INTERVIEWS

 

MEET THE ARTIST: Zyda Baaya, as she describes Improv as movement in the moment and tuning in with her and others’ breath.

  Photo by Sally Lee feat Daloy DC Zyda Baaya

Photo by Sally Lee

 

Full name: Zyda Baaya

Nick name: Zyda

Age: 26

Position: Company Member

Dance and theatre background: I was trained in ballet by Nila Claravall using the RAD syllabus. But upon stepping into college I started learning modern dance with Gerald Mercado and Brezhnev Larlar until Georgette Sanchez conducted a contemporary dance workshop when she came back from Germany. Since then I have been dancing contemporary with Christine Crame,  Seven Contemporary Dance Co up until last year.

How long have you been dancing/ performing?  I started early, 5 years old I think.

How did you get into dance/ theater? My mom was a frustrated dancer, I guess she wanted someone in the family to do it for her, lucky me.

Who are your artistic influences? Hard question, I would have to say Christine Crame. I haven’t been in a particular group as long as I have been with SCDC. I would like to think that the outcome of my work and performance is mostly because of her influence.

Photo by Sally Lee10801992_10152789647320967_294642375209759135_n

What influences your work? The people around me? At some point it was dependent on that. How it felt at that moment, in that place and who I was with. Nothing paradoxical ☺

How would you describe your personal movement style? Hhmmm.. flowy? I would like to think its organic, because it feels that way to me. Also I think it’s the way it is that because of my ballet roots.

When and how did you join Daloy? Before Ate Ea talked to me, my good friend Erick Dizon has already planted thoughts in my head middle of the year last year and things just sort of went that way after a while.

How would you describe yourself during company classes and rehearsals? Present. I believe that I’m a good follower. When the teacher or choreographer tells me to do something I listen and perform as suggested. Sometimes, no, a lot of time its hard to execute the even if the instructions were understood well.

What new skills have you learned since joining Daloy? My improvisation has gotten better.

What do you like about Daloy? My co-dancers. They give you the utmost respect on the dance floor or the stage and are honest about your performance.

What are your favorite Daloy production/ piece/ performance? Why? Batsheva (excerpt from Canton) I haven’t performed it yet but when I started learning the piece it helped me work on areas I was really weak at. I remember how terrified I was when it was time to rehearse. And I think that fear helped a lot in terms of improving slowly but surely.

Photo by Tuchi Imperial feat DALOY DC Zyda Baaya

Photo by Tuchi Imperial

 

What’s your favorite dance class (technique/ exercise/ conditioning)? Why? I like the conditioning exercises when it was for cardio and strength it felt like my body was alive. Haha. I like the improv classes best because it gave me room to think and my body the freedom to move.

Do you have any pre-show rituals? It starts at home where I sing my lung out so when I get to the theater I’m alive and kicking ☺

Who are your favorite dance artist/choreographer and company? Batsheva Dance Company.

What would your dream performance be like? On the stage with all my co-dancers and even if dancing was a difficult task it feels light and good and my soul is bursting with awe and magic. Haha.

Dance footwear!! Ballet shoes, socks or none. Barefoot!

Your ultimate dancer crush is… haha! Kate Moennig, look it up!

What does ‘Daloy’ mean to you? Tuning in with everyone’s breath and heartbeat and just letting that beat create its own curve.

MEET THE ARTIST : Delphine Buencamino, from NY to “theatre gypsy-ing” and to Daloy

 

10866137_405151382999281_3860795400980883878_o

Daloy DC, Delphine Buencamino in Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival, photo by Shutterpanda

 

Full name: Sarah Delphine Centenera Buencamino

Nick name: Delphs, Phine, Phinie

Daloy nickname (if applicable): Phinnickles, Phinnegan (as per Erick Dizon)

Age: 24

Position: Member

Dance and theatre background: PHSA (theater major), been dancing every summer since high school (Ava’s School of Dance, Locsin Dance Workshop, Airdance), Been doing professional theater productions since first year college with Rep, PETA, DUP, TA, Blue Rep, Acasia, Sipat Lawin Ensemble, Tanghalang Pilipino

I accomplished a 6 month residency program in New York under the Asian Cultural council for dance theater and physical theater (2013-2014). While in NYC I took various classes at Movement Research, Gibney Dance Center, Browadway Dance Center, and Peridance Capezio Center. Last November I choreographed, devised and performed in Agyu, a physical theater piece, produced by Siklab Productions. Right now I am part time lecturer at the Fine Arts Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.

How did you get into dance/ theater? 

