by Joelle Jacinto
First appearing in Runthru Issue 1
Independent initiative goes a long, long way. Abra de Ilog is a small, very quaint town in Occidental Mindoro. Last year, under the town’s cultural program, dancer/choreographer Novy Bereber was able to teach dance to the youth of the town, which was greatly appreciated by the townfolk, young and old alike. Eventually, it occured to them that these townfolk have not seen a professional dance performance before. And so Novy, with the help of Elmar Ingles, put together Bailar, featuring nine new original choreographies, to bring to Abra de Ilog.
The programme started off with a hiphop inspired number, that had incorporated a lot of balletic movement, to set it apart from dances you would normally see on TV. This is, of course, strategic – the youth of Abra de Ilog are quite fond of the dances they see on TV. As Elmar says, much of the works are energetic and have pop culture elements to cater to the interests of the audience. One such example is a tango en pointe to the theme from Marimar, which is the right amount of funny and flamboyant and makes just the right turns away from kabaduyan.