(This is a 2019 Year-in-Review post, #January2019Highlight)
What if we don’t apply for grants or institutional support this year so we can just do whatever we want and see if a small to mid-size contemporary dance group like ours could really keep our head above water while trying to do works and workshops that are good, has integrity, and will not limit us in keeping on proving our ‘Filipinoness’ and our good intentions towards ‘Filipino people’ as most grant giving bodies ask us to prove. Here and abroad. What if we just put up regular classes and trainings that are open to all backgrounds and levels of dance skills? Very welcoming to beginners. And people can just pay what they think the class is worth, and based on how much money they really have. BUT THEN... What if we lose all our company’s savings? What if we end up owe-ing the studios we rent, or the dancers we work with? What if people don’t come? What if we have to lean on institutions again? ... Well. WE DIDN’T.
We started this jump last January. And the net kept appearing as we flew and floated. Our students tripled compared to the last 4 years of Daloy. We paid our rent and dancers on time and in full. And we did works that came from a multi layered questioning of our personal experiences, and does not deny but rather integrate all the influences that shaped us, not to prove our work to be ‘art’ enough for people and institutions that have power in the form of money, venue or prestige. But so we could sleep better at night knowing, we don’t know everything. We danced, discussed and have more questions. And we will do it again. Also with our students. We dance. Discuss. Have more questions. And the gathering for performances and workshops remain, a gathering where we can acknowledge our differences in the space, but together. And softly. Because nobody is being asked to prove anything.
All Daloy dancers are Filipinos, and I am too. And our practice is evolving and staying in the Philippines so we can co-create, co-envision, co-empower and co-heal with the people who are here. Healing from what? I don’t know. Maybe from the Filipino collective psyche’s ‘imported is better’, ‘pedigree and institutional support is what makes ‘them’ valid’
Well, we are all valid. And all our unique experiences are valid. THANK YOU to our students, collaborators and supporters who keeps on believing in us. I love you. ❤️
📷 Sipat Productions
Words by Ea Torrado