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WifiBody PH returns to the stage this October

Lead by their new director Christine Crame

After two years of the pandemic and one online iteration, WifiBody PH, the groundbreaking choreography competition, returns to the stage this October at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with a new director at the helm.

Esteemed dancer, choreographer, and educator, Christine Crame, a finalist of the competition 14 years ago, comes full circle with her return to WifiBody PH. This time, to lead.

New WifiBody PH Director Christine Crame. 

“It is a feeling of completion for me since I started my choreographic career after the 2008 WifiBody Competition where I got the audience choice award for my piece “Bounce.”

Her piece, she recounted, was inspired by the movement she saw when she watched basketball games.

“I felt that those body movements and leaps are equal to what I see with dancers in the studio. And it was quite a queer beginning with the two dancers doing basketball moves on the floor lying down.”

The spirit of experimentation and innovation that imbued Christine’s work is what WifiBody PH is all about. It’s a platform for “young dancemakers to showcase their progressive and innovative works that will spark a light of inspiration and promote local contemporary dance.”

WifiBody PH 2022 will feature 12 new works in competition by emerging choreographers from Baguio, Bicol, Butuan, Iloilo, Romblon, Samar, and Metro Manila. The works offer fresh perspectives on gender, media, and relationships with the self, the other, and objects, with new voices yet to be heard in the dance scene.

“Their works mostly echoes their personal sentiments, worldly victories and struggles. Some pieces will leave you with clear resolution while the others will make you ponder with an open ending,” says Christine.

She serves as the head for many companies including artistic director for Benilde Experimental Dance, Artistic Director/Performer for Seven Contemporary Dance Company, and co-director of Ground 1 Arts Retreat Space. Currently, she is a full-time faculty member of DLS-CSB where was chair for the Academic Dance Program of the School of Design and Arts from 2010-2019.

At Ballet Philippines, she rose the ranks from company scholar to company member/soloist from 1994-2005, doing both classical and contemporary roles. “I have an equal love for both classical and contemporary, but I think mastering the classical form will give you enough courage to break the form and create experimental works,” she adds.

Her major roles in a production include Darna, Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan and Darna once again for “Ding ang Bato” last 2018 at School of Design and Arts Theater of the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde.

“I love the absolute beauty of classical form and it is a different kind of fulfillment when you dance classical pieces,” Christine said. “I have so much obsession with flying and so my favorite role I played was Peter Pan for classical and Darna for contemporary. Both were flying high on stage.”

As the new director of WifiBody PH, Christine follows in the footsteps of Myra Beltran and Denisa Reyes, the pioneering spirits behind the CCP Choreographers Series of which WifiBody PH is a part of.

“Denisa Reyes and Myra Beltran are forerunners of Philippine Contemporary Dance. They were able to bridge the independent dance sector to the CCP, mentored and produced countless names and established a contemporary dance archive with an international track record,” Christine said. “It is in their name that I continue on. The vastness of their work is hard to equal, but there is nowhere else to go but to extend beyond where they left off and work on inclusivity and sustainability.”

WifiBody PH, the first tier of the CCP Choreographers Series, is a biannual competition exclusively for solo-duet form. It’s a form that pushes choreographers to bare their artistic vision as it emphasizes intimacy and conciseness.

The CCP Choreographers Series starts with WifiBody PH, which is then followed by Koryolab, a laboratory and showcase of experimental dance pieces by mid-career choreographers. To cap the series, NeoFilipino provides a venue for established choreographers to create and stage major works in collaboration with artists of other art forms.

“Choreographers are important,” Christine explains, “because they are part of the circle of dance. It is part of the creative dance continuum that is always constant. WifiBody PH opens a path and leads the young dancemakers to creative possibilities.”

WifiBody PH 2022 will be held at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute on Oct. 15, 2 p.m. for Set A and 4:30pm for Set B. — T. Logarta

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the new normal protocol of the CCP will still be implemented. Everyone is advised to wear a face mask upon entering the premises and bring a vaccination card/certificate (e-copies are allowed). Find out more about CCP’s new normal protocol here.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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