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Joey G. Vargas

Since I started working with the San Sebastian Recollect Dance Troupe, we worked towards fusion of hip hop concepts and theories with other arts theories, and even take concepts from other disciplines. This process seemingly led to a sort of hip hop dance theater performances. And as in all art forms, the dance works produced in these creative processes center on human experience.

This year, I chose to work on the Greek concept of Apoleia, which may mean simple loss. More importantly, though, this covers spiritual loss, perdition, among other concepts.

In this particular concert, staged on the 21st of February this year, we look at various human conditions, and how individuals handle experiences of loss. These may be loss of faith, loss of love, loss of self-respect, loss of hope, among others. These experiences seemingly become shackles or fetters that restrain, even paralyze, individuals.

The show begins with “Apotheosis,” which essays temptations of self-glorification and pride that human beings experience. One tends to deify oneself. In the end, one realizes there can only be One who is greatest, the Giver of all gifts: God. The first dance, therefore, becomes an act of lifting up everything to God, an act of dedicating the concert and all that the troupe does to Him who is Himself the source of all: the supreme apotheosis.

This is followed by various dances that tackle various concepts such as two sisters that exude sinister vibrations (Maevel Lynne Magbanua’s “Tale of Two Sisters”); a daughter who seeks lost attention from a mother lost to technology (Samantha Danille Navarro’s “Techy Love”); a woman who loses self-respect because of a perceived need to meet standards of beauty (Rymarc Bersalona’s “Insecurities vs Confidence”); a woman seeking for a long-desired relationship(Bersalona’s “Leering”); a perfect relationship marred by a loss of life (Jose Venkar Gabayeron’s “The Interpretation 2”); a relationship that has long been fought for, yet surrendered and lost (Magbanua’s “Turning Tables”); and a childhood lost because of domestic issues (Carl John Aquino’s “Child’sPlay”).

Rumi, the Persian poet, theologian, and mystic, says about dance: “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

In this concert, we talk about our losses, only so we may set ourselves free from the pain these losses inflict; so we may gain freedom from loss: Kawala sa Kawalan.