A thunderous round of applause echoed at the production that wowed the crowd on yesterday on November 6, 2016 at Ugnayang La Salle (ULS) hosted by Lasallian Pointes N’ Flexes Dance Company (LPNFDC). Aside from LPNFDC, 12 other dance companies around Cavite showcased their talents and skills in a dance production that hailed harmony and unity among performers. Beyond what the audience witnessed however is the blood, sweat, and tears shed by all the fearless performers of Dance Track 5: Fusion.
Behind the limelight
From the moment you enter the backstage of ULS, a flurry of hairspray and the scattered LPNFDC members running around will greet you at the door a few hours before Fusion. Truly a kind of organized chaos is present among the performers, a disarray pounding with anticipation for the production that is set to start in a few hours.
While helping other dancers with their costume changes, LPNFDC member “KD” Pasuquin shares that though the backstage life is indeed stressful and exhausting, the ultimate payout is the show’s success and the overall enjoyment of the group. LPNFDC EVP of Academics Neil Salvador supports this as he shares that backstage life is really an anxiety-inducing scene, but the encouragement felt all around makes up for the trials they all have to go through.
Another unspoken moment felt is the pre-show jitters felt throughout the entire backstage. Before each dance troupe is set to start with their piece, they all have their own quirky way of dealing with these jitters, like simply laughing it off or even teasing each other before they’re called to the stage. LPNFDC alumnus Aaron Dela Rosa shares that in order to eliminate the nerves, they need to simply shake it off and focus on the steps to give your heart and soul to the song.
In between retouching her makeup, running through numerous rehearsals, and generally taking charge of the production, LPFNDC President Jazmyn Morales emphasizes the feeling of utter stress backstage. Juggling the responsibility both as a performer and an organizer is definitely no easy feat, she states; yet Morales, the rest of LPNFDC, and all the dance troupes continued to keep their composure and dazzle the audience throughout the night.
Amid the intimate prayer circles, last-minute practices, and final touch-ups done backstage is the sense of unspoken unity among the dancers—a unity that only gets stronger as the night goes on.
Center stage camaraderie
As the clock struck 5PM, the audience began pouring into ULS and the electrifying buzz spread throughout the venue. After a few opening words from University officials and friendly spiels from the host, the production kicked-off with a stunning piece by LPNFDC themselves as they blazed the stage with Riverrmaya’s Awit ng Kabataan—an ode to the youth involvement Fusion emphasizes on throughout the night.
As the intensity of the night started to heat up, the 12 dance companies started to display their undeniable skills. First to perform was the La Salle Filipiniana Dance Company presenting the colorful vibrancy of Philippine folk music, followed by the proclaimed “Scholars of the Dance Floor” Dasmariñas Dance Company and their effortlessly astounding stunts—not to mention they performed in high heels. Bulwagang National College of Science and Technology (NCST) followed, honing their inner Queen B with an anthology of her best-known songs. Gear extension was fourth in line with their sultry rendition of beloved hip-hop and RNB songs. City College of Tagaytay’s troupe Indigo wowed the crowd with their fiery choreography and red-hot dancers. Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Cavite Dance Company made a few jokes before taking the stage and hypnotizing guests with each step. Lazarus left hearts beating for more as they electrified the stage. The Dance Collective took their advocacy of peace and love on stage with the Black-Eyes Peas classic song Where is the Love. A new dance company addition to Fusion: The Undrgrnd came on and seemed to redefine the word synchronization as they set the place on fire with a jam-packed performance. Also another newbie, The Authority left jaws wide open with their explosive set. Finally, the dance company Next Ep proved that last is definitely not the least as they brought down the house—and some girls screaming—with their fresh moves.
As per tradition, the third Cypher rocked the stage as two participants from each group had a dance-off that led to a ULS-wide funhouse. Capping off the participating dance companies, Team Package Member truly proved that they had the full package by showcasing their frankly steamy piece. A surprise performance from GMA celebrity and LPNFDC alumna Arny Ross was also met with roars from the crowd as she hailed the stage, saluting the girls during her performance.
The crowd’s elation grew louder and louder with each new crew—and so did the seats of ULS as each hour, the venue only seemed to get more packed. One final group collaboration ignited the audience one last time when all participating dance companies of Fusion joined forces to have fun and dance along to Jonas Blue’s Perfect Strangers.
Not only was their camaraderie between the dance companies, but also between the performers and audience as well. More often than not, the crowd was one with the dancers with every thumping step they made and exhilarating stunt they performed. “Both the spectators and dancers are the reason as to why the art of dance is continuing to bloom in the Philippines,” says a representative from Lazarus Dance Company, who are set to represent the country in a dance competition in the United States later this month.
After the praises, ovations, and farewells, Morales states that she proclaims Fusion a success “as long as everyone is happy.” Truly, as everyone is seen elated and slicked with sweat after the production, Dance Series and the togetherness it brings is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Bringing this year’s Dance Track to a momentous close, LPNFDC wishes the audience to truly appreciate this year’s rendition of Dance Track. Even through all the backstage hassles and behind-the-scene ordeals, there lies the fiery passion of dance that can never be put out. Returning to the opening song performed by the LPNFDC, it’s true the youth and their talent cannot be contained—this year, and through the many more Dance Track Series to come.