In commemorating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and the Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the French Embassy come together to celebrate dance with the CCP Dance Series’ Premieres and Encores.
From Oct. 28 to 29, renowned French choreographer Redha Benteifour premieres his brand new work”L’espoir Des Lendemain:(The Hope of Tomorrow), and restages his “L’homme Assis Dans Le Fauteuil” (The Man on the Armchair) for its Manila Premiere. Alongside these pieces are acclaimed works by 21st Century Filipino choreographers, Visayan Suite of Danceschoreographed by John Ababon, AL Abraham, Erl Sorilla, and Ronelson Yadao, and the World Premiere of”I Wanna Say Something”choreographed by JM Cabling.
Redha Bentrifour is best known for his work in the international entertainment industry and for large-scale opening spectacles of events like the world cup soccer in France in 1998 and the World Fencing Championship at the Grand Palais in 2010. He has created choreographies for feature films of Costa Gavras, Roman Polanski, Alain Delon, and Francis Ford Coppola, and for video clips of Elton John, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Tom Jones, and various well-known French singers.
Redha has created modern ballets choreographing them for several of the world’s leading dance companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The National Ballet of Cuba, Le June Ballet de France, The Het Nationale Ballet, San Francisco Ballet. He has also choreographed and staged dances for CCP’s Resident Dance Company on numerous occasions. His notable works includeAu Fille de mes Nuits(1994), Les Petits Morts D’Amour(1994), andJe, Tu, Elle(1995).
“L’homme Assis Dans Le Fauteuil” (The Man on the Armchair) is a duet about a woman who loves a man and he who wants to love her but cannot.For the man, love is a handicap. The woman, on the other hand, loves him so much that she is willing to give him her life.
“L’espoir Des Lendemain”(The Hope of Tomorrow)seeks to give a voice to the young who got stuck during the lockdown, and to give hope that tomorrow will be better. This phase in our lives prevented them from becoming who they are and doing what they do every day. But in those dark moments of the lockdown, we hoped. The light will come, and things can go back to normal. But what is normal now?
Joining Redha in “Premieres and Encores” is the country’s latest generation of acclaimed choreographers.”JM is a Manila-based independent dance artist. His notable works include “Daluyong ng Diwa” as a head choreographer during the Philippine National Day Gala at the Expo 2020 Dubai,”Our Gift To The World” which is an AVP co-choreographed with Denisa Reyes that’s installed at the Philippine Pavilion at the Expo Dubai 2020,”Sarimanok”for the opening ceremony of the SEA Games in 2019,”Buoy”where he received the Trudl Dubsky Zipper Award for Best Choreography at the CCP Ballet Competition 2018,”Flight”which won first place in the NCCA Sayaw Pinoy 2013, and”Layag” which won first place in the NCCA Sayaw Pinoy 2014.
Cabiling majored in Philippine Folk Dance at the Philippine High School for the Arts and graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines (UP) with the degree of Bachelor of Music (Dance).
He has choreographed for Filipino theater musicals such as “Mula sa Buwan,””Himala: Isang Musikal,”and Tanghalang Pilipino’s” Lam-ang: An Ethno-epic Musical”where he won Outstanding Choreography at the Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards 2019.
He is also the first graduate of the CCP Choreographers Series with his works” Bent” where it won first place in the Wifi Body New Choreographer’s Competition 2014,” Nothing Special “which premiered in KoryoLab in 2017 and was a finalist at the 2019 Yokohama Dance Collection 2019 and a recipient of Alvin Erasga Tolentino Koryograpiya Award, and”Ang Lihim ni Lea”as one of the featured artists of NeoFilipino 2019.
The piece “I Wanna Say Something”was choreographed for the CCP’s 2021 Professional Dance Support Program and will have its World Premiere Live for the 2022 CCP Dance Series.
“I Wanna Say Something”is a work that reimagines the mind of a person who is often quiet. This is Cabling’s personal story of someone who fears speaking up in public, is often confused with his mental debates, and is often polarized by his own arguments-ending up silent. The piece also speaks about mustering up the courage to take action and a call to move forward.
Joining the Artists of ARDP and PASP in Cabling’s piece are dancers from Guang Ming College. Guang Ming College (GMC) is the pioneer humanistic Buddhist college in the Philippines with a mission to provide the highest quality of humanistic education to students of all faiths and backgrounds, particularly the underprivileged youth, from all over the country.