My parents are theater actors and were my first teachers and encouraged me to take classes in voice and dance as well. I grew up tagging along shows, rehearsals, auditions, cast parties, so I really just kind of grew up having it around me. I enjoyed it and then I started taking it seriously when I entered PHSA.

What kind of music do you like dancing to? 

This changes like the weather but right now I use tUnE-yArDs a lot especially when I teach. Also  Chairlift, Florence + the Machine, My Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk

Who are your artistic influences? My teachers, my parents, my classmates (especially in PHSA) Agnes Locsin, Herbie Go, Rody Vera, Jacques Lecoq, Pina Bausch, Alexandra Beller, Lahat ng ka-Daloy ko ngayon.

10855093_10203760705234537_4894132681937997924_o

Delphine in Reconfigure, photo by Tuchi Imperial

 

When and how did you join Daloy? 

I remember messaging Ea soon after my NY trip and wanting to work with her. She invited me to take class at her place, it was just the two of us that time. Then it was improv jams that continued to parties and then one day Daloy had a name. This was around August 2014 if I remember correctly. In 2014 I was not as active because I already had theater projects lined up til the end of the year. It was the start of 2015 that I was really a full time member.

Has your dancing/ performance changed since joining Daloy? How?

I’ve learned to relax as a mover. I used to carry a lot of unnecessary tension (some still leftover but I’m working on it). I’ve learned to move more efficiently, to be even more aware of my center and to play with off-balance. I’ve learned to use breath more. But I think the most significant change is that I am more comfortable with partnering now. Before I tried to avoid being lifted as much as possible. Now I enjoy it and am no longer afraid. It’s not about how heavy you are but about how you place your weight and how sensitive you are to each other. I’ve also learned how to appreciate smaller movements.

What new skills have you learned since joining Daloy?

I’ve expanded my range of improvisation. I’ve also learned how to collaborate more.

What do you like about Daloy?

I have never committed myself to one company. I’ve been a theater gypsy for most of my performance career; so to finally commit full time to a company says a lot. Daloy is very accepting and open. We each have a voice as artist. We embrace that we all have different backgrounds. We are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Aside from that we have fun. Yes, rehearsals maybe stressful especially as we approach the showdates but we enjoy each other’s company and love what we are doing.

What are your favorite Daloy production/ piece/ performance? Why?

Canton. Especially the finale. I am really interested in Physical Theater and I love how this piece has such a strong story and yet not a very clear narrative. It is general and specific at the same time. This piece is a perfect example of less is more. And to perform it I felt that I really had to use my background in theater as well. I liked the finale because it was so simple yet so strong. It was a perfect juxtaposition of group and solo and was incredibly fun to do whether I was the soloist or part of the ensemble. As a soloist you actually feel like you are still part of the ensemble and you don’t have to do much because the ensemble is so strong you can just absorb the energy from everyone.

10984171_10203749140505426_2902680189815452913_o

In Dysmorphilia, photo by Tuchi Imperial

 

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Warm up and review. Empty your bladder but stay hydrated. Keep your body warm without getting too tired and right before going onstage, let everything go and try to clear your mind. On some days this is difficult, I try to focus on one spot ahead of me and open my peripheral vision as well as take deep breaths.

Who are your favorite dance artist/choreographer and company? Which choreographer do you aspire to work with?

I can’t have favorites without bias but right now I wish I could work with Steven Hogget and Scott Graham of Frantic Assembly as well as Akram Khan.

Which dance genre would you like to learn?

I would like to learn more indigenous Filipino dances. I would also like to experience more modern dance techniques.

Your ultimate Daloy crush?

I don’t have a crush but I admire certain aspects of people. Like for example Zyda’s cheerful and caring demeanor, or Ea’s determination, Jared’s reliability, Jomelle’s sharp wit, Al’s creativity, Erick’s sense of humor, PJ’s generosity…and the list goes on.

What does ‘Daloy’ mean to you?

Daloy is community. Daloy is a safe space. Daloy is an open playground for ideas and improvement.

 

Delphine is creating a new work with Daloy Dance Company, to be featured in KARNABAL: Performance and Social Innovation Festival on May 2015. Contact Daloy DC for show dates and details at daloydancecompany@gmail.com

 

**************************************

Contemporary Dance Is More Than Just A ‘Style’: An Interview With Dance Artist, Ea Torrado

Daloy Dance Company is a Manila-based contemporary dance and experimental dance theatre collective, established by Artistic Director, Ea Torrado in the Philippines.Interview by Jha Briones

Ea Torrado thinks contemporary dance is more than just a ‘style’ that most people are used to seeing in, So You Think You Can Dance. For her, it is many things new and fresh. It can be a new way of choreographing steps, new ways of placing dancers onstage, new ways of creating, producing and performing dances, new ways of interacting with the audience, or new ways of experimenting with the hows and whys behind a dance.

