A dance production composed of dramatized ballet performances about the life of Andres Bonifacio took the stage of the Martin Hall of Ateneo de Davao University, last night, Aug. 19.
The dance production, entitled Neo-Filipino Rock Supremo, presented the life of Andres Bonifacio ranging from his history, his life as a revolutionary, his eventual betrayal by his fellow Filipinos, and his death.
The concept and choreography were produced by the Ballet Philippines, a ballet company globally recognized as the Philippines’ flagship company in ballet and contemporary dance, in partnership with RockEd Philippines, an organization that focuses on providing efficient alternative education avenues.
Edana Labitoria, one of the artistic directors from Ballet Philippines and also one of the dancers, said that it was about retelling the history of Andres Bonifacio through dance and music.
“The production is all about Andres Bonifacio, minsan kasi ang story ni Bonifacio hindi known, so this production is about showing Bonifacio’s life through dance. Hindi lang siya ang buhay ni Bonifacio kundi ang side din ni Gregoria, bilang asawa niya.
“Sa process ng production, nakikita kung paano siya humirap, kung paano siya pinatay, kung paano siya tinakwil ng mga sarili niyang kapwa Pilipino and all,” she said.
However, according to Louise John Ababon, a dancer who portrayed Emilio Aguinaldo in the performance, last night was not the first time it was presented and that it was first performed in the year 2013 in celebration of Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary.
“Ginawa po naming ito noong 2013, exactly during the 150th [birth] anniversary of Bonifacio,” he said in an interview with Atenews.
When asked why the production was revived, Ababon said that it was to remind the children of Philippine history.
“For some reason, kailangan i-revive ito to remind kids, especially teenagers of our culture and our history. I guess it’s worth to recall these things kasi hindi alam ng lahat ng mga bata ang history ng Pilipinas. From the colonization ng mga ibang bansa, to the formation of the Philippine constitution and the current conflicts among Filipinos,” he said.
Labitoria also added that another reason for the show’s revival was because they wanted to reach a wider audience in order to spread the history.
“Rock Supremo was only shown in Manila during 2013, and then sa Dumaguete. But we wanted a wider range of audience for the awareness kasi history din siya. So [we chose to present it] through dance, para hindi siya masyado boring, kasi medyo iyon [boring] pa rin sa mga paningin ng mga tao, lalo na sa mga estudyante,” she said.
Meanwhile, when asked how it felt to perform, Ababon said the responsibility of depicting characters was a challenging yet fulfilling task.
“Nakakaba ang responsibilidad kasi mahirap. Bilang dancers, we have to portray our characters. Like for me, I had to portray Emilio Aguinaldo. And we all know Aguinaldo was the president, and Andres Bonifcacio was one of the himagsikan. It’s a big responsibility pero ang saya sa puso na isayaw ito, because we’re retelling the story through dance,” he said.