BALLET PHILIPPINES’ (BP) latest entry in its library of video collections shows the dialogue inherent between structures and people, as exemplified in a Filipino home.
The four minute short film is titled Galvanized House, a reference to the galvanized sheets used in the roofs of many of this country’s homes. Presentation notes read, “Galvanized House is a celebration of its rich cultural and eccentric tapestries of a Filipino home — with the everyday material of a yero (galvanized sheets) and the innate soulful Filipinos that bring together the love for music and a sense of community — this is the chant for 2021 uplifting the quality of life and happiness in spaces and we are giving it a new meaning with sensuality.”
Of course, this video was set not in any ordinary house. The BP OnStream Core Dancers, 10 of whom appear in Galvanized House, perform in Carlo Calma’s Infinity House, a finalist at 2019’s World Architecture Festival (WAF). The house itself becomes a character, taking into account how its construction appears almost alive, as if it had been moving and then frozen at just the right time.
The dancers appear in flesh-toned dance underwear, with their faces wrapped in sheer veils. In this attire, where their identities are conveniently concealed, they meld with the house, appearing as living statuary; as if they were part of the architecture themselves.
The house is strangely familiar and novel; and the same goes with the music. The performance is set to “Trioahatala” by Stimmhorn, a now-defunct band that experimented with traditional Swiss music, incorporating yodeling and horns.
The wild mixture of influences are of course reflected in the dance: definitely avant-garde, there’s a dancer miming a dog on the floor, then there’s running in place by the house’s sidewalk. Choreography credits in the video are given to Mikhail Martynyuk and E. Panfilov, the former serving as Artistic Director of Ballet Philippines.
It’s beautifully shot, the music continuing to play as shots of posed dancers are interspersed with their own frenetic movement. The dancers look like they]re having fun themselves; deceptively so. It ends with the dancers holding their own mouths shut, but not before a half-minute of orgiastic movement, showing off the dancers’ own fluidity. It feels lighthearted thanks to all the elements at play, but we suppose there’s always something beneath the surface. At only about four minutes long, it’s worth watching again and again.
Watch Galvanized House at https://ballet.ph/our-video-creations/galvanized-house/. — Joseph L. Garcia