Photo by Tuchi Imperial

Ea essayed principal and soloist roles in both classical and contemporary full-length ballets; has toured extensively in the Philippines and abroad (USA, Russia, Europe, Scotland, Cambodia, Japan) with Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, and Dance Theatre of Tennessee; and has worked as a guest artist for Contemporary Dance Map Philippines, Dance Forum, Airdance, E-dance Theatre, and Steps Dance Project. At 29, she is now the Artistic Director of Daloy Dance Company, the newest dance group in Manila. In the coming year, Ea will be dancing and choreographing Canton, a dance piece inspired by the life of survival sex workers in the Philippines.

Ea had some time last week for a quick interview before she flies to Vietnam and Singapore for performances and workshops at Ho Chi Minh International Contemporary Dance Festival and M1 CONTACT Festival.
Photo by Tuchi Imperial

JB: How is Daloy different from other contemporary dance companies?

ET: In creating Daloy Dance Company, being “different” from other contemporary dance companies was not the goal exactly. In fact, I wanted to veer away from this competitive mindset of having to bring “something new to the table” to stand out. Truly, the intention that we had while forming the group was really to be authentic and simply dance the way we love dancing.
And this is really what “Daloy” (Flow) is all about: following that mysterious inner force within all of that, if we listen to, leads us in the most magical of ways. It brings the dancer back to the essence of dance, which is the pure singing of the mind, body, and spirit that can only be found within. I think it is a philosophy that doesn’t abide by any one dance pedagogy, but allows dancers, and myself especially, as a choreographer, to find their own. This kind of paradigm is very exciting to me as it has opened the doors for a new kind of dance language, which I am currently developing. I hope to test this new language sometime next year.
JB: In creating dances, what/who were your influences?
ET: I am heavily influenced by a classical ballet background; the discipline of constant practice and the high standards of technique are strongly ingrained in my DNA. However, with my other influences in modern and contemporary dance and theater — dancers and choreographers like Agnes Locsin, Myra Beltran, Denisa Reyes, Edna Vida and Julie Alagde-Carretas, and theater practitioner, Ana Valdez-Lim (from the Philippines); and choreographers Mats Ek, Jyri Kilian and Crystal Pite, and theater-practitioner Noa Rotem (from abroad) — I constantly and consciously try to veer away from any rigid form of dance and create new ones.
I have also been influenced by yoga and eastern meditation techniques. Contact improvisation, which I have learned from international dance workshops and conferences, is something that has also peaked my interest. These have helped with achieving mindfulness in dance, being in the moment, and freeing my imagination when it comes to choreography.
JB: What are you currently trying to explore in your dances?
ET: In the recent past, I have been exploring themes of cultural and historical identity, social politics and feminine representations. This is reflective of my works since 2013. “Dots” explored middle class life in the Philippine metropolis and “Nga-nga” was a site-specific work performed in Intramuros, the old walled-city of Manila. “Sisa” and “Filipinas” both explored the role of the female as mother and Mother Country. “Dysmorphilia” comments on the prevalent issues on beauty and self-esteem, and “Canton” is inspired by impoverished Filipinos who trade sex for a packet of pancit canton.
In the future, I am interested in creating more site-inspired and site-specific choreography. I believe that by allowing the dance to come from the topography, history, and social context of both urban and rural areas, dance becomes part of the landscape in which it is being performed, and thus more relevant to those watching.
Photo by Jha Briones

JB: What is your world view on dance, and how do you want to evolve with it?

ET: I have observed that a lot of dances recently have attempted to incorporate multimedia in their productions. I think a lot of dances are trying to extend their capacities with the use of technology (i.e. projection, video) as well as the use of spoken word. Other dances attempt to explore visual and aesthetic patterns, while others try to explore emotion and drama embodied in dance. So it seems dance has been evolving at “all fronts”. This is exciting as it means there is a plurality in dance in the country, and this means new ideas, new works, and new dialogues in dance.
As a choreographer and dancer, trying to make the next groundbreaking thing in dance is not my top priority; I am simply creating from my own experiences and own current interests and ideas. These ebb and flow in my creative process; it is always in flux. I think by bringing this authenticity to dance, I create pieces that are meaningful and thought-provoking to audiences.
Ea Torrado website: www.eatorrado.com
Photo by Jha Briones

See more at http://janellynspeaks.blogspot.com/2014/12/contemporary-dance-is-more-than-just_18.html

Daloy Dance Company is a Manila-based contemporary dance and experimental dance theatre collective, established by Artistic Director, Ea Torrado in the Philippines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s