‘Colonial’ returns to the stage this June

By , on May 8, 2014



In the spirit of the 116th year celebration of Philippine Independence Day, Colonial
returns to the stage June 11-12, 2014 at The Scotia Dance Centre. Colonial is a oneman
performance investigating the duress of Spanish and American colonialism in the
Philippines. A group of Filipino and Canadian artists produced this highly collaborative
dance-theatre piece which creates a multimedia experience and analyzes the impact of
colonial subjugation through contemporary dance. After it’s world premiere in 2012 to
critical acclaim, Colonial was seen by over 2000 spectators in both Canada and the Philippines.

See the powerful work this spring in Vancouver before it embarks on a national
tour of the Philippines July – August. Rendered, with pasyon, an epic narrative of death
and resurrection, the performance includes evocative film, music and tour-de-force choreography.

Colonial brings a new source of reflection, aspiring for a better understanding
of freedom and transnational identities.

Conception/Co-direction: Alvin Erasga Tolentino & Dennis Gupa
Choreography and Performance: Alvin Erasga Tolentino
Dramaturgy: Dennis Gupa
Lighting: Jonathan Tsang
Video: Jon Lazam
Music: Angelica Dayao
Costume: John Carlo Pagunaling

In the process, Tolentino established himself as a daring virtuoso dancer, with his
originality, exuberance, technical brilliance and powerful grace.

What is unique about Tolentino is his ability to push dance boundaries with fresh,
new dance movement. He is unconventional yet expressive and therein lies his

Vancouver’s very own, Alvin Erasga Tolentino’s work has spanned close to three
decades interpreting, creating and contributing contemporary dance for Vancouver.
He founded Co.ERASGA in 2000 and since then has brought full-length
memorable works as; SOLA, Bato/Stone, OrienTik/Portrait, Field, Paradise/Paradis,
ADAMEVE-Man/Woman, Shadow Machine and recently EXpose to name a few. An
accomplished international dance artist whose body of works has reflected identity,
gender, interculturalism and cross-cultural collaboration. His touring engagements
and cross cultural collaboration has taken him and Co.ERASGA to over 50 diverse
cities and countries including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore,
Philippines, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and across Canada. In 2010
he received the Vancouver’s Mayor Arts Award for his contribution to the performing
arts in Dance. Tolentino was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada
in 1983.

Dennis Gupa is a theater director who received his MA Theatre Arts degree from
the University of the Philippines where he is also an Assistant Professor. Some of
his selected theatre projects include the works of Frank Wedekind, John Millington
Synge, August Stringberg, Jose Rizal, Aurelio Tolentino, Brian Friel and Carlos
Bulosan. In 2011-2012, he received a grant award from Asian Cultural Council (John
D. Rockefeller 3rd-Rockefeller Brother’s Fund) where he was a director-in-residence
with Obie award winning Ma-Yi Theatre Co., worked as an assistant director with
National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) and observed theatre classes
and rehearsals at the Juilliard Drama School in New York City. Dennis is currently
an MFA Directing (Theatre) student at the Department of Theatre and Film at the
University of British Columbia.

Co.ERASGA would like to gratefully acknowledge its members, the generous individuals,
businesses and following funding bodies for their support: The Canada
Council for the Arts, The City of Vancouver, BC Arts Council, BC Gaming, The Vancouver
Foundation, Hamber Foundation, The Georgia Straight, East Van Graphics
and The Dance Centre