Cristina Gimenez - Company Scholar
My process with Mamahay was a testament to readiness and forgiveness of oneself. The opportunity to work on a project like this, I must admit, came at a time wherein I was grappling with an untimely attempt to favor tactile experiences over that of virtual ones. The uncertainty of our times coupled with a sudden surge of images and information online bled into my relationship with movement, making its nature much more sporadic than I was prepared for. I was not equipped to begin my “virtual choreographic process”. As time tided over, I found resolution in the idea of accountability and preparedness—moving both from and between places of need and desire. The piece, dubbed “Mamahay”, was a manifestation of an ode to settlement and rest—and perhaps, at least in my case, even the lack thereof.
We are seeing a drastic paradigm shift in the way dance and film will intersect on a broader scale in the next era we so hesitantly call “the new normal”. Dance on camera will no longer be limited to the filmmaking industry nor will it be mere tools used by dancers for reviewing old choreography, documenting movement explorations, and [for lack of better term] capturing snippets for instagram posts and stories. I also feel as though it goes beyond the amount of time we’ve spent back-and-forthing from the camera to the little nook we’ve prepared to dance in, or checking on the angles we’ve set, and dwelling on the constantly lurking question of “does my leg look better if I frame it this way instead”.
Mamahay is another foray into our in-the-meantimes; an opportunity to allow our screens to be a little more porous for a few moments as we explore this new for-now medium of sharing our crafts. May we always find our ways back to dance, to movement, in our own time. Kaunting panahon lamang para mamahay.
Deborah Lemuel Afuang - Company Member
Being part of the Mamahay creative process called me to be an extension of the directors original plan. It was a collaborative experience that went beyond the usual understanding of that concept. In the studio, collaboration can still mean that each individual will contribute to the work based on varying designations (a dancer will dance while the choreographer directs). The beauty of virtual nature of the Mamahay process lies in the intertwining of roles within each and every individual involved with the project. Niko started the project but we all directed our own videos, choreographed some of the segments and Niko finally sewed everything together.