Wednesday, May 28, 2014


(Photos courtesy of Locsin Dance Workshop)
Ballet is one of the many art forms that are close to my heart. This love runs in our blood as my mom and my grandparents were also passionate about the performing arts and studied ballet, tap and jazz when they were young. I started dancing at the age of 6 under the tutelage of my mom’s friend and former dance teacher, Agnes Locsin. I put so much value in that experience as one Agnes Locsin is one country’s of the most progressive and celebrated choreographers. Despite the rigorous training and muscle pains, the dancing helped me develop a sense of discipline and greater appreciation for different art genres and media. 

It’s heartwarming that my own daughter has inherited our family’s love for dancing. While her previous ballet schools have served their purpose in teaching her the basics of dancing, now I feel she’s ready and mature enough for in-depth training and new techniques. Her entry in Locsin Dance Workshop was just timely as this gave her a glimpse of a dancer’s life. Some of the principal dancers of Ballet Philippines were in town to train under teacher Agnes, and, in between their own sessions, the little ones were able to witness these master classes day in and day out.
The recently concluded Locsin Dance Workshop is probably one of the best this season has seen. The summer showcase this year not only featured new choreography and original storyline, it also gave the little ones an opportunity to dance side by side Ballet Philippines.

The matinee show featured Engkanto, Atbp., an all- ballet performance by students and professional dancers. The story depicted the importance of caring for our forests and respecting all spirits and creatures that inhabit them --- a theme that follows Agnes Locsin’s ecological advocacy. The audience was brought into trance wherein mythological creatures such as the manananggal, tikbalang, nuno sa punso, kapre, and the likes danced and pranced throughout the narrative. This was followed by Ballet Filipiniana which gave life to Filipino folk songs through classical ballet movements.
Pulso ng Dabaw performed by students of tap, hip-hop, jazz and modern ballet, encapsulated the many aspects that make Davao unique --- from music, lifestyle, politics and policies. One memorable parody from the show is the artistic approach to the buduts tunes.

Next to the dance concert came the most awaited part of the show which was performed solely by guest dancers from Ballet Philippines. It opened with the premiere of Biag Gaongen’s new choreography entitled Sukat na Sukat, followed by Agnes Locsin’s notable dance pieces Moriones, Salome and Igorot.

Typical of an Agnes Locsin choreography, which usually takes inspiration from the Philippine history and tribal culture, the buoyant movements exude poetic texture, precision, linear purity and fluidity. It was obvious that through the stringent traning given to them by teacher Agnes, the dancers have developed breathtaking dexterity and resilient energy.
Locsin Dance Workshop resumes classes in June 2014. Visit for their list of classes and other updates.
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1 and A4, INdulge, Edge Davao, Vol. 7 Issue no. 52, 28 May 2014.


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