International delegates made Dance Xchange, the Philippine international dance festival held in Puerto Princesa, a memorable event rife with creative innovations and collaborative interaction.
South Africa’s Eoan Dance Group, composed of young women led by Thandi Swaartbooi, grooved with powerful, bouncy music, unmistakably expressive of that country’s rich culture.
“We also tell a story when we perform. If you have noticed, we seem to be walking inside mines with some of our performances,” Swaartbooi said, explaining that mineral mines were an identifiable feature of Africa.
Indeed, during the performance, Swaartbooi, with younger members of Women Unite, a vocal and percussion group she founded in 1997, rhythmically stamped her feet with the group while slightly crouched.
Aside from embedding culture in its act, the group also seeks the empowerment of women, particularly through dance and music, to combat modern-day illnesses such as AIDS, domestic violence and drug abuse.
Meanwhile, contemporary dance was showcased through the performances of EA & EA Dance Duo of Spain.
In “Entomo,” a contemporary dance duet, Elías Aguirre and Álvaro Esteban brought a new experience to appreciating nature through dance.
“Our dance is based on our observations of nature, particularly insects,” said Aguirre.
For its unique creations, the duo has won first prize at the Burgos-New York contest in Spain in 2010; first place at the Ibero American Dance Contest in 2010; Audience Prize and Superior Dance Conservatory Prize at the Madrid Contest in 2009; and third prize at the Capturadanza Dance Video Contest in Madrid in 2010.
“Our style is to be like insects. We should feel when to be observant, when to run, when to be agitated,” said Esteban.
England’s Big Dance Company was back again in Manila with a James Bond-inspired number.
Also exciting the crowd were two dance groups from South Korea—SEOP Dance Company and Park Sung A Dance—which brought spontaneous delight when they jumped and jived to the global pop hit “Gangnam Style.”
Senju Samurai Dance and the IOV Indonesia Youth Section gave equally stunning performances.