Ten years of dancing exhibited in a more or less 90-minute performance. With all those expertise they have gained in their decade of dancing, I must say that I expected it to be great of course. I got to see the whole part of it, so I will base my reactions on what I really saw.
First and foremost, the title itself, “Sangdekada Sandayaw Reloaded,” already had an impact with the aid of the alliteration used and the word “reloaded.” However, saying that it is a benefit concert gave a greater impact to those who will watch the performance. Though I do not know the meaning of sandayaw, I know that the meaning of Sandekada is “isang dekada.” Maybe Sandayaw is also the shortened form for “isang sayaw.” Moreover, the word “reloaded” tells the audience that this performance will better and more intense than that of their previous performances. Meanwhile, I wonder what their next performance will be. What will they call it next year in celebrating their 11 years? Will it still have a greater impact?
The ticket. Though it may be just a little thing compared to the other things in the concert, still, it is a significant part of it. An appealing ticket is something to be kept; it can be a souvenir or the like. The layout, font size and colour combination are well-chosen, and that made up a good ticket. Chosen colours; blue for Sangdekada, black for Sandayaw, and red for ‘reloaded,’ are good, same as the font styles used. Lastly, imagery used in the big letter ‘S’ for both Sangdekada and Sandayaw is really awesome; it emphasized the ethnic theme of the performance.
The lighting. The lighting in the whole auditorium is awesome. Having the lights off in the audience really makes that ‘feels.’ The lighting effects was actually the thing that grab my attention when I entered the auditorium; the lighting sent me to another magical place. When the performance was about to start, I actually cannot see where the seats or steps are because of the ‘total darkness’ in the area. Moreover, the very beginning of the performance is awesome; because of the exquisite lighting effect, the guy was like to come out of nowhere. In addition, all lighting on the stage gave more emphasize to the performances, especially the spot light. The spot light tells us where we should focus our eyes; it is where the highlight of the performance is. The problem is that sometimes, the spot light get delayed. Proper timing must be practiced. If that is achieved, the performance will be more beautiful, for here we are all lost in where to look.
The videos. Those videos told the audience that Sandayaw will perform dances that are really based on our cultures. They did some research on what to perform. It is fun how they project different types of like and such. However, higher quality of videos can still be used if they really wanted to show the effects of early times.
The dances. Though I do not know the title of those dances, maybe just some of them like “Pandanggo sa Ilaw” and “Tinikling,” I can say that they are well- executed. In addition, the variations from dances form slow to fast are also nice. Moreover, I can also say that those dances are mixed of dances from different parts of the country based on their costumes.
The costumes. I really cannot have my criticisms in this part though, for I do not know the proper costumes for each and every dance, but I will base on what I watched on the videos that they played. In the first part, I love their costumes, those were really realistic that they let me travel in Cordillera. However, in the preceding dances, the costumes are almost the same that lessen the impacts of the dances. Moreover, some of the costumes do not really fit with some of the dancers especially with the guys; the costumes looked like they are borrowed or what, that lessen the quality of the performances.
The grace. It is normal for performing those folk dances to have that grace. Well done in that. I also appreciate how the dancers carry on with the dance, though their props had fallen on the stage, and did those with maintained grace. It so nice to keep such posture, that smile, even things go wrong. It is really grace over everything. Through this, the performance,
though there are some mistakes, turned out well.
The energy. Grace is different from energy. Grace according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, is the way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward, while energy is natural enthusiasm and effort. Others are so graceful that they tend to be less energetic. Well, my main point here is that there was varying energy level in the stage. Others are graceful, yet energetic, while others are not that energetic. To have a good performance, the energy exhibited by the dancers must be equal; this can be achieved by increasing the energy of those who are not that energetic, and not decreasing the energy of the energetic ones. The energy of the performers affect those of the audiences.
The timing. As I have said earlier, timing must be practiced. However, it should not only be practiced on the lighting. But more importantly on the performance. Timing makes the whole team united. If the dancers do not know the proper timing, they might look like they are dancing in a domino effect (in a bad manner) even if they intend not to do such that way; one will first move, then others will follow, others will be the last one to move like they were so late. These instances happened in some part of the performance. Though it seems that these instances are inevitable, it is best to avoid such.
The blocking. Of course, being stiff to one position is so unpleasant, while different blockings made the dance more fluid; more smooth. Well I must say that most of the blockings are well done, though there were many performers on the stage; everyone has their place where the audience can see them. However, there are times that good blockings are not achieved, maybe just fail to do so, but those instances are so minimal. Lastly, the circle formation seems to be so repetitive that when they are in that formation, the excitement of the audience was lying down. Because, they already memorized when will the dancers will form a circle.
Lastly, the most important part is the performance. I really love how the next set of performers enters and leaves the stage. They are in their
character from the moment they entered the stage up to the part where they should left the stage; they still continue their steps until the last part of their body is entirely not seen by the audience. Also, the steps are well-executed, as I have said earlier, except those which are not done or have been out of timing. I remember the girl who really did manage to balance too many pots on her head without fail. However, I also did remember the ones who failed in balancing some pots, those who failed in balancing the glass with candles, and of course, who would have forget the one who slipped during the performance because of the spillage caused by the glass of candle that fell on the stage on the previous performance, that guy lightened the mood inside the auditorium. He made the audience burst out of laughter. Moreover, I just love the way they covered up those mistakes; how they wiped out the said spill from the glass containing candle with actions that really entertained the audience and made it look like it is part of the performance. Well I must say, though those instances happened, they still managed to perform well up to the end.
All in all. It is a wonderful experience I will be looking for more concerts exhibiting other dances which represents other parts of the country. I really appreciate the effort to preserve the country’s culture by performing folkdances, though today is like the era of modern dances, street jazz, hip hop, etc. Keep it up, this is ours, and we must be proud of it. As for the members, be proud for what you are doing, only a few dares to do such, not because it is a bad and boring thing, but rather it is one of the most difficult things to do; like the said balancing pots on head, balancing glasses containing candles inside, and lastly, ‘tinikling’. Those are risky but you performed them naturally. I, myself, admit that I cannot do such things. Two thumbs up for you guys and well, for your well-done performance.