News & Events



April 27, 2015

A happy international Dance Day April 29, 2015 to all!
After many months of not blogging, it’s time to write something and honor the coming week of international dance day celebration. A special day for dance in which to recognize the power of dance as an art form and as a simple human act of expression and joy. I hope you get out and get a chance to be part or see dance or just move the body!
A very busy springtime, I am in between three dance works at the moment, reconstructing and performing Colonial and PARADIS-Paradise and the building of a new creation – Unwrapping Culture with Thai-Khon master, Pichet Klunchun.
I have just completed installing the 24th show of Colonial as part of DALOY-PUSO gathering with my fellow Filipino Community for a sounding conversation at the Dance Centre. This spring, I am thrilled to return again to PARADIS as a featured reconstructed work part of CO.ERASGA's 15th spring season here in Vancouver and to celebrate Asian Heritage Month of May. We recently returned back from South E. Asia in Manila and Bangkok and returning again in December for more shows in other cities in Asia.
PARADIS will be at the intimate Havana Theatre May 5-9, 2015, then to Gabriola Island at the Net Loft May 12, and Victoria at Open Space as part of Guest House event, May 14.
Musician Emmanuel Mailly and I have traveled the globe with this duet from such cities as Paris, Avignon, Vancouver, Manila, Bangkok and Shanghai among other places across northern France since 2008. PARADIS has performed in conventional and un-conventional, indoor and outdoor spaces, we continue to test the enduring capacity of this work to be shared and seen in such diverse spaces. We will reach a goal of 50 shows of this creation by end of the year. It is a gift to have performed a work to so many places and shared to such diverse audiences that included so far:
2008 VIDF (Vancouver International Dance Festival)-Roundhouse Community Arts Centre-Premiere
Conservatoire de musique et de danse, Laon, France
L'atelier Y, Blérancourt
Studio Avignon temps Danse, festival d'Avignon
Studio le regard du cygne, Paris. 
Centre Culturel du Canada, Paris. 
Theâtre le chevaler, Noyon. 
Galerie d'art contemporain, Collège Jacques Cartier, Chauny 
Le cinéma L'Ermitage, Saint-Gobain 
Salle Gabries D'Estrées, Coucy-le-château
2009 Dancing on the Edge Festival-Roundhouse Turntable Plaza
RAM (Rockbund Art Museum) Shanghai
Yuyingtang- Shanghai
St Benilde College, Black Box Theatre- Manila
NCAS Auditorium, University of the Philippines Los Banos, Laguna 
Alliance Francaise Manila
Alliance Francaise Bangkok
Thank you to all who have supported us across the globe in producing and continuing to keep PARADIS alive. I am so happy that Co.ERASGA is 15 years old and giving you more dances to experience!!!

In the company of the greats!

September 29, 2014

I often wondered how many people bother to ready my blog, if you do, I'm grateful!
Blogging has been a way to reflect my many past and present activities with Co.ERASGA, personal journey through an artistic navigating among many creative processes, ideas, artists etc.. with Co.ERASGA.

I have also invited others to give comments and writing materials to share in our diverse creative exchanges.

The 2014 summer months passed again and yes! September is also about to leave us. Where has time gone?
I shared so little here since spring, I am plugging again with brief thoughts to share as many activities comes our ways this fall.

Five highlights, the past and what’s to come ahead.


Colonial Tour
Co.ERASGA was in the Philippines most of the summer in the midst of the monsoon season. Several creative activities were initiated including my participation in the last Wifi-Body dance festival at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines and some observation on the current rhythm in dance in Manila. The highlight of the return to the Philippines was our 2nd national tour of Colonial presented to four universities reaching Bacolod, Bulacan, Batangas and Manila. I proudly and happily report that we reached over 2000 spectators this summer. To date, since the premiere in 2012 of Colonial, the piece has been shown to over 5000 spectators…, that ain’t bad for a total of 23 shows on stage to date.

