• Dance on social issues to debut in Manila

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    The rights of indigenous people to use their ancestral land and the issues of mining and its harmful effects on the natural environment are at the center of Mulat: Ang Hindi Sinukuan sa Arayat, a dance directed and choreographed by Justin Ray Diolazo.

    The ballet follows Liway and her spirit guardian, Maria Sinukuan, the divinity of Mt. Arayat, as they act to protect their community from the encroachment of mining companies.

    Cheska Vasallo as Liwayand director Justin Diolazo

    Written by Nicko de Guzman, with music by Paulo Estero, the team also include Jay Lorenz Conanan for set design and Sandro de la Pena for costume design, while the duo of Kyle Dionisio and James Stephen Lavariaz collaborated on graphic design.

    Mulat also stars Angela Sison, Alyana Tolentino, Cheska Vasallo, Christian Cusi, Doori Chin, Gianina David, Inah Abrasaldo, Khylle Paulino, Kyle Confessor, Neil John Casagan, Ruthame Hurtado, Yella Carlos and Zyra Verastique.

    Born to a family of musicians, director and choreographer Diolazo studied at the Agoo School of Ballet in 2006, before transferring to the Philippine High School for the Arts in Mt. Makiling on a full scholarship.

    He was likewise a scholar of the CCP Dance School (now known as Ballet Philippines Dance School) from 2011 to 2014, and was part of its various productions, such as “Starzan Gubatman,” “A Forest Tale,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Cinderella,” and “Giselle,” among others.

    The nymphs Alyana Tolentino and Gianina David in reherarsals

    Diolazo is in his last term as a student of the Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance program at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde with this production as his theater thesis. He is presently a company artist of Saint Benilde Romançon Dance Company­— the college’s resident dance company.

    Performances will be on July 28, 7 pm, and on July 29, 1 pm and 7 pm, at the Black Box Theater, sixth floor, of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts Campus. Tickets are available at the ninth floor hallway of the School of Design and Art Campus.

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