A legacy for younger dancers

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

ACCOMPLISHED Negrense dancer and choreographer Dwight Rodrigazo says, “It’s time to pass the torch to the younger generation of dance enthusiasts.”

And so he created C-MAP, or Composition and Movement Analysis Program, last year to pass on his knowledge and skills to the younger generation of dancers and choreographers.

Now on its second installation, C-MAP will be held on March 24 to 31 in Bacolod.


Sharing his thoughts with this writer, Dwight, 43, delivered his statement on “passing the torch” with a sparkle of pride of his illustrious past. He says he is looking forward to devoting his time in developing new breed of dance artists in the coming years.

“What drives me to sustain this dance program is the vision for the furtherance of the knowledge, intuition and creativity of the choreographers and dance teachers in crafting dances in the country,” Dwight says.

“I also wanted to create an environment where choreographers and dance teachers could freely exchange thoughts and ideas,” he adds.

According to Dwight, the C-Map workshop will mainly focus on the analysis and the construction of movements, ideas and creativity for all kinds of dance tags such as ballet, contemporary, jazz, hiphop, ballroom dancing, and folk dance.

Accompanying this program is the most sought-after syllabus.

Now residing in Murcia, his hometown, Dwight had a long stint with one of the country’s premiere dance companies, the Ballet Philippines, during which he had toured Asia, Europe and the US.

A former principal soloist of Ballet Philippines, Dwight has been a choreographer and dance teacher for several years.

His vast experiences and studies on dance and choreography derived from years as a dance scholar and being mentored by the country’s dance icons such as Agnes Locsin, Edna Vida and Agnes Locsin, inspired this Negrense artist to establish the Dance Pull School of Performing Arts in Bacolod in 2006 and initiated the 1st C-MAP last year.

In 1997, he was awarded “Artista sang Banwa” (Artist of the Town) in the field of dance by the Murcia municipal government.

Cited during the award rites were his excellent track record as a dance artist: a residency grantee in 1996 with the Brumachon Center Choreographiques National de Nantes in France. He was one of the performing artists in “Moriones” and “Babaylan” which garnered the silver medal and was awarded the Prince Takamado Award in the International Choreographer’s Concourse in Tokyo, Japan.

Dwight represented the Philippines in the 2003 Edinburgh International Arts Festival in Scotland and in the International OFF-Festival in Avignon, France with constant collaborator Paul Morales, in the same year.

He has been a dance workshop conductor of the British Council of the Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Department of Education, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

He is also an accredited ballet teacher of the Australian Conservatory of Ballet and his Dance Pull School of the Performing Arts is the Center of the Australian Conservatory of Ballet Training and Examination Program, Visayas Chapter.

“Indios Bravos” for Airdance, “TsukatYeshua” for Dance Inc., “Karga Tapas,” “Birds for the Mind,” and “Port Links” for Dance Pull were some of the full-length, critically-acclaimed dance theater pieces he choreographed.

Not only do his students compete in prestigious dance competitions such as the Asian Grand Prix, but they often emerge as finalists. No less than the Philippine Chapter of the World Dance Alliance-Asia Pacific supports his C-MAP program, in recognition of his contribution for the sustenance and advancement of dance in the country.

Dwight also spearheaded the Dance Pull Project, a free dance training for talented out-of-school youths who cannot afford to pay the regular fees in dance studios or do not have the means to avail of the scholarship program offered by some academic institutions.

The passion and perseverance of some of the trainees paid off after eight years, as one of them built his own dance studio in his native Cebu province and three had become members of three nationally-known dance companies.

Marius Centeno, who hails from Cebu, and a former member of the Manila-based Airdance and faculty for street grooves of the dance studio of the same group, trained with Dwight in Bacolod for five years and is now an owner-dance trainer of Mango Square Dance Studio in his province.

Christopher Chan is now connected with Airdance, a contemporary dance company co-founded by Dwight, where he became its artistic director and chief choreographer; Stephen de Dios now dances with Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s Ballet Manila, while Nick Ian Tiba is with Ballet Philippines 2, the junior performing company of Ballet Philippines.

Marius and Nick are two of the 10 participants for this year’s C-MAP. All the participants had undergone a rigid screening before being accepted in the workshop, which requires a track record as a professional choreographer and dance teacher.

Recently, Nick was in Bacolod as one of the performers of excerpts from Ballet Philippines’ “Art of Dance” and “Rock Supremo” held at SM Cinema 1 last March 4.

Dwight, with Paul Alexander Morales and Alden Lugnasin, who were his contemporaries in Ballet Philippines, choreographed “Rock Supremo” which premiered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last year in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 13, 2014.


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