Sipat Lawin Ensemble bats for alternative theater with ‘Karnabal’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“Games People Play,” written by Glenn Mas, directed by Ed Lacson Jr.

Sipat Lawin Ensemble is hosting “Karnabal: A Def. Defying Festival,” a theater festival featuring groups and solo artists, in alternative performance spaces within Intramuros from Nov. 21 to 24.


“The ‘Def.’ stands for ‘definition,’” says SLE’s artistic director JK Anicoche. “It best explains the mix of programmed performances as transgressing norms and going beyond definitions of art and what it should be.”


Unlike noncurated fringe theater festivals abroad like Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Adelaide Fringe Festival where artists simply apply to join and can perform a wide variety of works, “Karnabal” is a curated festival. Anicoche did the curating along with SLE member Sarah Salazar.


“The festival allows artists to freely test new works and/or develop existing ones, as well as share and generate new audiences for the Philippine performance scene,” he adds.


Main shows


The Main Performance Platform features the original devised works of independent companies and solo artists.


SLE leads this category with “Reenactments.”


“@Home” by Kolab Co., a devised work that explores the different definitions of what “home” is

“It’s a performance of new works devised from national events that have been forgotten by the public, made visible again via performance,” says Anicoche. “It’s devoid of the formal literary structure of a story or plot. It reenacts recent pasts and forgotten presents that are easily erased from our national memory, as one news and Internet fad after another buries last week’s headline.”


Kolab Co., meanwhile, stages “@Home,” a devised work that explores the different definitions of what “home” is, including the notion of “e-parenting,” where Filipino migrant workers connect with their children via the Internet.


Shaharazade Theater Company is staging “Story #15,” about four strangers who hook themselves up to a machine that transforms dreams into reality.


There’s also Destiyero Theater Commune, which is staging “Ang Mga Bata, Ang Mga Bata,” based on a play written by Erick Dasig Aguilar about three children gravely affected by a landslide.


Anino Shadowplay Collective has “Arkipelago,” which tackles the “contemporary life and history of archipelagic, sometimes fractious, Filipinos.”


“It showcases the myths and concerns of different cultural communities within, alongside the cultural influences coming from without,” says Anicoche.


Dance, workshops


Ea Torrado will perform “Nga-nga,” a solo dance piece exploring the “vacuum world of the humdrum and the ways we try to make life a little more bearable for ourselves.”


Fire hula-hoop dancer and slam poet Daniel Darwin will also choreograph “Green Glass Door,” a piece with two men that explores “faith, loyalty, free will, submission and liberation.”

“Karnabal” unfolds in various performance spaces in Intramuros on Nov. 21-24


The Transitopia Contemporary Dance Commune, for its part, is staging “Rehearsal for Disaster” and Eisa Jocson’s “Macho Moves.”


Works in progress are featured, too, in the Tsubibo Open Platform. Performances under this category will offer Blank Tickets. Audience members will pay what they feel the experience is worth.


Featured performances include two plays (Glenn Mas’ “Games People Play,” directed by Ed Lacson; and David Finnigan and Isabelle Martinez’s “Appropriate Kissing For All Ocassions”); and a film, Whammy Alcazaren’s “Colossal,” among others.


Workshops, talks, forums and panel discussions include topics on freelancing as a performer, how men are depicted in performance, the dynamics of staging free performances, and what subject matters are considered offensive for audiences.


“Karnabal” runs Nov. 20-24 in different venues within Intramuros, Manila. Contact 0917-5008753.