We recently culminated PCI’s first major event, Imagining Curatorial Vision in Performance: An International Symposium on Performance Curation.
The symposium’s opening program was held at the Bulwagan ng Dangal in UP Diliman on September 26. Beginning officially with welcoming remarks from PCI founder Prof. Roselle Pineda shortly followed by a special message from Dr. Cecilia Dela Paz of the Bulwagan ng Dangal.
Cocktails were followed by the premiere of Con.Currents | Movement Provocations. After the performance experience, an open forum was held with Ms. Elena Laniog, Ms. Sarah Samaniego and the wonderful UP Dance Company.
On September 27, the first day of the symposium commenced with the keynote panel “Imagining Performance Curation.” The panelists included Prof. Roselle Pineda, Dr. Dena Davida from Tangente Danse, Prof Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez of the University of the Philippines, Ms. Eri Karatsu of Aichi Prefecture Art Center. It was moderated by Prof. OJ Serquiña of the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts.
The first two Exchange Cafes also had very fruitful discussions. The first one conversed on funding in the field performance curation. While for the afternoon exchange cafe, the film “White Funeral” was shown, followed by artists talks with Director Sari Dalena and Ms. Myra Beltran.
The afternoon panel focused on various multi-disciplinary practices ranging from music and dance, to local performance art and contemporary community theatre. Speakers included ethnomusicologist Dr. Jonas Baes, noted choreographer Ms. Myra Beltran, Performance artist Boyet de Mesa, and JK Anicoche, Sarah Salazar-Aronson, and Ness Roque-Lumbres of the Sipat Lawin Ensemble. Prof. Bryan Viray from the College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman, moderated the very interesting panel of practitioners.
The 28th of September opened with speakers Prof. Will Peterson of Flinders University, Dr. May Datuin current head of the Department of Art Studies in UP Diliman, Dr. Steven Fernandez of Marawi State University. The panel focused on pedagogies. Mr. Peterson talked about festivals and explained how the body becomes deeply emplaced so much so that they come back year after year, while Dr. Fernandez spoke of “transcreation” applying to curations being a “performative” act.
The afternoon panel on Trans-geography and Communities was moderated by PCI’s very own Ms. Reena Manalo. Dr. Dela Paz emphasized on the need for researchers, especially the ones in the urbanized centers, to give back to the local community after gathering of data is finished. Mr. Leonardo Cariño of Teatro Ambahanon explained why they consider themselves a “terminal” and not the destination for contemporary dancers. Both Jane Gabriels and Marc Pronovost delivered informative and illuminating messages through video presentation. The former talked about the challenges brought by gentrification in the Bronx, while the latter focused on Cultural Mediation with communities in Canada.
The first exchange cafe of day 2 featured the film “Juana and the Sacred Shores”, followed by conversations with Director Antonne Carbonel and Choreographer Aisha Polestico. A lecture and workshop from the Lumad was the highlight of the afternoon where they also taught the delegates a sample of their dance.
The third and final day of the symposium began with a panel on archiving and new media and was moderated by archivist Ms. Merselle Montes who rightfully asked what happens next after curating performances and who gets to decide what is to be saved. The panel was composed of Prof. Sarah Miller of the University of Wollongong, Dr. Sir Anril Tiatco of UP Diliman, PCI’s resident videographer Prof. Loujaye Sonido, and Prof. Paul Rae of the University of Melbourne.
Dr. Tiatco talked about the on-going project, The Philippine Performance Archive, a digital archive which aims to be “relevant, holistic, comprehensive and up-to-date.” On the other hand, Prof. Sonido talked about the origins of film practices and how film up to this day, remains to be a capital-driven practice. Triggered by the heartbreaking story of the UP Faculty Center fire and the lost of many of the university’s physical archives, Prof. Miller expressed the anxiety that danger is always present in archiving, whether it be in the context of fires and natural disasters or the instability of digitized spaces.
The closing panel on “Envisioning Performance Curation” also manifested the many forms and levels of commitment each and everyone has for their practice. In this panel were Mr. Masayoshi Yahagi of Toyohashi Arts Theatre PLAT, Prof. Angela Lawenko-Baguilat from the UP College of Music, Mr. Paschal Berry from the Blacktown Arts Centre in Australia, and Dr. Jazmin Llana – Dean of the College of Liberal Arts in De La Salle University Taft.
Mr. Masayoshi discussed that PLAT, as a public theatre, plays a huge role in engaging communities around it and enacting on Japan’s policies related to its depopulation. PCI’s project manager Prof. Angela shares the difficulties in pursuing creative practices in the midst of managerial tasks. Meanwhile, pondering questions from Mr. Paschal Berry that many of us can definitely relate to. Lastly, Dr. Llana emphasized on action after such gatherings, that it is up to us to do something, and we must do something.
The PCI Symposium program organically closed with a pleasant surprise from Mr. Norman Narciso of Teatro Humanidades from Davao.
It was an overwhelming experience but a very heartfelt and sincere gathering. We at PCI offer our sincerest gratitude to everyone who supported us, and who willingly shared their thoughts and experiences during and after the talks.