Behind the Curtains: WMSU Jambangan
July 11, 2011
WMSU Jambangan

WMSU Jambangan

A woman, her bosom hugged by a skimpy black cloth, her legs wrapped around a stainless steel pole, in a moment she exhibited such fluid’s grace as she ascend through the cold metal. In another instant, she was joined in by another female dressed in the same black array. The spectators were caught goggle-eyed.

Let it be known that I wasn’t in a gentlemen’s strip joint, it was the breakthrough Pole dance performance of the Jambangan Dance Troupe and Jambangan Cultural Dance Company, Inc. at the Dr. Juanito Bruno Gymnasium of the university. The dance concert titled aXLRate: a Dancert was held last July 8 and a repeat followed a day after.

aXLRate: a Dancert promised to be an evening of moving and awestricken dance performances from the first-rate dance groups in this part of the region. Selected as the country’s representative for this year’s 6th Sabah-Malaysia International Folklore Festival (SIFF), the dance concert intends to raise funds for the delegation’s upcoming venture. The said festival will be on July 17-26 at the Sabah Cultural Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. The festival will convene 18 dance companies from Malaysia and 17 companies from other countries including the Philippines.

The show’s repertoire featured a variety of local and foreign dance genres. The WMSU Jambangan started with a Praise dance, which also served as a rich and immense dance overture of all the dance numbers of the event. The tight-packed and elating introduction indeed held the audience to expect more of their talent and showmanship.

Swing: Life’s Grand Tapestry

Offering a three-part special, the first part was dubbed as “Swing”, in which the opening was a fusion of ethnic, creative and jazz medley movements. This part of the show depicts how the dance is interwoven in the story of life.

South Pacific: More than the usual

South Pacific, the next suite sent out a rich and vivid impression of the islands in the Pacific. Sulu Dance, Tahitian Dance and To you Sweetheart Aloha were just some of the exquisite and sultry dances which becharmed the audience. The audience was also enthralled by the Glowfly dance and Poi Dance, in which, the sophisticated movements of the dance props kept them in astonishment.

Poi is a form of dance, where balls on the ends of ropes are swung through rhythmical patterns. Dancers utililized a pair of roughly arm-length chains with handles attached to one end, and bundle of wicking material on the other. Poi was popularized throughout the world largely by fire spinning. The ensemble’s Poi performance is a rare showcase in the city.

Kaleidoscope: A Flurry of Colors and Forms

The last part of the series was titled Kaleidoscope, in every sense of the word, means complex pattern of constantly changing colors and shapes. The last part reflected the constantly changing patterns of movements and music brought about by pieces of celebrated Broadway musicales, exquisite Latin dances and ending up with breath-taking dances on air.

The show featured mainly the fast-growing dance discipline of Pole dancing. Pole dance is a form of performing art, a combination of dance and gymnastics. It involves dancing and performing acrobatic tricks with a vertical pole and is an increasingly popular form of fitness and dance.

On the other hand, the group made a repeat of the Aerial dance, in which five dancers all together exhibit their dexterity in exploring space in three dimensions. The ability to incorporate vertical, as well as horizontal movement paths, allowed for creativity and discipline in the choreography and movement vocabulary.

Indeed, Jambangan distills these different forms of dances into something distinctively Filipino. Having produced several outstanding repertoires over the years, the company has been acclaimed for its exceptional dance foundation, creativity in their dance pieces and their commendable showmanship. Renowned in the Asian region, Jambangan has really translated prominence in terms of culture preservation and promotion, talent and innovation. Thus, fitting to represent the nation to a much larger audience – the world.

Sitting at the helm of the event’s success was the supportive College of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports Dean- Prof. Elmer Labad. And definitely the WMSU-Jambangan Production Staff did an excellent job as well. Composed of the Stage Director-Prof. Roberto S. Bondoc Jr.; Wardrobe and Props In-charge-Prof. Dieza Teresita Eva Asaral; Artistic Director-Prof. Ma. Blancaflor Jimeno; and for the Choreographers whose innate talent and brilliance exuded through the dance-Prof. Arlene Ucol, Prof. Nathaniel Saavedra, Prof. Roberto Bondoc Jr., Prof. and Ma. Blancaflor Jimeno. Also acknowledged for her amaranthine influence and support to the groups was Jambangan Dance Troupe’s founder, Alicia Lourdes Mas-Soriano.