Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fil-Canadian dancer Alvin Tolentino returns to Philippines with new work

Filipino-Canadian choreographer and dance artist Alvin Erasga Tolentino is returning to the Philippines to tour his critically-acclaimed solo dance piece “Paradis/Paraiso.”

This multimedia dance performance was conceived and created in 2008 by Tolentino in collaboration with media artist Donna Szoke (Vancouver) and musician-composer Emmanuel Mailly (France).

Since then, “Paradis/Paraiso” has been performed in indoor, outdoor and unconventional spaces across Canada, France and Italy.

The production is open for showbuyers and can be used as a fundraising activity for individual showbuyers or groups and organizations.

Academic institutions are also invited to host the show in order to expose students to the performing arts and to use the show’s content and execution as a springboard for discussion about the arts, history and culture.

Tolentino’s most recent visit to the country was back in 2007 when he toured the solo-piece “Field: Rice is the belly of man” across the Philippines. He has also choreographed for Ballet Philippines.

For “Paradis/Paraiso,” Tolentino began with an attempt to explore the “idea of paradise as an environment, or as a utopian place.”

“But then, as the research progressed, I kept asking myself what the project was really about, and I decided to live the idea of paradise through my body, the idea of being able to see, to hear, to touch, and to taste all of these different paradises. And of being really aware of my perception, my own feelings. I guess paradise lives inside of me. It’s in my own body.”

“I think that there is a sense of nostalgia in this piece—a sense of nostalgia and longing that’s kind of sitting in the body. We don’t really literally speak about it, but I think it sits in the body; it’s centered in the body. And for me as a dancer, finding a way to express that is a dance.”

Born in the Philippines and raised in Canada, Tolentino founded Co.Erasga Dance Company in 2000 in Vancouver.

The company has a distinguished international reputation of a singular vision of hybrid dance, diversity and collaborations of other artistic practice and multimedia.

Co.Erasga’s works address themes of identity and ethnicity in a global context through contemporary dance. The company has presented work across Canada and in festivals and venues as far as Scotland, France, Italy, Belgium, Singapore, Venezuela and most recently in Germany and Uruguay.

“Paradis/Paraiso” will tour the Philippines July 28-Aug. 11, 2012 and is open for showbuyers. Contact 0906-2943895 or Visit

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