By Haidee C. Pineda
(DEC. 11)— Out of 23 entries, the UP Dance Company’s (UPDC) piece “Layag” emerged as the grand prize winner of the 2014 Sayaw Pinoy: The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) National Dance Competition (Sayaw Pinoy) for the contemporary dance category.
The UPDC took home a trophy and a P70,000 cash prize.
Held on Dec.7 at the St. Louis University, Baguio City, Sayaw Pinoy was organized by the NCCA as part of its efforts to promote dance in its various forms. This year’s competition featured folkdance, contemporary and hip hop.
Japhet Mari “JM” Cabling, a College of Music dance major and UPDC member who choreographed “Layag” said the almost 5-minute dance piece with 16 dancers is about a pre-war ritual that embodies UP’s ‘honor and excellence’ motto.
He said “Initially, na-inspire talaga ako sa impact ng “pantay-pantay” piece ng UP Pep Squad, iyung sa cheerdance nila. Kahit hindi sila nanalo, iyung impact ng message na gusto nilang dalhin sa buong community ay naging successful. For me, mas winner sila kasi ginawa nila iyun with honor and excellence.”
At the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Cheerdance Competition 2014 (UAAP-CDC) held on Sept. 14, the UP Pep Squad presented an unconventional routine as part of their statement on gender equality—lifting and tossing male cheerdancers for the pyramid—a first in the UAAP-CDC.
Cabling added “Sabi ko, gagawa ako ng isang dance na nagpapakita ng pre-war ritual…Kasi nabasa ko na iyung mga pre-war ritual sa Philippines, nagpapakita sila ng honor, ng gallantry and some sort of nobility. Tapos sabi ko, baka puwedeng i-parallel iyun sa kung ano ‘yung purpose ng pre-war ritual sa atin. Di ba kasi sa pre-war ritual, nanghihingi sila ng guidance (o parang prayer) sa gods.”
The Philippine High School for the Arts won the 2nd place and received a trophy and P40,000 while the Lasallian Pointes n’ Flexes Dance Company bagged the 3rd place took home a trophy and P25,000.
Contestants were judged based on the following criteria: choreography/composition (30%), performance (30%), technique (20%) and overall impact (20%). —Images by JM Cabling