Everyday and any day is a good day to dance. But when one day of the year is declared International Dance Day, it is almost a sin not to spend that day dancing with the rest of the world.
And dance we did, together with over 30 performing groups and dance schools from all over the Metro, at Ballet Manila-NCCA’s International Dance Day Festival last April 29 at the Aliw Theatre. The Company of Dance Artists, made up of dancers from TEAM and sister school Hampton Court Ballet (more on CODA here– http://www.teamdancestudio.co/#coda), rendered two works by Eli Jacinto. The classic folk-ethnic Giri has been performed many times in the past in different venues including a Folk Dance Convention, and once also reconfigured for film, but always well-received. Pangilin, a dance of faith and inspired by Filipino lenten traditions practiced in Jacinto’s native hometown, is a work from 2006, an old choreography made new. Here is a clip of a section of Pangilin, danced by Jacqui Jacinto and sisters Frances and Irene Canto–
The BM-NCCA IDD Festival was a whole day affair, coinciding with other IDD events organised and participated in by other dance groups in the Philippines, and chiming in with worldwide celebrations. It was indeed a day to celebrate, but for us it was just another chance to dance.
Video courtesy of Frances Canto; photo courtesy of Nikki Lim
Our open house last Easter Sunday, April 5, was graced by friends and family, students old and new, and was the perfect chance to celebrate the formal opening of The Studio. The second floor, which houses the dance studio, was opened for the first time for public viewing, with the walls painted, mirrors and glass windows installed and polished, and the special wood floors finally in place. Two weeks back we had family over for dinner, and they caught the construction in its last stages of finishing–
Banzon preview, March 25, after Dad’s birthday dinner
It’s funny how in all the photos, Tito Baby, in the barong with his arms crossed over his chest, looks like he’s at a site inspection of some big development project, which he probably does a lot of for work. Peace, Tito Baby 🙂
The well-wishes for that day were tremendous. But more so were the presence of the people behind this realised venture.
First to arrive were the TEAM seniors, our students who have been with us since they were in Baby Ballet. Now Attorney-at-Law Frances brought donuts as a “housewarming” gift which spruced up the already hearty snack table of homemade cookies and cupcakes.
Details, again c/o Erica
Pre-icing! Fresh baked cupcakes
The TEAM seniors watched videos of our past recitals and shows, and saw themselves dancing as young giddy ballerinas, doing their first solo variations en pointe, discovering other dance forms such as jazz, modern and contemporary.
Currently watching: Teacher Joelle and Teacher Lucas’ Le Corsaire pas de deux, at TEAM’s 25th anniversary show
The girls could have spent the whole day going through the TEAM video archive but had their respective Easter family affairs to go to. But of course before leaving, a photoshoot at the brand new studio was in order (click on photos to view slideshow)–
This time with Ace, Frances and Irene’s younger brother who served as the day’s designated chaperone, driver and photographer–
With teacher Jacqui!
Also at the open house was the Berry family – Lucas, Erica and Berry. Here they are at the front gate, testing our new doorbell–
DIY signage with doorbell
Berry was a most gracious host, entertaining our new students who came by to see the finished studio. As a baby ballet veteran (Berry started ballet with her mom Erica as early as age 2, and is now 6!), she was very encouraging of our shy and young starters, showing them how to use the expanse of the studio space, and introducing them to the mirrors and barres. She also showed off our friendly dog Hugo, petting and hugging him, and assuring our little guests that they had no reason to be scared or wary. Berry has always felt at home here, in the studio, and in any studio for that matter, and it was apparent that she wanted others to feel the same.
Practicing her balance pas de bourrees
It was a full day of answering inquiries, touring the grounds, fitting ballet uniforms and chattering away about ballet and dance education. Just when things were winding down, we were happy to have another wave of guests come over – family! Bearing food, heart-warming gifts, and critical eyes. Every nook and cranny of the studio was inspected, perhaps even more thoroughly than our earlier guests. But the suggestions for improvement were very much welcome and the overwhelming support invaluable.
Tito Rene and kids test our new barres while Tito Greg documents
Buttressed by well-wishes, trust and a positive response from our family, friends, and the community, we look forward and are excited to open for our first day of ballet classes this Saturday April 11. A big thank you to everyone, and see you at the studio! -JJ
Our poster campaign is underway, and while we have been steering clear of premature delineation to allow The Studio to naturally progress into what it can be, we find ourselves needing a personality to communicate. And so in this first instance, we feature the studio itself, the physical structure, the four walls and the open space and what happens when people occupy this space.
The challenge in going this route is that our infrastructure is unfinished, which leaves us with having to borrow images taken mostly at TEAM, the main studio from which this more personal space has branched out. Here are some of the material we have on the drawing board–
The Studio may be spanking brand new when it opens its doors in April, but it is not starting from scratch. It is firmly rooted in over 30 years of dance education and production, and is a collection of the wealth of experiences lived by the artists and the family that make up “the TEAM”. View the TEAM website at www.teamdancestudio.co
This draft would have been a beautiful option, however, it is set in the FEU dance studio, and may cause confusion if we were to decide to use it. Still it is worthwhile sharing here as this image was taken during the filming of Ang Sayaw Ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa in 2011, for which TEAM Artistic Director Eli Jacinto did the choreography and TEAM’s performing group did the major dance sequences. The shot is a picture-perfect depiction of what we do in the studio, the breadth of the open space that houses an energy and creative atmosphere that begets creative work, albeit a space not our own.
Today marks the beginning of the road to The Studio, officially resuming construction of our Project2014 building with a “groundbreaking” for the second floor. First order of business was to tear down the posts that were built by our previous contractor and replace them with thicker, stronger ones to hold up the slab ceiling. Here’s a photo of the makeshift wooden stairs (ladder yan eh!) to the second floor, some of the building materials we try our best to keep tidy and in order, and our wilting anahaw displaced and suffocated by all the airborne cement.
Hugo thinks he’s stepping in as new foreman. Foredog? That dog’s just sunbathing or asleep most of the time. Not the first to be sleeping on the job for sure 🙂
After a stressful yet necessary false start, months of uncertainty, hitting roadblocks and detours every step of the way, we are finally here. And we have but eight carefully calculated weeks to pull through. Eight weeks for the builders to finish, eight weeks for me to prepare The Studio for the summer. Eight weeks until the real work, and the rest of my life, begins.