The American contemporary ballet company Trey McIntyre Project (TMP) has conducted master classes in ballet, modern dance and technical direction in Manila and Iloilo City, including interactions with the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Dance Troupe.
These workshops and performances were part of DanceMotion USA program of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Philippine tour was held in partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music through the auspices of the US embassy in Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
The program is aimed at sharing the rich dance culture of the United States with international audiences.
The interaction with the Ramon Obusan company as well as workshops on dance and technical direction were held in Manila at the CCP and College of St. Benilde’s School for Design and Art.
Dance and technical workshops were also held in Iloilo City at Central Philippines University, Claravall-Gonzalez School for Classical Dance, and Sol Fernandez School of Dance.
The Trey McIntyre Project also had a creative interaction with indigenous artists from Panay and Bukidnon by Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan or National Folk Artist Federico Caballero, which was facilitated by Christine Muyco, chair of the theory and composition department of the College of Music of the University of the Philippines.
The master classes were offered free to the dancers and students sent by different dance companies in response to the invitation extended by the CCP.
Participating dance companies in Manila were Ballet Philippines; UP Dance Company; Air Dance; La Salle Dance Company; Seven Contemporary Dance Group; St. Benilde Romancion Dance Company; Ballet Manila; and Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company.
Participating dance companies in Iloilo City were INHS-Dagyaw Baile; Claravall Gonzalez School; Sol Fernandez School of Dance; and Annie Divinagracia Sartorio Dance School.
Dance companies from Bacolod and Silay cities also participated.
McIntyre is one of the most sought-after choreographers working today. He has created a body of over 90 works for companies such as American Ballet Theater; Stuttgart Ballet; Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; New York City Ballet; and Ballet Santiago (Chile). He formed his acclaimed Trey McIntyre Project in 2008, based in Boise, Idaho.
At the welcome reception at the CCP on May 8, CCP president Raul Sunico paid tribute to the cultural exchanges between the CCP and the US embassy. Allan Holst, cultural affairs officer of the US embassy, gave an overview of the dance exchange program.
John Michael Schert, executive director of Trey McIntyre Project, noted that having “worked with many embassies and cultural organizations around the world so far, [I think] the Philippines has been the most organized.”
The Ramon Obusan group performed “Dinuy-a,” an Ifugao dance celebrating a bountiful harvest. Ballet Philippines performed an original dance piece, “Halik” (The Kiss), choreographed by its artistic director, Paul Morales, with original music by Jed Balsamo. Both are resident dance companies of the CCP.
The Trey McIntyre Project also gave free performances to a huge crowd at the CPU Rose Memorial Auditorium in Iloilo City on May 10; and at the activity center of Market! Market! mall in Taguig City on May 12.
To inaugurate DanceMotion USA’s first international exchange, McIntyre will choose an Asian dance company to tour the United States. TMP says it plans to return to the Philippines in 2014 for more workshops and performances.