Am, But, & Other Uncertainties [Bantawan Theatre Staging]

Time: approx. 40 mins. December 8, 9, and 10, 2010
Space: Bantawan Sugbu Theatre, Cebu City
Credits: [Music]"Mining in the Rain" by Colleen, "The Dance Of The Skeleton Lords" by Tibetan Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery, "Crazy in Love" by Antony Hegarty, "Fletta" by Antony & the Johnsons Feat. Brk, Original Aleatoric Saxophone – Prof. Raymund Fernandez (XO?)
Collaborators: Raymund Fernandez
Video Documentation: He[sit]ation / Am, But
Photo Documentation: Sam Kho / Mecca Maranga

It was the precision and minimalism of Noh theatre that first drew me to the Japanese performance style. I experimented with basic Noh movements and incorporated them into my performances including the kimono-based costuming. Despite this appropriation, my own kinetic visual language remained heavily dependent on the aleatoric music provided by my fellow XO? members, in that my movements were reactions to the sound they produced and vice versa.

I described my body movements “organic” as they were all bound by chance, not only due to the accompanying sound but also in terms of space, costuming, my own state of mind and other unprecedented factors.

When I chanced upon Butoh, I realized that the art form and its creators had very similar intentions with mine as far as dance; movement and its subjects were concerned. I have always held a fascination with the grotesque, how it typifies so much more truth, and in its abundance of truth- revealed beauty. Instead of stubbornly insisting on my goals as entirely original, I embraced and adopted Butoh as the form in which this aspect of my work is classified.

With Butoh, I find a more honest approach to dance, and a deeper connection between body and soul. When I dance, it becomes less of a physical action but more of a spiritual revelation. The three performances discuss universal confrontations with the self: He[sit]ation is a battle between two choices. Am, but (my cards on the table) is a laying out of what one has, and consequently what one lacks, a calculation of the self. As in finding a solution to a mathematical equation, the character seeks to find a resolution for his existential dilemma. Fletta is a surrender to the unknown universal and the inevitable, a dance inside the delicate web of love.

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