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Dance Series Track 6: Looking back with grooves and moves

If you’re into upbeat music, enthralling choreographies, and fellow Lasallians slaying the stage, then Dance Series Track 6: Back to Basics was the dance series you should have watched out for. Hyped with stunning lights, groovy music, and relentless artists, the Lasallian Pointes N’ Flexes Dance Company (LPNFDC) brought a spectacle of ten collaborative artists from Cavite and topnotch dancers from both the local and international dance scene yesterday, November 25 at the Ugnayang La Salle (ULS).

 

Under the limelight

Excited spectators prepped with banners and balloons started arriving at ULS, and from excited audiences to avid fans, the venue was filled with people of different ages. Dance enthusiasts from all corners of Cavite came in droves, such as Mae Beldeniza, Senior High School student from St. Jude College, who went to the show in support of her favorite dance group—the Down South. Same with Dave Benitez from Dasmariñas City who anticipated that the show would be enjoyable—and it sure was.

As the blue and magenta lights flickered, the crowds started cheering for their favorites— and it became louder even more when LPNFDC started slaying on the stage with their flexible steps and sharp moves. The resonant bass remixes made the audience hyped as the dance group moved to the groove.

The show moved on with routines from invited dance companies—revealing the diversity of genre and concepts they prepared. Among the night’s performers were La Salle Filipiniana Dance Company (LSFDC), Gear Extension, Mendez Dance Company, Agbuya Perpetualista, Bulwagang NCST, Crayons PH, Down South, Lyceum of the Philippines Cavite Dance Company, Project Knowledge, and The Authority. But it doesn’t end there as the show came with guests from the international scene. One of them was Aftermath, Saint Benilde Romanćon Dance Company’s Alumni members, alongside creative director Josh Vidamo.

With two representatives participating in each group, the stage was set on fire by the heat of the dance showdown matched with DJ Sektor’s electrifying remixes. The highlight of it all was the internationally known dance company, the Lazarus. With choreography that made the audience stand on their feet, the Lazarus proved that after all the big competitions they had participated in outside the Philippines, nothing compares to home.

 

Beyond the spotlight

It wasn’t only the spectacle of performances the Dance Series Track 6 offered which made the event a worthwhile experience. Events like this surely have one thing in common—the scenarios happening around the venue that’s invisible to the audience’s eye.

Case in point, every dance group proved that besides their flawless looks and stunning moves, the genuine rapport to each other is what makes the Caviteño dance groups a cut above all.

Not only that, 10 minutes before the open house, all participating dance groups were invited for a grand prayer circle that stretched side to side of ULS—from locally prominent groups like the Mendez Dance Company to internationally renowned teams like The Aftermath.

The venue was indeed filled with exhilarated dance companies—warming-up before giving all of themselves on the dance floor. But Down South took it to another level by not only doing some stretching but also spreading empowerment to one another.

The backstage, meanwhile, teemed with glamour and glee as the ravishing concealers and shining highlighters were already arranged in its place. But apart from all of that were the immaterial supplements that made the performers effortlessly stunning—their smiles.

There’s no denying the fact that the life behind the stage was chaotic—“Mahirap siya depende sa kung ano ang character mo at dependesa sa kung ano yong dance company mo. Pero overall, masaya sa backstage,” LPNFDC President Eric Balaoro stated.

 

Nostalgia extravaganza

This year’s theme was Back to Basics—a reminder that everyone can reminisce to cherish the past to love the present. “Ito ang theme namin para maipakita namin kung saan ba nagsimula [ang Dance Series Track],” Balaoro said regarding the reason behind this year’s theme. Truly nostalgic, he said that they want to tell their audience how consistently passionate they are for dance—from the very first Dance Series Track to the most recent one—and to the more that will come.

This explains the uniform message of all the performance. For instance, Mendez Dance Company danced to Autotelic’s Laro—conveying a message of how gloriously remarkable childhood can be. Another performance comes from the group, Hotlegs Dance Company, who gracefully danced to the romantic tunes and heartfelt lyrics of Rey Valera’s Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko. Project Knowledge, meanwhile, showed something electrifying as they combined theatrical skills and dancing prowess by moving to the rhythm and tempo of spoken word poetry.

The whole dance series was also packed with jaw-dropping acts that’s different from all the hip-hop routines—be it cultural or classical.  LSFDC never really fails to wow the audience with their ethnic dance, especially in this night’s performance. On the other hand, Lyceum of the Philippines Cavite Dance Company (LCDC) showed contemporary ballet in sync with a symphonious melody. Through LCDC’s artistic Director Francis Jaena, they intended to show something different—“a new style” as mentioned by LCDC performer Richelyn Perez. From graceful moves to aesthetic formations, this dance company nailed it as they verify that contemporary will never get left behind.

From flashing lights to lessons learned

At the backstage, LPNFDC alumna and Kapuso actress Arny Ross shared her most memorable experience at LPNFDC. “Dahil dito sa Pointes N’ Flexes kaya ako may panlaban sa showbiz ngayon,” Arny sincerely said.

Regarding how the life behind the stage is, she swiftly responded, “Ibang-iba sa backstage,” emphasizing the struggles behind the spotlight which sometimes leads to toxic feelings that the audience don’t see. “Nato-toxic kami lahat… I remember during our time, ‘yong productions namin [ay] sobrang dami…Andiyan ‘yong quick change, change make-up.” However, these feelings of struggles and chaos are what Arny misses the most, saying,“Lahat sa backstage magulo…Pero enjoy, nami-miss ko ‘yong ganoon.”

When also asked about the changes of LPNFDC that she’s observed, she said that, “Mas naging strong ‘yong Pointes N’ Flexes ngayon.” She shared how amazing that the dance company she was once a member of has become a family full of fervent leaders and creative choreographers. “For me, they keep on evolving … eventually, ‘yong mga member, sila na ang nagiging choreographers for some production numbers. So ngayon, mas nagiging magaling sila—hindi lang sa pagiging dancer. Nagiging leader na rin sila; nagiging choreographer na rin sila.”

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We can’t move towards the future without looking back at the past—this is what LPNFDC’s sixth installment of Dance Series Track conveyed as it ended the show with a thunderous round of applause. On its 24th anniversary, LPNFDC showed not just an exhibition of talents but also Cavite’s best dancers—united amidst differences. After all the flashing lights, upbeat sounds, and powerful dance routines was a simple but powerful lesson—if complexity makes your life difficult, go back to basics.