“Sarimanok” the dance drama musical by IPAG Artistic Director Steven P. C. Fernandez opens today, Nov. 28 and will have performances on the 29th at 3:00 p.m. andt 7:30 p.m. at the MSU-IIT gym.


Fernandez, who also wrote and arranged the music for Sarimanok directs the remounting of this acclaimed obra.

Choreographers are veterans Melvin Pascubillo and Leilani Fernandez assisted by Dance Mistress Lilybeth Maraon and Associate Directors Michael Lagura and Blesy Cece. Hermi Dico who also designed the costumes, sets, and props stage manages with Production Management by Sheila Canete and Marketing by Arlem Abanes.

Sarimanok , inspired by the M’ranao pseudo-bird icon of wealth and prestige narrates of a legendary bird whose responsibility is to feed the flock. Learning how to fly through a vagabond Ibon who accidentally stumbles on their land called Bayang Lawa, Sarimanok oversteps tradition. The harsh laws deal her the ultimate punishment for her transgressions.

When then five-year-old Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) journeyed on its first road show to Silliman University in 1981, little did its artists expect that this trip would signal IPAG’s debut into the competitive world of the performing arts. A string of acclamations followed after the venerable Albert Faurot reviewed the musical and tagged the work a “coup d’ theatre.”

Consequently, the dance-musical became the Guild’s signature production highlighting IPAG’s international repertoire in festivals in Europe and Asia, and receiving more rave reviews from critics like National Artists Leonor Orosa-Goquingco and Lucresia KasilagBasilio Villaruz, Doreen Fernandez, among others.

The first version of Sarimanok toured in 1982 and 1983 (also as an event in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the U.P.) andearned for its playwright a fellowship to the 1986 U.P. National Writers Workshop, which play later won a U.P. Likhaan. CCP awarded it with Production and Touring Grants and the UST Publishing House through author Arthur Casanova included it in an anthology.

The present 2013 version is supported by a production grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

It includes new music numbers and explores approaches different from the original version’s. Original music and dance rooted in the pangalay – the dance’s pedagogy being the legacy of IPAG co-founder Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa – makes this a compelling work that has engaged large audiences of all levels. Contributed news for OC-OPI

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