‘Ba-e Makiling’ Filipino dance-theater to premiere in SF

/ 02:26 AM August 12, 2016


SAN FRANCISCO – A re-imagined indigenous, mythological love story will be told through the emerging genre of Philippine dance-theater performance by collaborating San Francisco Bay Area artists.


Ba-e Makiling was inspired by Philippine myths and native spirituality and created by Philippine dance choreographer Jay Loyola, in collaboration with composer Florante Aguilar of the award-winning documentary Harana and Kularts’ Artistic Director Alleluia Panis. Its world premiere will be presented by Kularts on September 9-11 and 16-18 at Bindlestiff Studio on 6th Street.

Set before the coming of Europeans, in an imagined remote village at the foot of Mount Makiling, the deity Ba-e Makiling, guardian of the dormant volcano unexpectedly falls in love with an injured hunter Lakai. Their relationship serves as an empowering message to re-discover and reclaim the indigenous self-denied as a result of centuries of colonization.

For this production, Loyola’s innovative dance movements deliberately draw upon “barrio or rural” celebratory native dances by Christianized Filipinos of Luzon and the Visayan islands. Rooted in deep pre-colonized cultures, these dances were strategically disguised as depictions of contented farmers and happy fishermen when the Spanish came, to prevent Spanish Catholic priests from banning them as dances of the devil.

The choreography in Ba-e Makiling investigates the hidden characteristics harbored in the “celebratory” dance form and its connections to other indigenous forms of warrior arts, spirituality, rituals and tribal justice.

makiling 2

For Loyola, who has created over 50 Filipino folk dances performed worldwide, Ba-e Makiling will be unlike any other work he has created throughout his career: “My past projects were focused on the indigenous Non-Christianized dance movements from the isolated islands and far flung highlands of the Philippines. Ba-e Makiling explores the deeper cultural concepts these movements were based in, and how these movements are connections to our pre-colonial practices.”

The full-length 50-minute dance theater piece will be performed by 11 dancers: Isa Musni; Jonathan Mercado; Danielle Cruz Galvez; Frances Sedayao; Ronald Inocencio; June Arellano; Stephanie Herrera; Darren Garza; Eden Alcomendas; Aly Beltran and Dennison Gallardo to an original score inspired by the Philippine traditional musical genre of percussion gongs, chants, drums and flute by Florante Aguilar, creator of the award-winning documentary, Harana: The Search for the Lost Art of Serenade, two weekends at Bindlestiff Studio in the South of Market (SoMa).

Kularts presents the world premiere of Ba-e Makiling

Weekend I:


FRI SEPT 9, 7:30 PM | SAT SEPT 10, Matinee – 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM | SUN SEPT 11, Matinee – 2:30 PM

Weekend II:

FRI Sept 16, 7:30 PM | SAT SEPT 17, Matinee – 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM | SUN SEPT 18, Matinee – 2:30 PM

Bindlestiff Studio

185 – 6th Street San Francisco, CA

Advance Online Tickets:

Advance: $18, at the door: $22

For more information about the characters, story and Ba-e Makiling production visit:

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TAGS: Ba-e Makiling, Bindlestiff Studio, Florante Aguilar, Harana documentary, Jay Loyola, Kularts’ Artistic Director Alleluia Panis, Philippine dance-theater, Philippines indigenous myths
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