Dancer Lauren Edson is blogging for the Idaho Statesman, while the company is on its DanceMotion USA tour, sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Edson grew up in Boise and is having the time of her life, she says. The company is now in Hanoi. Check back for more reports from Edson as the company continues its travels through Asia.
The last few days have been packed full of some really exciting things.
We traveled from Manila to Iloilo, Philippines, to do some more creative work with a local company and for a performance at Central Philippine University. The flight to Iloilo was just one-hour, but it was extremely bumpy—we were all very happy when we landed safely in the city.
(Below: Edson rehearsing McIntyre's "Blue Until June" at the company's Boise studio in February.)
The next morning we worked with a group of Panay-Bukidnon dancers and musicians from the Calinog region. We first had the opportunity to watch them perform some of their dances in beautiful costumes, which had hundreds of coins fastened to their headdresses, belts, and bracelets. These dances (like the ones we learned in Manila) mimicked the beautiful movements of birds. We then got to participate in the movements. The coordination was much trickier than we thought it would be. One of these very talented dancers began at the age of seven and is now in her 80s. She had such a beautiful spirit and it was a privilege to be in her company.
We then traveled to take a ballet class at the Central Philippine University. It was our first class in some time and it felt really nice to get moving. TMP then performed alongside three local companies that evening and we received an overwhelming response to Leatherwing Bat—I’m not in this piece, so I had the rare opportunity to sit back and enjoy the rest of the company in their element. It was such a nice treat.
The following day, we returned to Manila where we had time to do some sightseeing and a little shopping. In Old Manila, we wandered through the streets taking photos and happened upon the sweetest little black-and-white kitten tucked in between some rocks. He was so precious it was hard not to take him with us.
We finished off our adventures in the Philippines with a performance at Market! Market!, a venue inside a bustling mall. We danced alongside the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group and Ballet Philippines. It was an honor to share the stage with these artists.
Yesterday, we had a long journey from Manila to Hanoi, Vietnam. It felt so good when we finally arrived at our hotel, exhausted from a big day of travel. Today is an off day for the company so we’ll all get a chance to relax, do some sightseeing and perhaps throw in a load of laundry.