Colonial by Co.ERASGA

Alvin Erasga Tolentino cred Jerome bontoI’m really delighted about the wold premiere of Colonial, a dance project presented by Co.Erasga in co-production and partnership with The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreational Centre, MAI (Montreal Arts Interculturel) and UPLB (University of The Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna). This project, particularly because it’s a solo, looks incredibly interesting. I am a big fan of solo dance projects (probably because of my training!)
(Photo: Alvin Erasga Tolentino, credit Jerome Bonto).

World Premiere: Thursday to Saturday October 4-6 @ 8 pm & Sunday October 7 @ 2 pm matinee
The Roundhouse Community Arts Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews, on Davie and Pacific

Tickets: $25/$18 students, seniors from Tickets Tonight: 604 684 2787 www.ticketstonight.ca

Conception: Alvin Erasga Tolentino and Dennis Gupa
Choreography and Performance: Alvin Erasga Tolentino
Dramaturgy: Dennis Gupa
Lighting: Jonathan Chang
Video: Jon Lazam
Music: Angelica Dayao
Costume: John Carlo Pagunaling

More information below:

Alvin Erasga Tolentino dances Colonial, his 6th full-length solo work and the latest visionary creation for his 12th season as director, creator and performer of Co.ERASGA. A critically acclaimed solo performer described as “a serious tour de force, stretching our understanding of what dance can be”, Tolentino’s new work is as trans-continental Canada-Philippines initiative conceived and spearheaded by Tolentino and Filipino theatre director from the Philippines, Dennis Gupa.

Responding to the intense longing for self-determination and freedom, five Filipino artists of this generation unite to redress and dig deep to the complex, bitter and sweet account of Colonialism. In a tapestry of music, video, costuming and dance sourced from the Filipino culture and life, creativity transport the artist’s hope and voice to bring Colonial as a multi-sensorial and trans-cultural piece whose language speaks to a global audience.

Colonized, the artists choose to reveal fearlessly the hidden memories that yearn to resurrect. Forceful and transformative, these memories became the fulcrum for recuperating the subjugated body, has gone berserk, controlled and manipulated for centuries past.

Drawing from indigenous performative forms, Tolentino’s choreography enters historical, mythical, personal and political themes with past histories and present contemplation collide in his own umbilicus. His body transforms in a tripartite portraits of that of a primordial Babaylan, a healer cum priestess, the Katipunero/Katipunan, a bloodied warrior and finally Sinag, a light personified, who invites us, ceremonially to enlightenment. In this new work, Tolentino’s body encounters the real and the imagined past, dissenting the colonist and recovering from the yoke of domination. The dramaturgical and choreographic vigor lies from the premise that the remnants of colonial past can be re-created as a metaphor of light that can guide one to a journey in a country where bodies and souls are free, sacred and pure.

Vancouver’s very own, Alvin Erasga Tolentino’s work has spanned close to three decades interpreting, creating and contributing contemporary dance for Vancouver. He founded Co.ERASGA in 2000 and since then has brought full-length memorable works as; SOLA, Bato/Stone, OrienTik/Portrait, Field, Paradise/Paradis, ADAMEVE-Man/Woman, Shadow Machine and recently EXpose to name a few. An accomplished international dance artist whose body works has reflected identity, gender, interculturalism and cross-cultural collaboration that have reached four continents. His touring engagements and cross cultural collaboration has taken him and Co.ERASGA to over 50 diverse cities and in countries as France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and across Canada. In 2010 he received the Vancouver’s Mayor Arts Award for his contribution to the performing arts in Dance. Tolentino was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada in 1983.

Dennis Gupa is a theatre director who received his MA Theatre Arts degree from University of the Philippines. He attended directing classes with directors from Israel (Nil Alon), Germany (Christoph Gosepath), France (Alain Timar) Philippines (Jose Estrealla and Anton Juan) and the NY Theatre Movement Inc.’s Leqoc’s technique on ensemble directing. His collaboration with scientists in his home based, University of the Philippines Los Banos where he is also a tenured Assistant Professor of theatre arts and communication gave birth to some of the most cutting edge, site specific performances ever created.

His works are an investigation of cruelty, veneration and redemption among the hidden and unknown characters of our society. Some of these works are: Frank Wedekind’s ‘Spring Awakening’, John Millington Synge’s ‘Riders to the Sea’, August Strindberg’s ‘A Dream Play’, and Jose Rizal’s ‘Junto al Pasig’, these classic texts found its morphing into a Filipino-Asian culture based interpretation.

Co.ERASGA would like to gratefully acknowledge its members, the generous individuals, business and following funding bodies for their support: The Canada Council for the Arts, The City of Vancouver, BC Arts Council, BC Gaming, The Vancouver Foundation, Hamber Foundation, The Georgia Straight, EastVan Graphics, The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, MAI (Montreal Arts Interculturel) and UPLB, University of The Philippines Los Banos.

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