Engkantos & the city

From the deep forest where engkantos dwell and co-exist with man to Davao city where everything “bawal” is strictly implemented for the good of the citizens, the 32nd Summer Showcase of the Locsin Dance Workshop presented these stories through dance.

Unlike the typical dance recitals, artistic director Agnes Locsin featured the workshop attendees—toddlers, teens and adults— as the “stars” of the shows where she integrated the dance routines and techniques they learned—ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop and tap—into the storylines she created. Each portrayed a character, and perhaps to most of them, it was their first taste of how an actual dance production is mounted. Who knows what the future holds for this talented bunch, there just maybe a prima ballerina and another celebrated choreographer who may rise among them.

Ballet Filipiniana was featured in the second part of the matinee show.

It was engaging as it was humorous, both the matinee and evening presentations. The afternoon show presented Engkanto, a daughter’s trek through the forest in search of the hermetanyo to seek amends for his father who was cursed after chopping down a tree. Feared and misunderstood, it was the engkatos—the tikbalang, kapre, nuno sa punso, white ladies and manananggal—who helpfully directed the young lass to the man she sought.

Ang mga Rosas in the matinee peresentation of Engkanto

The evening show presented the Pulso ng Dabaw, Atbp. It was going through a list of everything Davao every visitor (and local) should know about the city—the much-talked about rules- the smoking ban, no over speeding, no drugs, etc., that should be followed lest be yelled at with “Hoy, bawal yan!” or worse, deal with the authorities; and the sights and sound that shaped the modern city- the San Pedro Cathedral, the durian, and even the budots dance and music.

Pulso ng Dabaw, the first feature of the evening show.

For both the matinee and evening shows, as animated as the first part was, the second part was compelling— classical ballet in the afternoon and modern ballet in the evening. Taking center stage were the Ballet Filipiniana and guests from Ballet Philippines who were breathtaking in Biag Gaongen’s world-premiering original creation, Sukat na Sukat, and in Agnes Locsin’s notable original opuses, Igorot, Moriones, etc.

Sukat na Sukat, the world premier. An opus of Baig Gaongen.

Agnes Locsin's neo-ethnic opuses- Igorot (top) & Moriones (bottom)

A very powerful dance- Salome

What will Locsin Dance Workshop come up with next year? Whatever story will unfold, it will be surely be something worth waiting for.

For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 08, 2014.