Filipino dancers Mia Cabalfin and Rhosam Prudenciado have been chosen for the Artist-in-Residence program of Kyoto Art Center in 2012.
The center will provide accommodations and studio space for six months for the artists to organize projects with Kyoto citizens, including performances, lectures or workshops.
The pair plan to do a “dance-on-site” production, a performance of contemporary dance in an alternative “non-theater” space.
“Specifically, in a machiya house, since this is a part of Kyoto culture and history that is fast disappearing,” says Cabalfin. “It will be interesting to explore using a traditional home in a nontraditional way.”
“Machiya houses are being demolished to give way to new concrete buildings,” says Prudenciado. “We want to pay homage to the tradition and culture symbolized by the machiya while incorporating something new and current, in this case, contemporary dance.”
The grant does not include living expenses and the two dancers are exploring fundraising efforts.
Both are members of contemporary-dance group Airdance. Cabalfin has been a company member, faculty and choreographer since 2006. Prudenciado is associate artistic director of the company. He choreographs and teaches contemporary, hiphop and jazz.
“We are excited, grateful and honored to have been chosen, since this is a prestigious residency program open to dance artists from all over the globe,” says Cabalfin. “I am excited to create new work, to perform abroad, and to collaborate with new artists together with Sam! I’m sure it’ll be an amazing yet challenging experience. I can’t wait!”
“I feel so happy and blessed that Filipinos were chosen amongst all applicants worldwide to impart our art as contemporary choreographers/performers,” says Prudenciado. “It’s not every day that artists are given the chance to cross borders for creative exchanges. This will definitely be a venue to carry our pride as Filipinos in terms of art, as well.”
Both competed in the New Choreographers Competition of the 3rd Wi-Fi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival (2008), a festival of contemporary dance organized by Contemporary Dance Network Philippines (CDNP). Cabalfin was a finalist while Prudenciado took second place.
CDNP president Angel Lawenko Baguilat says: “We congratulate both artists and wish them well as they represent the Philippines in this cultural exchange in the field of contemporary dance.”
Cabalfin was a recipient of a Danceweb Scholarship Programme in 2008 in Vienna, Austria, as part of the Impulstanz International Dance Festival. She is also a part-time instructor at Plana Forma and television host/sportscaster and executive producer for Studio 23 and Balls Channel.
Prudenciado won the French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographers of the Yokohama Dance Collection R 2009, which allowed him to study contemporary dance in Micadanses and Menagerie de Verre in Paris. He is a frequent guest artist of UP Dance Company and House of Dance.
“Contemporary dance is a very stretchy form of art,” says Prudenciado. “Its definition depends on the artist, the subject he focuses on, and the venue. It does not have a strict form like ballet. It does not mainly seek to entertain an audience but to express. Contemporary dance is very different, depending on perspective. It is an opportunity for the implied and the abstract. It’s a movement transcending technology for the art of dance.”