Specialized dance group El Gamma Penumbra is not new to televised talent competitions having joined Pilipinas Got Talent and It’s Showtime in previous years. In both competitions, the group won top honors for their unique shadow play routines.
This year, El Gamma Penumbra takes its talent to the international stage by joining Asia’s Got Talent. Brave, creative and skilled, the group has proven that it has what it takes to be this region’s bet.
The group received the Golden Buzzer vote by judge Anggun immediately qualifying them to the next round.
In this email interview with The Manila Times, the group, through their manager Dong Pilotos talk about their experience and preparation for the semifinals that began on Thursday at Singapore.
The Manila Times (TMT): Can you talk about the performance that the group prepared for Asia’s got Got Talent? How long did you learn that routine?
El Gamma Penumbra (EGP): That piece in the judges’ audition was a product of five hours of brainstorming among the members headed by our creative director Marvin Marfa and I. We wanted to show them something that is simple but happy in spirit. So we conceptualized a story of childhood sweethearts who became lovers that traveled around the world. It took seven days of rehearsals for the team to finalize the whole thing.
TMT: Everyone—from the crowd to the judges—loved your performance. How do you feel about it?
EGP: It was an indescribable feeling. We realized we were all in tears during that moment.
TMT: What came into your mind when the crowd started to cheering, “Push that gold (buzzer)’?”
EGP: We were hopeful. There were in-stant prayers rushing in our heads. It’s quite nerve-racking experience because it wasn’t an easy emotion to handle that very moment.
TMT: Did you expect judge Anggun would really push that buzzer? Why did you think she did?
EGP: No, we did not expect that deci-sion of hers. We were waiting for each of the judges to give a “yes” because that alone would be too much to receive. But for Anggun to press the buzzer, wow! Maybe, she was just really moved by the performance.
TMT: Now that you’re in the semis, what preparations is the group doing.
EGP: First, we go to church together thanking God and asking Him again for wisdom. We always trust in His ways that whatever we come up is God’s perfect plan for us. We are now on our daily rehearsals at our studio and hoping this other piece could get us through the next stage of the competition. The competition is getting stiffer now.
TMT. Why did you join the competition?
EGP: Basically, it is really fun to compete even in the local ones. But this time, we want prove to ourselves that we can also make it to the international TV stage. And also in our hearts, we hope and dream to give honor to our nation.
TMT: If you ever win the competition, what’s next for you?
EGP: We couldn’t imagine but if it will, we thank God so much in advance. We will also celebrate the joy it brings with each of our family, and then rest for a while. Lastly, we will continue accepting invitations to perform. We love to do it because the stage is our second home.
TMT. How did you discover shadow play and how did your group come together?
EGP: It was accidental when we joined Pilipinas Got Talent Season 3. We knew there already several dance groups featured in their previous seasons so we decided to present something unusual on TV. The first shadow play was just actually with a gadget and plain textile screen. The latter has been developed beautifully. We were all friends back in college as we formed the group as hiphop dancers.
TMT: What’s the inspiration and story behind El Gamma Penumbra?
EGP: “Gamma” means ray and “Numbra” means shadow. We may not be famous by our individual faces but we are happy that our shadows make sense in the entertainment world.
Asia’s Got Talent’s grand finalsis slated on May 7 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Viewers can vote for their favorite act via SMS, Facebook and show’s mobile app. Voting opens after the broadcast of each semi-final episode and will remain open for four days.
Log on to asiasgottalent.tv/vote/ for complete details.