Monthly Archives: June 2009

Dance Dance Dance

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Maki Morishita, "debutante"

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Dance is a wonderful thing — like, poetry in motion. Some are quite straightforward, while some are abstract. Contemporary dance leans toward the latter form, crossing the boundaries of dance, as most of us know it (ballet, chacha, folk — a set of dance steps), and performance art, which for me has meant public action with a strong statement.

The Japan Foundation, Manila is participating once again in this year’s WiFi Body Festival, the fourth year of the annual contemporary dance festival initiated by Myra Beltran, Paul Morales and their other partners in the Contemporary Dance Network Philippines. 

It has been nice to have witnessed the development of the festival from the time it started until its present programming. While building an audience for contemporary dance in the Philippines must still be an ongoing concern, the organizers of this festival should take pride in the talent that they have consistently featured and nurtured throughout the years.

This year, the Japan Foundation, Manila and the Embassy of Japan invited Maki Morishita, a Japanese dancer-choreographer,  to perform in the Festival. Needless to say, it will be a special performance on July 2, Thursday, 8PM at the CCP Little Theater. Not only will her performance be a new collaboration with Filipino dancer-choreographer Rhosam Prudenciado, Jr. (Grand Prize winner of the prestigious contemporary dance competition in Yokohama), it is also a one-night only affair, and an arts offering commemorating Philippines-Japan Friendship Month in July.

Scheduling conflicts aside (the JFM’s Eiga Sai also opens on the same day, almost the same time, at the Shangri-La Mall cinemas), we really hope that many people come and watch Maki Morishita and the BP II alumni. The artists will be seen live; in their strong, “fighting” forms —  the embodiment of Philippine and Japanese talent at their best.

The JFM is giving away (a limited number of) tickets to Ms. Morishita’s July 2 performance. So call 811-6155 to 58 now for these FREE tickets!

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It’s That Time of the Year

Take your pick! Choose your pleasure.

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English Manga: Get it Fresh at the JFM Library

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And these are not the yellow nor green ones from the tree. The manga I mean are Japanese comic books. All fresh and covered with plastic!

I came upon reading manga really late (as in only-this-year-in-all-my-living-years-late), as most of  my comic reading materials were American in orientation — MAD, Archie, even Heavy Metal. One really big factor in that is the fact that most of the manga (at least in my reach) were in Japanese. And despite learning elementary Japanese, this wasn’t enough for me to read, let alone fully comprehend Japanese yet. Try as I might, even with a voluminous Japanese-English dictionary on hand, I get exhausted after 30 minutes of checking/re-checking text covering all but 2 pages. I revert back to just looking at the pictures, and it really is a pity because manga is not just about the drawings, it is the story.

young manga enthusiasts "pretending" to read Japanese text manga
young manga enthusiasts “pretending” to read Japanese text manga

 An interesting gateway to manga for me was “Nodame Cantabile” as I was getting into the mood for an upcoming classical music project. It was a nice read providing useful information and insight on the dynamics of the players in the classical music industry. I simultaneously read “Nana” and enjoyed the intrigue-filled rock and roll life of the two lead characters both named Nana. After going through the two manga series in two weeks (some people might think that’s too slow… but I do have a full time job 😉 ), I can understand how fans would like to see their well-loved manga characters come to life via animation, live-action series and movies, and how some would even like to be the manga characters — hello, cosplay!

who is she?

who is she?

the spiky yellow hair is a giveaway

the spiky yellow hair is a giveaway

There are more titles in the JFM Library — I am still gathering courage to read Deathnote! 

The JFM LIBRARY is located at the Ground Floor of the Pacific Star Building, Sen. Gil Puyat cor. Makati Avenue, Makati City.

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