Founded in 2014, GMC offers full scholarships to academically qualified students covering tuition and miscellaneous fees, board and lodging, textbooks, uniforms including footwear, and in-country and international educational trips. The Performing Arts Program currently has three departments: Dance, Theater, and Buddhist Studies.
In 2021, Dr. Michael Tan, GMC president, invited Alice Reyes to initiate an Artist Residency Program (ARP) to provide opportunities to the performing arts students to train and perform with professional artists and teachers of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP). The ARP is a team of artists-in-residence that oversees and manages the creative production and cumulative programs of the GMC campus in Tagaytay, in collaboration with GMC Office of Student Affairs and International Mobility and the Office of Academic Affairs.
GMC has graduated over 100 scholars. With student organizations such as the Hiraya alumni group, the college continues to produce well-rounded professionals.
Another featured piece in the program is theVisayan Suite of Danceschoreographed by Erl Sorilla, John Ababon, AL Abraham, and Ronelson Yadao.Sorilla is an accomplished dancer with the CCP’s resident dance company and has choreographed notable pieces including”Langit Lupa”and”The Weight on Our Toes.” His works have received recognition including the Trudl Dubsky Award in the first CCP Ballet Competition in 2014. In 2020, he danced and choreographed with the faculty of the CCP Dance Workshop, creating two pieces in the Christmas offering”Tuloy Ang Pasko!”
He became a grantee of the CCP’s 2021 Professional Dance Support Program where he choreographed”Musa”for its culminating program. Sorilla currently dances, teaches. and choreographs with Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. His recent works in theVisayan Suite of Danceswere part of the company’s launch in Dapitan City last July 2022.
Ababon has been dancing with CCP companies since 2012 and has ventured into choreography. Among his works are”Happy Thoughts” which won the Trudl Dubsky Zipper Award for outstanding choreography in the 2018 CCP Ballet Competition Junior Category. In 2020, he was part of the faculty of the CCP Dance Workshop and in 2021, and became a grantee of the CCP Professional Dance Support Program. He performed in several pieces of its culminating showcase, the”Dance On!”online dance series, and choreographed a solo,”Inlababo,” and a pas de deux,”In the Midst of Overcoming.” Today, Ababon focuses on choreographing. His”Pasayawa Ko ‘Day”is part of the”Visayan Suite of Dances” which is in the repertoire of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines.
After graduating with a Diploma in creative Performing Arts from UP, Abraham pursued his professional dance career at the CCP. He created many pieces like”Kada Paningkamot,” a solo choreographed for the Young Choreographer Showcase. In 2020, he was one of the dancers and choreographers for the CCP Christmas offering”Tuloy Ang Pasko!”which was featured in the 2021 live Christmas show,”A Christmas Celebration.” With Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, Abraham continues to dance and choreograph. His”Kada Paningkamot”was restaged and included in theVisayan Suite of Dances.
Yadao is a dance artist with 16 years of professional experience in dance theaters in Asia, the US, Canada, and Europe. Among his works as a choreographer are”Sama-Sama,” with National Artist Ryan Cayabyab’s music, and “Ang Kabaligtaran ng Gunaw,” a dance film produced by the CCP with music and film direction by Jerold Tarrog. In 2020, he became a grantee, choreographer, and modern dance ballet master of the CCP Professional Dance Support Program. Yadao is currently the artistic director of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. His 2019 piece,”Maupay”is the latest addition to the collection of dances inVisayan Suite of Dances.
Visayan Suite of Dancesreflects the songs and social customs of the Visayan region through modern and contemporary ballet movements. Commissioned through a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Southern Philippines Foundation for the Arts, Culture & Ecology, Inc. (SPACE), theVisayan Suite of Dancesis a testimony to the significance of creating new works about the cultural spirit of the Visayan region.
Premiers and Encores features artists of CCP’s Professional Artists Support Program and Alice Reyes Dance Philippines with dancers from Guang Ming College. Shows are on Oct. 28 8 p.m. and 29 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows at the CCP Main Theater. Tickets are available through ARDP Ticketing Office via viber at 0915-4122152, Ticket World, and CCP Box Office.
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