THE SECOND Bohol International Dance Workshop proved an effective venue for cultural exchange as faculty from France and the United States, together with local talent, premiered “Blue Way,” a dance presentation that depicted strength in adversity, at the Bohol Cultural Center last April 23.
Conceptualized and staged by world-renowned choreographer Gigi Caciuleanu for the Bohol Dance Project Company, “Blue Way” was the main attraction of the culminating performance at this year’s Bohol International Dance Workshop.
Aside from the recital’s fitting theme, the timing of the workshop couldn’t have been better as dance communities across the globe celebrate International Dance Day on April 29.
“‘Blue Way’ is about how each human has a different path, but our differences make us all work together better. When Gigi saw the dancers here and how different they were, he was more inspired to work with their differences,” said Nicola Ayoub, one of the faculty members of Bohol International Workshop.
Aside from Caciuleanu and Ayoub, other faculty members of the three-week workshop were Guillaume Morgan, Karine Leven, Rama Marcaida and Carol Develland.
“Blue Way” was performed by Marvin Ablao, Jerrey Aguilar, Jay Banquil and Isaias Nalo of the Bohol Dance Project Company.
While the recital gave way to the world premiere of “Blue Way,” the culminating activity also showcased other dances.
Among these performances were ballet and jazz numbers; Pangalay (a traditional dance style originating in Mindanao); and “Metamorphosis,” a collaborative dance creation by all faculty members.
It was two years ago, while Ayoub was working at Steps Dance Studio in Manila, that she found herself vacationing in Bohol over the weekend with Morgan and dancer-dance instructor Tony Perez. There they met Lutgardo Labad of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), who introduced Ayoub and company to the local dance scene.
“There’s a lot of talent, they just don’t have formal training schools. We thought we could bring something really high-level, and we knew that they could handle it,” Ayoub said.
Ayoub also expressed admiration for Filipino dancers’ overflowing passion and exuberance.
Those who participated in the workshop couldn’t be more grateful for the experience, which they found as inspirational as it was instructive.
In fact, one student admitted that dancing helped him cope with depression, which he was battling before joining the program.
“I hope art continues to develop and improve the lives of not just Filipinos, not just Boholanos, but the whole humanity,” said Ablao, one of the four dancers who performed “Blue Way.”
For foreign student Joey Causse, the workshop had been an unforgettable experience— =something he would take back to France. “Tonight we are really all breathing together, all working together, all living together onstage,” Causse said.
Morgan explained they were already planning future dance programs for the Boholano students, but these would only be possible through continued support from concerned agencies and the local government, as well as patronage from students.
“So we started, now we have to make it bigger because they [the students] deserve it,” Morgan said.
The second Bohol International Dance Workshop was sponsored by the US embassy, Christophe Robin, Studio Harmonic, NCCA and Philippine Daily Inquirer.