, Mia Cabalfin, and the UP Dance Company among others. Stemming from the conflicted climate the nation is presently
undergoing, these dance works aim to reveal, investigate, and challenge current notions of the Philippine identity in—bold insights and fresh facets of the new Filipino.

NeoFilipino 2016

Directed by NEO FILIPINO creator Denisa Reyes, the dance concert is presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in cooperation of the College of St. Benilde. NEO FILIPINO: TAKE OFF will have three performances across two dates; October 8 at 3pm and 8pm and October 9 at 3pm at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philippines.

For inquiries and updates, call 832.3704/891.9999 or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph / facebook.com/neofilipinodance/
When words fail to express our collective truth, can dance tell us who we are? #neofilipino2016

NEO Filipino: TAKE OFF

Features works that present fresh insights on how dance could be relevant to Philippine society rendered in an original, contemporary language. The thrust is to question, to inquire, and to challenge notions about how it is to be a Filipino in the 21st century using the language of dance.

Dancers: Candice Adea and Carissa Adea
Collaborator: Shamaine Buencamino
Lighting Design: Katsch Catoy

Neo Filipino

Raul Alcoseba

“ crying days are: brown leaves/deaths, scarred trees/deaths, steamy mists/ deaths, shifting shapes/deaths, spectacles/deaths and …”

“ON CRACKED GROUND” by Ma. Elena Laniog
Lighting Design: Katsch Catoy
Costumes: James Reyes

Neo Filipino

Ma. Elena Laniog

“I turn my head.
I see thirst an hunger.
Up and below, poverty devours.
Running, walking. Weary, faint.
No escape… no escape.
Like a fish snatched from the water, drowning in drought.
Lying on cracked ground.
Where is the promised land?
When will i taste milk and
overflowing honey?
When will I see white linen, and green surround?
Greed fills my cup.
I let myself succumb to nothing.
Who is to blame?
Lumps in my throat get bigger.
My eyes abandon me.
My mouth- quick to anger.
My ears grow slow to listen…
But change is inevitable.
It’s real. One day…
Beneath the cracks,
Hope will sprout
Then meadows and trees that never fail.
So i turn my head up and below..”.

Dancers: Rhosam Prudenciado Jr, Jed Amihan, Mia Cabalfin, Carlos Deriada Jr, Nicole Primero, Christopher Chan, Jenica Tavares, Pj Rebullida, Julie Alagde-Carretas
Lighting Design: Katsch Catoy
Lighting Consultant: Joseph Matheiu

Neo Filipino

Jose Jay Cruz

“in search of a future, one faithfully submits itself to some rigorousness in perception hoping that in the regime of individual and national crises, one can regain the body of will upon the revelation of mostly overlooked but persistent structures”

“DIVERTISSEMENT” by Kris-Belle Paclibar & Ronelson Yadao
Dancers: Kris-Belle Paclibar & Ronelson Yadao
Lighting Design: Katsch Catoy

Neo Filipino

Kris-Belle Paclibar and Ronelson Yadao

In classical ballet “divertissement” is used as a breather or a break and sometimes referred as an entertainment but doing little to further the plot. “Divertissement” is a piece on two bodies, about addressing their own questions on stereotypes and stereotyping in dance, more specifically in the very competitive classical ballet genre. It serves as an escape from the constricting physical standards of classicism; thus, giving the dancers’ body diversity and exposure to the unusual.



The former artistic director of Chameleon Dance Theatre, Raul Alcoseba’s choreography delves deep into the human condition, revealing beauty from the innermost sources of everyday experience that are otherwise hidden in plain sight. Throughout decades of dancemaking, performing, and teaching locally and internationally as a member of the World Dance Alliance and the Manila Contemporary Dance Network, Raul’s vision continues to sharpen, producing works that never cease to be visually potent and emotionally charged. In this year’s NEO-FILIPINO: TAKE OFF, Raul brings to the stage “Kanaan”, an original piece that tackles the gravity of loss–the atmosphere that death leaves in its wake, and the phantom spectacles it stains our memory with. Featuring the award-winning Adea Sisters, Candice and Carissa, two former principal dancers of Ballet Philippines, “Kanaan” promises to deliver a harrowing yet redemptive look into the grieving process of the Filipino.


