Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Myra Beltran's dance version of Itim Asu back for Women's Month in March

In celebration of Women’s Month in March 2011, “Itim Asu 1719-2009,” a contemporary dance based on Virginia Moreno’s play "The Onyx Wolf/Itim Asu” and choreographed by Myra Beltran, will be available for showbuyers who wish stage the show in their respective venues.

“The dance show is ideal for women’s groups or schools and organizations who would like to present this work for learning or fundraising purposes,” says Beltran.

Beltran’s choreography brings back this important work and conveys it in a contemporary language. The result is fresh take on an interesting mix of historical heritage and women’s issues.

"The story of ‘Itim Asu’ is a play within a play, and contains the story of La Loba Negra, the Mexican wife of Spanish Gov. General Bustamante, one of the more ‘exceptional’ governor-generals in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era, and how she avenges his death,” says Beltran.

“Bustamante inspired an alleged conspiracy among the religious to assassinate him through a mob riot. Yet he is scantily mentioned in the pages of Philippine history. The document that recounts the story of La Loba Negra is allegedly written by Father Jose Burgos, one of three martyred priests. Some dispute its authenticity, but that makes it all the more interesting.”

She adds, “We are using contemporary dance, video and sound design, without spoken dialogue. This visual world is my translation of this drama’s point of view of history. There are layers of forgetfulness or layers of untruth in our history. I am interested in how this drama shows the level of complexity with which we, as Filipinos, create meaning in history, how we readily blur fiction and reality, myth and history.”

Presented by Myra Beltran's Dance Forum, “Itim Asu 1719-2009" had its world premiere at Dance Forum Space, playing to standing room only audiences. “Itim Asu 1719-2009” features the work of filmmaker Sherad Anthony Sanchez, known for his internationally acclaimed "Huling Balyan ng Buhi.” His “Imburnal” won the Woosuk Best Film Award at the 10th Jeonju International Film Festival 2009, South Korea.

Sound designer Teresa Barrozo is responsible for the score of Brillante Mendoza’s award-winning movie “Kinatay.” Virginia Moreno was dubbed “The Empress Dowager of Philippine Poetry” by the late National Artist Jose Garcia Villa.

Beltran is the trailblazer for independent contemporary dance in the Philippines and her group, Myra Beltran’s Dance Forum, led the way in using alternative performing spaces for dance. She is founding director of the Wifibody Independent Contemporary Dance Festival and the Contemporary Dance Map Series.

Her dedication has pushed her initially solitary efforts into more than 20 years’ body of work, and her dance studio, Dance Forum Space, has become an alternative performance venue that pushes experimental choreography and committed dance artists into new terrain in Philippine contemporary dance. Beltran has choreographed for local mainstream dance and theater groups and has also collaborated with numerous artists of various disciplines in Beijing, Taipei and US.

Add “Itim Asu:1719-2009” in Facebook. Interested showbuyers, organizations or schools may email or call 0917-5269724.

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