Vancouver’s “Colonial” Premiered in Bacolod, Forums & Workshop Also Held by: James U. Sy Jr.
Resource speaker, organizing officials, and some attendees during the "Colonial" Art Forum last July 30, 2014 at the GGA Audio Visual Room, West Negros University (WNU), Bacolod City. From left: Dr. Maria Christina F. Bagundol, Faculty Member and Recruitment and Staff Officer, WNU; Gil Alfredo B. Severino, MBA, Instructor I, Bacolod City College (BCC); Mario R. Gabuya, Manager, Center for the Performing Arts and Culture, WNU; Hon. Sangguniang Panglungsod Member (SPM) Atty. Joceele Batapa-Sigue, Chair, Committee on Tourism, Local and International Cooperation; Dennis D. Gupa, Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia, BC, Vancouver, Canada and formerly Assistant Professor of theatre arts and communications; and Susan Grandeza, Carlo S. Descutido, and James U. Sy Jr., all Instructor I,BCC. Not in the picture is Ionie Lacson of the office of Hon. SPM Atty. Batapa-Sigue (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS photo).
“Colonial,” a multi-sensorial and transnational solo dance-theatre piece from Vancouver, Canada, made its premiere in Bacolod City last July 30, 2014 at the Gallaga Theatre, University of St. La Salle (USLS). Two performances were presented, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening.
The performer was Alvin Erasga Tolentino, a recipient of the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for his contributions in the performing arts in dance. Tolentino, who was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada in 1983, was also the director for the “Colonial” and is the founder of Co.ERASGA (2000). He is also Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia, BC, Vancouver, Calanda.
Dennis D. Gupa, currently Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia, BC, Vancouver, Calanda and formerly Assistant Professor of theatre arts and communications, was Co-Director of “Colonial.” Gupa’s works were performed in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Jonathan Tsang was the Lighting, Set Designer, and Technical Diurector.
“Colonial” was presented by Co.ERASGA through the office of Hon. Sangguniang Panglungsod Member (SPM) Atty. Joceele Batapa-Sigue, Chair, Committee on Tourism, Local and International Cooperation, with the cooperation of The USLS Artists’ Hub, the University of St. La Salle (USLS), University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R), West Negros University (WNU), and Colegio de San Agustin-Bacolod (CSA-B).
“Colonial” is best described by its slogan “Returning. Remembering. Moving forward.” It is a one man-performance detailing the roots of the Filipino nation covered in colonialism, bloodshed, and unending struggle for freedom and self identity interpreted and expressed as contemporary dance. It strived to show the Filipino lineage, heritage, and culture through graceful and well choreographed movements of the head, torso, arms, and legs as well as facial and vocal expressions.
Co.ERASGA has visited over 50 diverse cities and communities outside of Vancouver and in countries such as Belgium, Canada, France, Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and across four continents, to share the art of dance.
Bacolod, Manila and Bulacan were some of the major cities where the 2014 Tour of Colonial gave performances.
Prior to the performances, Dennis D. Gupa, Co-Director of “Colonial,” facilitated a forum on art in general and the “Colonial” in particular with students from collaborating schools as the audience. Gupa talked about his own journey to the world of art and theater and how it changed his life. Gupa was as eloquent in his speech as he was well versed in the arts.
The forum at the GGA Audio Visual Room, West Negros University (WNU) was facilitated by Mario R. Gabuya, Manager, Center for the Performing Arts and Culture, Dr. Maria Christina F. Bagundol, Faculty Member and Recruitment and Staff Officer, and Ionie Lacson of the office of Hon. SPM Atty. Batapa-Sigue.
Atty. Batapa-Sigue, at the conclusion of the forum at WNU, gave the students updates on developments of tourism projects in the city. Earlier this year, on February 28, Atty. Batapa-Sigue also spearheaded the 6th TechTalks Bacolod “Opportunities in Finance and accounting Outsourcing” through the Bacolod Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT), Inc. at the Masskara Hall at the People’s House and on July 17, actively supported The Science of Meetings: Providing System and Structure to Planning and Executing Corporate at the Eastview Hotel, Bacolod City
Bacolod City College (BCC) under School Administrator Dr. Johanna Ann R. Bayoneta, with the permission of Program Coordinators Felipe R. Chin Jr., CPA, MBA (BSBA) and Mario Pao (BSOA), sent five faculty members to the forum and the performance, namely Carlo S. Descutido (BSBA/BSOA), Susan Grandeza (BSOA), Rosalia Lorilla (BSBA/BSPA), Gil Alfredo B. Severino, MBA (BSOA), and James U. Sy Jr. (BSBA).
Then on July 31, 2014, the staff of “Colonial”/ Co.ERASGA conducted a dance, directing, and scriptwriting workshop for students.