Length 60 min

Conception: Alvin Erasga Tolentino & Dennis D. Gupa
Choreography & Performance: Alvin Erasga Tolentino
Dramaturgy: Dennis D. Gupa
Music: Angelica Dayao
Costume: John Carlo Pagunaling
Video: John Lazam
Lighting: Jonathan Tsang

Returning, Remembering and Moving forward

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.

" In the process, Tolentino established himself as a daring virtuoso dancer, with his originality, exuberance, technical brilliance and powerful grace."

- The Philippine Chronicle of Vancouver

"...coolly contemporary, progressive, and provocative-with a fiery spirit of the revolutionary."


"The goal of any artist is to transport the audience into new worlds of thought, experience and emotion. Tolentino achieved this goal with stunning effect."

-Review Vancouver

"It's a fascinating window into a new Philippines, as well as a new generation of Filipinos and Philippine-Canadians who want to challenge the norm a much as they want to challenge art forms. "