Explorations in contemporary dance

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Friday, July 4, 2014

THE Dance Pull Company is celebrating eight years of commitment to honing the young and dedicated dancers in Negros Occidental.

Under the artistic direction of Dwight Rodrigazo, Dance Pull aims to develop Asian contemporary/modern performing arts with the staging of a contemporary dance concert and its participation in a national contemporary dance festival in Manila in July and the hosting of a contemporary and jazz workshop in August this year.

Dance Pull Company was established in Bacolod City in August 2006 and has since performed in various places in the Philippines to great acclaim.


The company’s first major dance piece was “Karga Tapas”, which was inspired by the labor of the sacadas, the migrant sugarcane plantation workers of Negros Occidental. This dance piece was performed in WiFi Body 3: the Independent Contemporary Dance Festival in 2008 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

It was also performed at the Greenbelt Plaza and Trinoma that was sponsored by the Filipinas Heritage Foundation and the Ayala Malls. Another major dance piece was “Birds for the Mind” which was performed in WiFi Body 4 in 2009 at the CCP.

The company has performed “Port Links” for “Tanghal 5,” the University Theater Festival of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) held in Bacolod City in 2011. It has collaborated with the Performance Laboratory in a dance-drama on the historic siege of the Province of Baler, which was performed in that province in 2012.

The company is currently rehearsing another historical dance-drama, this time on “Cinco de Noviembre” in collaboration again with the Performance Laboratory.

Next week, on July 12 at 7 p.m., Dance Pull will present the latest contemporary works of Dwight at the Saint John Paul II Cultural Center of the Sacred Heart Seminary in Lupit entitled “Diverstissement Contemporarian.”

This project is in partnership with the Negros Cultural Foundation and the NCAA. The dance concert will also be the launch of the Performance Series under the Negros Museum’s Audience Development Program.

To be featured in the show are Razel Ann Mitchao, Akira Lydia Abao, Chloe Therese Villagracia and Rench Isaac Soriano, with Othello “Boy” Servanez as guest pianist.

Akira, Chloe and Rench are Level 2 ballet students of the Dance Pull School of Performing Arts and were given distinction by the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet for passing its examination and training program under a graded curriculum based in the Russian (Vaganova) method.

Chloe, a Grade 6 student of the Bacolod Christian College was a semi-finalist in the Junior A Division while Akira was also a semi-finalist in the Junior C Division of the 3rd Asian Grand Prix, an international ballet competition held in Hong Kong in 2013. In the same competition, Rench, a Grade 7 student of Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod, was a finalist in the Junior A Division.

Meanwhile, Razel Ann, who is the lead dancer of “Diverstissement Contemporarian,” will compete in the solo dance of the 2014 WiFi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival at the CCP on July 18 to 20.

Razel Ann is the associate artistic director-choreographer and head soloist of the Dance Pull Project, Inc. and of the Dance Pull School of Performing Arts. She is registered with the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet as a teacher and this year, she has been certified as a C-MAP workshop conductor. C-MAP stands for Composition and Movement Analysis Program developed by Dwight.

On August 9 and 10, the Dance Pull School of Performing Arts will host “Jazz et Contemporain,” a jazz and contemporary dance workshop for children and advance levels. Dance masters from France will conduct the workshop—Ernest Mandap for contemporary and Candice Behlert for jazz.

Ernest was born in Manila. At age 14, he took up classical ballet with Noordin Jumalon and William Bill Morgan, modern ballet with Agnes Locsin and Norman Walker, and was one of the first batch members of Ballet Philippines 11. In 1991, he joined Le Jeune Ballet de France in Paris.

From 1992 to 2013, he was a permanent dancer at the Centre Choreographique National de Nantes Claude Brumachon-Benjamin Lamarche and in 1991, he co-founded and became the assistant of the Company Esther Aumatell up to 2013. He has created dance pieces and performed in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland from 2010 to 2014.

Candice had trained in the Conservatoire de Toulouse, the Conservatoire de la Rochelle in France, and the Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York. She is a fitness teacher of Hotel Meridian in Antilles and a choreographer and show director of Club Med in Tunisia. As a professional jazz and contemporary dancer, she had performed in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Cologne and the Philippines.

For inquiries, reservation and confirmation for the dance concert in Lupit, contact Negros Museum at (034) 433-4764/708-5080 or email negrosmuseum96@yahoo.com.

For those who will be joining the dance workshop, contact Dance Pull at (034)435-0801 or 0923-458-6877 or email dancepull@yahoo.com

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 04, 2014.


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