2nd legacy project
Ea Torrado is the first recipient of the  2014 AET Koreograpiya award, presented to her during the last Wifi-Body dance festival at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, this award worth 40,000 pesos is my 2nd legacy project in support of my visioning to promote and cultivate Filipino dance artists for the development of contemporary dance. Ea is a deserving new artist that promises great visioning of dance in the Philippines, I look forward to seeing her future in dance.

EXchanges - 9th edition
The 2014 EXchanges edition, our annual dance outreach that involves professionals and non dancers through workshops, studio showings and dialogues will feature two revered Asian dancers Pichet Klunchun from Thailand and Didik Nini Thowok from Indonesia. I am so pleased of this dance outreach event now running it’s 9th seasons.  How else can I boast about the two Asian dance masters coming our way to Vancouver, dancers if you are even curious about the growing dance palate and vocabulary of Asian dance quality and aesthetics, what better way to learn but from these masters, Pichet and Didik are rock dance stars of Asia who has showcased their work across the globe.

In the company of the greats!

A symposia in Vancouver? Oh yes indeed, I have thought about this initiative for a long time!

So to spark your interest check out the line up of speakers and guests who agreed to do this event; Colleen Lanki, Daelik Hackenbrook, Joe Laughlin, Paras Terezakis, William Lau, Heidi Specht, Chris Gatchilian, Laiwan, Joel Klein, Paul Wong, Jai Govinda, Alvin Erasga Tolentino, Peter Chin, Christine Fletcher, Andreas Kahre, Didik Nini Thowok, Pichet Klunchun.

I am delighted to be in the company of these diverse artists who have paved their ways in discovering their artistry and continuing to dig deep to what haunts them as artists.
Dance, Body, Diversity, Gender and Art will be the topic of conversations. What a way to listen and look into the minds of these remarkable talents-artists. Plus, to be on stage and share an evening of performances with Peter Chin, Didik, William Lau, Pichet for Undivided Colours at the Roundhouse.

Giant Masters in Vancouver
As the fall set its dreary days, I will be inside the studio with the giant masters-Pichet Klunchun for our start of our artistic residency at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.  The mystery unfold to a start of a new creation “ Unwrapping Culture” between Co.ERASGA and Pichet Klunchun Dance co-Bangkok.


The restaging of Colonial

May 14, 2014

We asked Dennis Gupa, acting dramaturgy for Colonial for some insights on the restaging of Colonial this coming June in celebration of the 116th Philippine Independence Day and in preparation for our next national tour of the Philippines.

Dennis Gupa | Dramaturgy

We started creating Colonial in 2011 through a residency program with the Roundhouse Community Centre, MAI in Montreal and the University of the Philippines. We opened in October 2012 the world premier in Vancouver and Montreal. Co.ERASGA, Tolentino's  dance company, behind this dance-theatre project premiered and toured the Philippines in February of 2013.

While we were overwhelmed with the positive reception of Filipino audiences in various provinces, there was also surprising comments that stunned us highlighting gaps through questions like, 'What is the politics of the artists in the issue of Colonialism?' 'Is the power dynamic of transcultural creation two-way or one way?' and 'How empathic is the dancer-choreographer, born in the Philippines but raised in Canada, in the looming post colonial issues in contemporary Philippines?'.

These questions may have left what we deemed as gaps in audiences' understanding, or which the project had left unclear.  These three questions bring our subsequent analysis brought us to the challenge of rebuilding the performance  in Vancouver and the Philippines this July-August, 2014. The opening of the show on June 11 will coincides with the 116th Philippine Independence Day from Spanish colonial subjugation, a theme central to the performance. As we rebuild this performance, we are guided by the personal and artistic politics of resistance that accrue in the creation of a performance, a balanced and harmonized transcultural process. We are interested to recraft the last scene and to make it more cohesive and clear as to what we think about colonialism. Rebuilding this performance would mean using critical empathy as a theory in the process of understanding cultural appropriation to avoid the repetitive pattens of damaging the Philippine tradition through borrowings and its trap in the guise of cultural exchange.  


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