While responding to some comments in my other post, the discussion has led to some aspects that are within the scope of a performance piece that is very close to my heart. I entitled it "Finding the Mindanao Body" and it articulates a folk dance artist’s struggles and fears about the overlapping complexities of performing arts, choreographic practices, and cultural identity.
Finding the Mindanao Body is a self-reflexive piece that dives into the journey of a dance artist from Mindanao who is attempting to rediscover her dance style roots. It is an abstracted account of understanding the movement and influence of indigenous culture in Mindanao, Philippines through the eyes of a dancer. Using the play of different dance styles, it wrestles with the narratives shared by community members and their plight for self-determination. It also grapples with learning conflicts between that of what was taught by elders of the communities versus that of the professional dance teachers who are celebrated on the modern stage. Lastly, it challenges existing social values where heritage transmission is concerned and where struggles and fears of misrepresentation remain a national discourse.
The solo piece was first performed at SOAS in London, UK (July 2019). It was re-staged at Gallerie Dárt Contemporain Mohamed Drissi during the Performing Tangier Festival 15th Edition in Tangier, Morocco (Novermber 2019) and at the Dibba Theatre during the Fujairah International Monodrama Festival (February 2020).
Due to the COVID19 restrictions, the performance piece was converted into a video presentation. It was launched during the 2nd International Choreomundus Dance Festival Virtual Edition (September 2020).
I also wrote a research paper on this and if you are interested in reading a much longer material, you can download it for free via the link below: