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Fearless: A night of camaraderie

A production that emphasizes the importance of camaraderie over competition, Fearless was a night that encouraged the versatile Caviteño dancers to be adventurous in their talents, even in the face of the adversity of their uncertainty.

Defying trials

Aside from issues like the exasperating, customary hassle of pre-preparation, LPNFDC President Jazmyn Morales explains that the influx of requests to participate in Fearless compelled the organizers to impose a first come, first served basis in accepting dance companies, seeing as the hosts couldn’t accommodate all. Since the first production of Dance Series, the current roster of dance companies almost doubled with 15 companies from all over Cavite collaborating for a chance to enjoy Fearless.

Despite apparent flaws observed in the early morning rehearsals, the set turned out to be a success. Executive Vice President (EVP) for External Affairs Ma. Elizabeth Balaoro said that there was more excitement than worry during the moments before the event. LPNFDC active member Chelsie Mae Bama added that DLSU-D’s dance company was more than ready to take on the event.

Despite their preparation, anxiety still persisted over a sparse crowd. To ensure that the event would not interrupt classes, Fearless was rescheduled from a weekday to a Sunday. The sudden turn of events generated disheartening concern that only a few audience would show up on a day that students typically spend at home with families.

Their prevailing fear was further exacerbated when only the front half of the rows was filled at the start of their show on September 27. Yet as the minutes went by, ULS was slowly and steadily filled from center stage to bleachers with a crowd of almost 1,600 people, basically twice more than they expected, according to Morales, and a first time for a huge Dance Series audience, according to LPNFDC General Secretary Karmela Gavola. As Cultural Arts Office Coordinator Joel G. Refuerzo, said in his opening remarks, “They did the impossible” by bringing in an unexpected full house.

2Illustrating the unity of the Cavite dance scene, 15 dance companies participated in LPNFDC’s Dance Series: Track 4 – Fearless held at Ugnayang La Salle on Sunday, September 27, 2015.Photo by Patricia Loise Lucero

Every year, dance enthusiasts anticipate Dance Series, an event spearheaded by the University’s Performing Arts Group, Lasallian Pointes N’ Flexes Dance Company (LPNFDC). This year’s production, or Track Four, of their Dance Series titled Fearless was attended by more than 1,600 people on September 27 at Ugnayang La Salle (ULS), featuring 15 dance companies from all over Cavite that came together in one night of artistic collaboration.

Visionary feat

On the night that Br. Augustine Boquer FSC described in his opening video as “a great moment for the arts,” the jam-packed crowd held on to the edge of their seats. With blood pumping and eyes locked on the wild performances on stage, the audience lost their breath as the thrill of the show fired up the stage.

After a few opening remarks from University officials, the LPNFDC consecrated the event with an effortlessly powerful number, followed by performances from the 15 participating Cavite dance companies. This included the gritty hip-hop chorus Prime Moverz; the old-school style of Colossal Ordinance; the fiery diversity of Dasmariñas Dance Company; the enchanting cultural distinction of DLSU-D’s Lasallian Filipiniana Dance Company; the smooth, circa-Grease groove of Mendez Dance Company; the dynamic hip-hop class of Diversity Dance Company; the spirited performance of DLSU-D’s Vibrant Beat; the experimental style of Gear Extension; the powerful and emotional story of The Dance Collective; the throwback number of Bulwagang National College of Science and Technology (NCST); the unrestrained allure of Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Cavite Dance Company; the strong, crowd-riling, one muscle that is Lazarus; the funky, back-to-basics number of Sinagtala Dance Company; and the slam poetry opening of Pirates All Styles that induced goosebumps.

The performances of the dance companies were accompanied by a dance-off dubbed Cypher that tapped into the dancers’ raw spontaneity. Also featured was a special performance from LPNFDC alumna and GMA artist, Arny Ross, who energized the crowd with her steamy dance choreography. Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Property Management Lean Mangrobang shared that Track Four brought in an audience “in the sense na hindi sila nakaupo.”

The aftermath of the event was overcast with a euphoric atmosphere as many, particularly the LPNFDC hosts, were overwhelmed by a surreal sense of pride, said Morales and Mangrobang. Of their hopes for the future, Gaviola shares that she wishes for the participating dance companies to grow as the crowd continues to grow as well.

In the end, Fearless was worth all the challenges as it succeeded in showing people how different schools can show their talents and strengthen their esteem through collaboration rather than competition.

Innovative solidarity

Recalling Dance Series Track One: Empowering Culture through the Art of Dancing pioneered by Jewel Payawal in 2012, the primary aim of Dance Series is to unite Cavite dance companies by hosting an event focused on sharing talents rather than intensifying rivalries.

With the dance ensemble finale called Trackdown at the end of the show, the audience was able to fully grasp the unity of the Cavite dance community. After, 15 dance groups came together to end the show with an exuberant, coordinated number that emphasized the importance of camaraderie among dancers as they all understood the same language—dance.

Morales described dance as a movement that lets you express your feelings without hurting anyone: “Parang ‘pag nasayaw ka, parang wala kang iisipin na kailangan ganito [o] kailangan ganyan.” Similarly, LPNFDC General Secretary describes dance as something that “can motivate and inspire you.” Mangrobang highlights how the dance community in the south is growing. He adds that their contribution to the dance community in Cavite is something to be proud of seeing as Dance Series has formed connections and friendships, making it “overwhelming to think that that LPNFDC is the cause.”

Recognized as student leaders in our campus, LPNFDC decided to give back to the DLSU-D community by donating 10 percent of the ticket sales to the One La Salle Scholarship Fund and Bahay Pag-asa. Hoping that Dance Series may also inspire students to try dancing even if they’re self-conscious of their skill, Mangrobang shares that “people dance well because they work hard—blood, sweat, and tears—for the love of dance.”

Just as LPNFDC took the risk of joining the hip-hop scene despite their history of focusing on contemporary dance style, Fearless hopes to challenge people to take risks and erase any fears that prevent people from pursuing their dreams. The ultimate aim of Fearless was to have the audience walk away from the event with the courage to take the lunge and go after what they desire because, as Sir Joel Refuerzo said, “Dancers are great because of their passion.”

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A close to this Track of Dance Series only means the start of the next highly-anticipated addition to LPNFDC’s dance production. Balaoro hopes that Track Five will invite an even bigger audience turnout as “the more [dancers] the merrier and the more exciting Dance Series will be.” An influential factor in the dance community of the South, Dance Series hopes to inspire the same amount of passion in students so that they too may have the courage to break the molds that restrict their potential.