Saigon raves over IPAG’s ‘Uwahig’

‘Uwahig,’ a multi-media interplay of dance, chants, music, and film on the Mindanao Indarapatra-Sulayman epic and the Bukidnon flood myth received resounding responses during the play’s performance at the Asia Pacific Bureau Drama Schools Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The festival was held Sept. 5 to 10 in what was once the capital of South Vietnam, now renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

IPAG was in Saigon to represent the Philippines together with the Ateneo de Manila in a festival that drew established universities in the Asia and Pacific that have performance arts disciplines in their curriculum.

Fifteen universities from ten countries joined this year’s edition. IPAG as the MSU-IIT arm joined Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Korean National University of the Arts, Lasalle College of the Arts (Singapore), Indonesia Institute of Arts Yogyakarta, Mongolia State University, Taipei National University of the Arts, the Shanghai Theatre Academy, and National Institute of Dramatic Arts (Australia), among many others.

The APB is allied with the UNESCO-International Theatre Institute (ITI). ITI Director General Tobias Biancone attended all performances and sessions.

The critiques and blurbs were remarkable. From Biancone: “…very good…. I felt the threats of nature and conflicts… I am utterly amazed by the high quality of all the productions. This is the best theatre school festival I have ever attended.”

Peers were equally impressed. My Phat Center Director Daisy Baodungcan remarked “… woeful and majestic!”  Dr. Jeff Janisheski, pedagogue in the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, Australia, was demonstrative, “…very beautiful… very intense…” echoing the impression of his colleague Dr. Janys Allen of University of Wollongong, Australia, “It was very tragic, very sad, and very painful.”

More blurbs: “…very lovely… wonderful storytelling!…” Dr. Edith Podesta, Dean, La Salle College of the Arts, Singapore, and “… wonderful… I cannot explain [my feeling]…” Hardy Bin Buyong, Director, University Sains Malaysia.

‘Uwahig,’ a play written and directed by Steven Patrick C. Fernandez (Music by Geejay Langlois and Mebuyan) has represented the country in the ITI Festival in Manila, and the Taipei International Arts Festival. It was also entry in the recent CCP National Theatre Festival and the 2011 NCCA Tanghal.

In the Saigon cast are Arlem M. Abanes (also Tour Manager), John Michael Lagura, Blesy Cece, Herninigildo Dico (Stage Manager), Melvin Pascubillo, and Vicmar Paloma (Designer and Technical Director).

Photos (courtesy of IPAG):

Scenes from IPAG’s “UWAHIG” performed during the Asia Pacific Bureau Drama Schools Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Topics : ipag