Jose Jay B. Cruz is the Artistic Director of Transitopia Contemporary Dance Commune, formerly known as Dancing Wounded, one of the leading, most innovative contemporary dance companies in the Philippines. He has participated in international dance festivals as a solo dancer in Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Korea, Shanghai and finalist to the 2006 Yokohama SoloXDuo Dance Competition in Japan. He is also a Carlos Palanca Awardee for Literature and a fellow to the UP Writers Workshop. He received the 2009 Asian Cultural Council’s Josie Natori Award to study choreography and dance composition in New York. Seeing the blurring of functions between dance and theater in the 21st century through Contemporary Performances, Jay Cruz spearheaded the Performance Research Network (PResNt) together with Tess Jamias of Kolab Co. and Jk Anikoche of Sipat Lawin Ensemble, an initiative directed in the grounding of performance innovations in relation to cultural discourses around contemporary theater practices vis a vis the Philippines and its connection to the world. Seeing the urgency of facilitating multi realities and understanding the advantage of being able to fluidly surf in between worlds to survive the precarity of choosing a life to be in Dance, Jay Cruz stumbled on a pioneering work as an acting coach in mainstream TV and Cinema.


Elena Laniog serves as co-artistic director and resident choreographer of the UP Dance Company at the UP College of Music Dance Program. She has premiered works for the seven-year running WiFi Body.ph Festival and the Contemporary Dance Map. Her body of work helped the UP Dance Company weave through and define its distinct contemporary style. She has also worked with Ballet Philippines, AIRDANCE, Dance Theater Arts, Center for Movement and Music, The Dance Conservatory, and the UP Pep Squad and has gone to various choreographic residencies and teaching workshops in Taipei and Kaoshiung, Taiwan and Kobe, Japan under the auspices of the World Dance Alliance-Philippines, Dance Box-Kobe, and the JEnesys Program of the Japan Foundation-Manila. Yearly, she is a visiting artist at the Singapore School of the Arts (SOTA) for the Medici Program. In 2015, her recent works “On the Wings of 44” and “Feet of Clay” earned reviews at the 5th Sibu International Dance Festival in Sarawak and the 5th International Festival of Arts and Culture in Thailand; the latter being performed at the recently concluded Dance MNL at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


A former principal dancer of Ballet Philippines, Kris-Belle Paclibar has essayed a multitude of lead and featured roles in various productions to consistent acclaim. In 2005, she left for Hong Kong to be part of Hong Kong Disneyland’s Opening Team, where she performed in the park’s “Festival of the Lion King” stageshow. In 2008, Kris-Belle was given a role in Cirque Du Soleil’s first resident show in Asia–“ZAIA” at the Venetian Hotel Resort. Since 2012, she has returned to the Philippine stage through a number of dance productions. She has been nominated for “Best Female Performance for Modern Dance” in 2013 for Carlo Pacis’ “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and in 2014 for her performance of Agnes Locsin’s “Salome”. “The country’s best in modern ballet today”- Agnes Locsin (Edge Davao, 8/21/2015), Kris-Belle is currently involved in different dance projects as a performer or choreographer. She recently returned from Vancouver, Canada as part of Co. Erasga’s “Collected, Traces and Still Here”.


Ronelson is an independent performing artist, teacher and choreographer for modern and contemporary dance. He’s currently the Artistic Director of BP’s Ballet Philippines 2. An alumnus of the Philippine High School for the Arts, he continued his dance studies at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) while being a soloist with Ballet Philippines. He placed 2nd at the National Music Competition for Young Artists in 2007 and became the recipient of PHILSTAGE’s Gawad Buhay Awards for Male Lead in 2009. In 2010, he joined Cloud Gate Dance Theater in Taiwan and toured extensively in Europe, China and USA.

For more details about what’s happening in the Manila theater scene, please view our Theater Calendar.

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