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A Student of Classical Ballet

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1. What does Orosa stand for in the dance scene of the Philippines?

As a student of classical ballet, she was able to stylize folk dances that were used for rituals into dances that were able to be performed in theaters and translated for more than just the rituals in the ethnic tribes.

Leonor Luna Orosa-Goquinco is the National Artist for Dance and is considered the Mother of Philippine Dance Theater. She was also considered to be the pioneer Filipino choreographer in balletic folkloric and Asian styles. She became known as " Trailblazer", "Mother of Philippine Theater Dance", and " Dean of Filipino Performing Arts Critics" for being a pioneer to a lot of original and brilliantly difficult choreography.

There is much credit to be given to Mrs. Leonor Orosa-Goquingco due to her contribution to modern dance and modern folk dance that allows the Philippine culture to move steadily from a raw form of dance to forms of dance in its highest stages of development.

She dedicated her whole life to the art of dance and paved the way for the further development of Philippine dance. Having been blessed in the field for the arts she was able to further express the Philippine culture into dance, and thus, innovate entirely fresh choreographies with the use of her background in ballet.

2. Is her choreography classical or folk?

Leonor was able to blend elements of classical ballet with Philippine folk dances; thus, incorporating both classical and folk in her dance choreographies. She was able to take the folk dances and add the discipline and the backbone of ballet to further enhance it to a dance that is less crude, which common of ethnic dances, and made more creative.

She was very particular about posture, arm and leg positions, as well as the pointing of the hands and feet as if in the style of classical ballet, and yet she did these not in the common sense as she was able to incorporate these techniques into dancing the different Filipino folk dances.

Orosa-Goquinco's style is a hybrid of folk dances and classical. She had choreographed dances which had stories of folk origin and mixing them with mostly classical ballet. Stories revolved on Filipino life and culture.

3. Is there anything different or unique with the way she moves the body of the dancer?

Yes, like what one of her students said, her movement is like waves of water and she's a perfectionist so every little or simple mistakes may contribute to the entire performance. Even her students were moved and stunned by the pieces Orosa has made.

I think that the unique way she moves the body of the dancer is how she's very much particular with really maximizing the space around the dancer's body, as well as showing gracefulness yet with emphasis on

the positioning of not only the arms and legs but also up to the tip of the fingers, toes, and head of the body. She also emphasized the body length as in the ballet style as she tells her dancers to really extend their backs, necks, and bodies as to show flexibility and display the body's form.

Yes, the movements she choreographs are very smooth and liquid. You always see the passion and dedication in the way the dancers move.

4. Beyond the native costumes and allusions to Philippine dances, what makes her dances Filipino? How are they movements of the Filipino body?

Not only does she show being Filipino through the costumes and cultural inspirations, she also showed it through the drama or the scenes in her dance. There is no aspect of Philippine life that she had not interpreted in dance. Orosa's dances are Filipino and her movements are one of the Filipino body because her dances interpret Filipino life and practices such as her works in Eon Ago: The Creation which depicts the Filipino legend of the creation of the world, Festival of Maguindanao which depicts Muslim royal weddings, The bird and the planters which includes rice-planting sequences and a new version of the Tinikling. She has revolutionized folk dancing by integrating ballet so all her dances have the element of Filipino folk dance. The theater dances that she has choreographed are also Filipino such as the Her Son, Jose Rizal. Orosa has never strayed away from Filipino movements and choreography in her dances. Her dances have always reflected the life, practices and culture of Filipinos.

5. Plato

According to Plato, two worlds exist simultaneously - the physical world and the intelligible world. The physical world is believed to be the shadow of the intelligible world, otherwise known as immaterial world. Also, Plato mentioned that the better part should rule; not body/mind dualism.

Plato believed that the body is from the material world and its soul is from the world of ideas; thus, making the soul immortal. The soul would be temporarily be inside the body and would be separated through death until it would return to the world of forms. Forms are considered the true reality which was experienced by the soul. The body is only considered empty. This shows that the soul does not exist in time and space so it can access universal truths. Sometimes,



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