By Mariamme D. Jadloc, images by Leonardo A. Reyes
(JUN. 23)—A dance concert and a special flag retreat on Jun. 20 at the Oblation Plaza wrapped-up the 3-day celebration of UP’s 106th birthday in UP Diliman (UPD).
“Alay Sayaw!” promptly started by 5 p.m. where an estimated 500 people watched the free concert organized by the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA) for the Office of the Chancellor.
The event showcased five of UPD’s acclaimed performing groups, UP Dance Company (UPDC), UP Filipiniana Dance Group (UPFDG), UP StreetDance Club (UPSDC), UP Varsity Pep Squad (Pep) and the Dulaang UP (DUP).
Prof. Dakila Fernando, OICA Officer-in-Charge said OICA has decided that for every (institutional) event in UPD, a specific performance would be featured. For the celebration on Jun. 20, UPD showcased its talents in dance.
Fernando added, “we want that after the show, people would feel pride in being part of UP.”
The sentiment was very much displayed at every performance which opened with the winning routine of the UP Dance Ensemble (UPDE) at the 2014 Philippine National Games Cheerleading Championships last May 25. Headed by Pep coach Lalaine Juarez-Pereña, UPDE is composed of 10 members of Pep and six members of UPFDG. The 3-minute routine choreographed by UPFDG artistic director Peter Alcedo bagged two gold and one bronze medals.
This was followed by the performance of the UPSDC of the 4-minute dance that featured 18 dancers interpreting the piece “Tatak UP” of hip-hop artist Raymond “Abra” Abracosa.
With the starting lines “Kagitingan, kagalingan, karangalan” the piece was specifically composed for UPSDC’s performance at the Streetdance competition of the74th Season of the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) in 2012 where the club bagged the silver medal.
StreetDance Club artistic director Von Ace Asilo said they are honored to be a part of the celebration and as such deemed it right to perform “Tatak UP,” to let the public know of their pride for UP, and in being part of UP.
After the upbeat number, the public was further treated to a well-choreographed and colorful performance of “Flight,” a contemporary take by the UPDC on a Filipino courtship dance.
UPDC Artistic Director Angel Lawenko-Baguilat said, “‘Flight’ is a contemporary piece inspired by the Panay Bukidnon courtship dance ‘Binanog.’ Not only does it highlight intricate footwork and the manipulation of scarves, it also imitates the birds in full flight, particularly the ‘banog’.”
“Binanog” involves movements in imitation of the hawk or banog. This is performed in honor of the Sto. Niño, in a festival that takes place on the second Sunday of January in Iloilo.
The UPDC’s ushering of a Filipino dance was followed by a well-received performance of a suite of Visayan dances by a full cast of UPFDG. The 24-member UPFDG’s display of intricate footwork, fast-paced stunts and graceful choreography left the audience in awe.
Entitled “Saragway,” the 10-minute dance suite, come from the provinces of Samar and Leyte and is composed of three dances—“Gaway-gaway,” “Curacha” and “Tinikling.”
UPFDG assistant artistic director Jourdan Bartolome said their performance is in honor of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in the worst hit provinces of Samar and Leyte in November last year.
Dulaang UP (DUP) came in next with their performance of “Dharma” and “Lukso ng Dugo,” songs from their play “Ang Nawalang Kapatid.”
Before the finale, the UP Rayadillo solemnly officiated the retreat of the Philippine flag and UP colors.
Wrapping up the evening’s celebration was the drum and dance routine of Pep.
UPD Chancellor Michael L. Tan said with the relatively huge turnout of participants and positive public interest, he is considering of a monthly flag retreat that would also be a venue for showcasing UPD’s talents.
At the concert were UPD’s faculty, staff, students and alumni including UPD and System officials.