The segment ‘When Things Become Real’

One fine sunny Saturday, this writer trooped to the Maybank Theatre at BGC Arts Center to witness “Really Alive,” a contemporary dance show.

The show was divided into three segments, starting off with “The Story of Us,” described as “an improvisation piece.” Three danseurs were asked to interpret a stiletto, a sandal and a ribbon. Using one musical piece, the three guys showcased their fluid movements and ability to innovate and craft an all-original impromptu dance number. Only dancers with vast experience and artistic instinct can live up to this challenge.

Next was “When Things Become Real,” this time a choreographed piece executed by a male dancer and a female dancer. Dancing as lovers, they conveyed a roller coaster of emotions, sometimes tender, tranquil and passionate, and sometimes threatening, chaotic and somewhat dark.  

The third and final segment, dubbed “Alive,” was meant to showcase JP Rebullida, the group leader’s bundle of talents, who merged dance, song, poetry and theater.

The artist not only danced but delivered a profound monologue, talking about the “supreme goal of existence,” “to allow to exist, to let it happen.” He bared much of his soul, mentioning a lot of significant dates in his life in between his dancing and monologues.

Moreover, Rebullida involved his audience by giving them tasks — holding on to his three costume bags from their seats, standing up and reading excerpts from his personal journal, sharing anecdotes, singing with him, etc.

Rebullida did not disappoint fans of contemporary dance. He even incorporated tap dance, cha-cha, pop and gospel music into his performance.  He connected effortlessly with his charisma and held his audience’s attention for an hour, almost by his lonesome.

After the house lights were turned on, I pondered. Does the show’s title “Really Alive” refer to the state of dance as an art form in our country?

Or is “really alive” a query not just about dancing but of life in general? (Jojo Mangahis)