Katilau Co., a group of contemporary dancers, most of whom hail from Iloilo, one province that has produced some notable names in the field of dance, was invited by the Municipal Government of Gasan, through Mayor Vicky Lao Lim to create dances inspired by our local culture.
The dancers must have soaked themselves profusely in local rituals like moryonan, antipo, popua, pugutan as they managed to come up with a highly successful 1 1/2 hour show of interpretive dances on Black Saturday evening at Gasan's Guingona Park.
The municipal government has decided to forego with this year's mounting of the stage play, "Pugutan", a two-hour show with a huge cast that according to the lady mayor has cost the municipio some P400,000 annually to produce. "This does not mean that we are doing away with the "Pugutan" which will be presented again next year", the mayor said.
Two of the lead dancers of Katilau also accepted the invitation of this blogger to perform a doxology for the "Ang Kristo: Pasyondula" presentation at the Moriones Arena in Boac, one of the few occasions where contemporary ballet movements was performed in the capital town, sharing their "Ave Maria" (above photo).
The other dances were inspired by the Moriones and Pugutan street rituals. It will be recalled that Agnes Locsin, one of the most progressive dance choreographers in the country who hails from Davao, used the same ritual as inspiration for "Moriones" that earned for her the silver medal and the Prince Takamado Award in the 1991 International Choreographer's Concourse in Tokyo. Locsin's Moriones was described as a piece "where the male dancers turned, whirled and jumped on each other’s backs to a very rhythm-contagious soundtrack, leaving the viewer pleasantly exhausted at the end".
"Moryonan", meanwhile, that also took off from the local ritual was part of the "Viva Marinduque-Ani ng Sining" cultural tour of the island in 2008 and 2009 that was choreographed by the Balangaw ensemble.
Other photos here show Katilau's awe-inspiring movements of their own version of "Moryonan" and "Pugutan". Katilau roughly means "have a taste of it" in Ilonggo.
GASCUAF's cultural director, Rex Asuncion paved the way for the group's Marinduque performance.