The sixth Wifi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival kicked off last week and will continue to run this week with performances and competitions. This year’s festival also featured dance workshops for the public and a conference for dance scholars.
This year’s festival is being held in two cities across Metro Manila: Dance Forum Space (DFS) and University of the Philippines (UP) in Quezon City last week and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City this week.
The festival is organized by Contemporary Dance Network Manila, a group of contemporary dance companies, artists, school-based organizations, critics and institutions promoting contemporary dance in the Philippines.
“This year’s theme is ‘Aspire for Dance, Aspire to Dance,’” says network chair Angela Lawenko-Baguilat. Baguilat is also festival artistic director, taking over from founding artistic director Myra Beltran.
The name of the festival was created based on the notion of “engaging the public, especially younger audiences, weaned in a digital age. Wifi Body allows everyone to access contemporary dance,” she says.
The festival began with an opening gala, “New Aspirations,” at DFS, featuring performances by Airdance, Chameleon Dance Theater, E-Dance, UP Dance Company and Lyceum of the Philippines University.
The festival’s “IndepenDance” show will feature the works of Elena Laniog, and Christine Crame on July 13 at CCP. An earlier installment was performed last week at DFS featuring choreography by Jed Amihan, Rudolph Segundo, Jun Saagundo, Ea Torrado.
The festival closes July 14 with closing gala “Fidelity” at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino in CCP, with performances from Steps Dance Studio, Seven Dance Company, Philippine Ballet Theater and Ballet Philippines.
The festival has New Choreographers Competition, which allows up-and-coming choreographers and dancers who have not yet created any major full-length work to premiere solos or duets.
Semifinals were held at DFS last week, with finals to be held at CCP on July 14.
“To reinforce the focus on choreography, no set pieces are allowed to enable audiences and judges to experience the emphasis on the level of dance research in theme, aesthetics, process and its innovative application.”
The festival is hosting its third Uncensored Bodies Dance Video Competition to encourage the use of dance in film or the creation of film specifically about dance.
Selected entries will be screened at UP College of Music Mini-Hall and CCP. Winners of the competition will be announced July 14.
“Finalist entries will also be uploaded on Youtube so that the Audience Choice Award can be determined via online voting.”
There will also be the festival’s Dance-on-Site series, performances created for nonstage venues or areas. Previous installments have been performed on escalators, roof decks and driveway ramps of CCP. This year’s performances will be held at the lobby of CCP’s Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.
Dance workshops and a conference open to the public were held at UP. “UP College of Music has been home to the premiere dance program in the country, nurturing and producing dance leaders for over three decades,” says Baguilat, faculty-in-charge of the dance program.
The Wifi Body Conference was held at the UP College of Music Mini-Hall with keynote address delivered by Basilio Esteban Villaruz, professor emeritus at UP and author of “Walking Through Philippine Theater” (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House 2012), a three-volume collection of his dance and theater critiques.
“The conference aims to unearth what current dance makers are aspiring to and aspiring for in creating and understanding their art. It will be a platform for dance scholars and practitioners to raise and exchange prevailing issues and concerns of contemporary dance practice.”
Papers were presented by José Jay Cruz, Transitopia Contemporary Dance Commune artistic director; Donna Miranda, choreographer and critic; Noel Garovillo, Noel Garovillo Dance Center artistic director, Koronadal; Cher Anabo, freelance visual and kinetic artist, Honolulu; Clarissa Cecilia Mijares, critic and Airdance artist; Joelle Jacinto, critic and Team Dance Studio artist.
Wifi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival 6 runs July 4-6 and July 13-14. Festival passes, day passes and student/senior discounts available. Contact 0917-3282582 or 0999-8816800.