Filipinos Show Off Their Dance Moves
Repertory Theatre will present "Variations in
a Foreign Land IX: Akin. Amin. Atin.," on Sept.
26 and 27 at Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern
Blvd. in Flushing. It is the first production
in recent memory to be devoted exclusively to
The three participating choreographers represent
a sort of "big brother, middle brother and little
brother" of Filipino choreographers working in
the New York dance scene today. The name "Akin.
Amin. Atin." means "for me, for us, for everyone"
|Leonides D. Arpon on the Brooklyn Bridge .
Yangtze Rep under the artistic direction of Joanna
Chan, is more prolific in producing plays-it is
also firmly committed to its dance program, which
makes the organization well-rounded and offers
an opportunity to present non language-based works
to its polyglot audience.
Yantgtze's second production after its founding
was a dance work presented at Pace Downtown Theater,
"4 Makes 5," featuring the work of four choreographers,
one Chinese and three non-Asian choreographers.
This concert set a high standard for succeeding
work and was extremely successful. It led to the
presentation of another work of similar format,
"Among Us," with all Asian choreographers. Realizing
it had an affinity for these group works, Yangtze
coined the title "Variations in a Foreign Land"
in 1997 and began a recurring series of dance
productions in that name.
Over the years, the "Variations in a Foreign Land"
series has presented a succession of well-received
dance concerts featuring both new and established
artists from Japan, Korea, China, Philippines,
America and Guatemala.
|Max Luna III at rehearsal for Yangtze Rep’s “Variations in a Foreign Land V” Leo on the
Luna III recently returned to Ballet Philippines
as artistic director, bringing full circle a career
spanning nearly 35 years and six continents to
as an internationally acclaimed performer, teacher
and choreographer. As a student, Mr. Luna began
his training at the Cultural Center of the Philippines
and continued in the United States at such prestigious
institutions as the American Ballet Theater School,
the School of American Ballet and the Joffrey
Ballet School. From there he went on to dance
with Ballet International de Caracas, Ballet Hispanico,
Joyce Trisler Dance Company, Les Ballets Jazz
de Montreal and finally, six highly acclaimed
years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
Along with his stage career, he has also appeared
on television in the "Bill Cosby Show," the PBS
series "Dance in America," the "Kennedy Center
Honors" and on the Italian network, RAI, in a
documentary on the Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theatre. As a teacher, Mr. Luna has been praised
for a keen movement sense complimented by an in-depth
knowledge of dance techniques. This is Luna's
fourth collaboration with Yangtze Rep since 1999.
Gerald Casel was born in the Philippines and received
a BFA from The Juilliard School and an MFA from
the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee assisted
by an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship.
Casel will be represented by a new duet, "Exit
Skeleton," which he created on a commission from
Da Da Dance Project and will have its official
premiere during these performances. It will be
performed by Da Da Dance Project.
Leonides D. Arpon, a Filipino born in Israel,
studied at the Bat-Dor Dance School under the
direction Rosaline Subel Kassel before joining
the Bat-Dor Dance Company under the direction
of Jeannette Ordman, where he worked with choreographers
such as Luciano Canitto, Randy Duncan, and Igal
There will also be a solo piece by Arpon, to be
created at the Dance Omi International Dance Collective
where he will be a resident choreographer this
For more information or to buy tickets visit flushingtownhall.org
or call (718) 463-7700.