Monday, June 21, 2010

When Fishing for the Popular isn't Enough: A Review of the Pinoy-French Contemporary Dance Week

I don’t want to pretend that my judgment of art is more sophisticated than everyone else, because it’s not. Let’s just say that I’ve been fortunate to catch performances other than local TV’s cheaper than ever shows like Party Pilipinas and Diz Iz It. (When I say catch I meant I preferred to try other visuals.)

Life’s about choices anyway, like ‘Anything less is less than a reckless act’ by Donna Miranda implied through its choose-between-the-two lectures. The lecture was part of the Pinoy-French Contemporary Dance Week, a French Embassy and Alliance Fran├žaise de Manille collaboration with the Philippine Educational Theater Association.

On the side of France, they brought Lin Yuan Shang and his choreography here to be witnessed by the Filipino audience. Mr. Lin is a Paris-based dancer-choreographer and Beijing Opera School educated.

The performance started with a witty intro from Donna Capili. And just before it became dragging, she asked the audience to either stay where we were and continue the “listen to me” setup or enter the theater and watch an odd, silent (the audio gets on half way but still, uhh, odd) video about two dancers. Life, why do I always have to make hard decisions?


Mr. Lin’s performance, Kung Fu Dancing, came in next. The movements were too peaceful I tried to suppress yawns in between. The texts and videos projected in the background were awakening, though.

During the Q&A, Donna raised a very good point about contexts. She said artists always tried not to guard one's context and let the audience make their own interpretation. Mr. Lin, who was too apologetic of his un-fluency in English, remarked that he pulled some stunts for Jackie Chan (which I personally shrugged off being a Jackie Chan fan and a believer that he does all his stunts as what he claims).

Judging on my pop culture preference, dance is least on my list, to be very honest. But I gave the discipline a chance this time. Although I was not totally impressed, I know that it has charged me another perspective worth considering. While some common dance types—jazz, hip-hop, modern, etc—are frequently exploited on TV (of which above TV show mentions are notorious), contemporary dance could be a good reference to counter-balance our views. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to reach 30 asking “Contemporary dance, what??”

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UPDATE: As of this writing, Slenda has reached the author and promised to exchange the near-expiry box to a newly-manufactured one. Reputation management did the works, after all.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A hashtag to remember

Two weeks past and my mood goes extreme—points lead to highest and lowest—depending on the trigger. I’m going 21 but my maturity level places me back at 15. All the while I thought I have become matured, yet my slip in mood the past days tells me otherwise. Well, maybe I’m having my time. A bad time that is.

As far as personal events are concerned, I have no reason to feel this way. I’m really blessed with encounters.

The 21st century has brought people from different backgrounds and geography exchange ideas and aspirations in ways previous generations have failed to enjoy. We breathe modernity. We throw out ideas in real-time. We question phenomena and dissect them as it happens. Welcome to the Generation Y (Why?).

And so I ask, why?

I met a guy on Twitter while monitoring #harapan, the hashtag for ABS-CBN’s heated forum on vice-presidentiables in time for the May 10 polls. Netizens’ insights were even ten- folds direct and harsh than that of the candidates trading barbs with one another. I followed him during the forum, and he followed me back days after. Judging on his tweets and link shares, we share the same interests and insights. I befriended him on Facebook and learned that we have more common grounds than I have imagined. I’m beginning to admire the guy.

We attended the same school, share the same views and sport mutual interests. We exchanged (as he puts it) long talks over Facebook and Yahoo! Messenger and 140-ish replies on Twitter—chatting about politics, principles and personal thoughts—all in a matter of days.

And I remembered reading about ambient awareness some time ago. The term was first coined in a New York Times Sunday magazine. Social scientists define it as, “…very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye.” This “digital intimacy” now throws cold water out of my consciousness. Am I becoming “digitally intimate” with him? I meant with a guy.

Apparently, this digital intimacy has reached my mom’s awareness. I have been telling mom about him as a champion of his family, as a good son to his mother, and as a nephew to a Scleroderma patient; a disease mom has got to have. This guy was even instrumental to my inches-more closeness to mom the previous days. I had the guts to tell my mom I love her in her face after reading “Mardita”, a note he wrote to his mother.

I suddenly made a stop to this intimacy. I suddenly halted while thinking that he’s maybe not into it. I’m clueless on where this “intimacy” would lead us, but I fear one gets violated.

He is a rare find. His idealism, passion and sensibility could launch a visionary. I don’t want to let go of him yet should I be a bad mix on his potential, I’m crying inside but this too shall pass. Unless he rekindles.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tonight without you

This has been the saddest night.
I loved it when you allowed me to court you,
I loved it when I heard you like me a lot,
I love you.

The nights are dim when I’m not with you.
The nights when I’m with you, I want to call a night.
The nights are nights when you shine through my eyes.
Tonight, you’re not with me, I want to be with you.

I love your eyes,
I love your hands,
I love your toes,
I love all of you.

I wish I didn’t pull the trigger.
I wish I didn’t loose the thread.
I wish I didn’t tighten the belt.
I wish I didn’t hurt you.

Plans are laid out to my mind,
But your words simply wouldn’t mind.
I dreamt of you and me together,
But maybe I have to sleep with the thought and let my dreams do the work.

It’s been 14,668,000 seconds since I met you.
I saw your face six times, and dreamt of seeing it six more times, sixty, six hundred, six thousand, six million times until I finally recognize that yours is the face I want to see for the whole lifetime.
No any calculation could count my desire to see you, each time I skip to think of you.
And perhaps, tonight, I have to stop counting because I can’t already be with you.

This has been the saddest night, and the next nights to come without you.