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PIA Press Release

Young Leyte dancers represent RP in 5th Asian-Oceania int'l children's folkloric fest in Jakarta

Tacloban City (June 9) -- The story of the young and talented dancers of the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group, the Junior Dance Company of the Leyte Dance Theater under the tutelage of Sir Jess de Paz, will never fail to inspire all budding young dancers not to be ashamed to express themselves through dance.

These young dancers, most of who are in elementary and high school, have the very rare opportunity to represent their country as this year's representatives of the Philippines to the 5th Asian Oceania International Children's Folkloric Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This was learned in an interview with Mr. Jess de Paz in the most recent episode of Panindugan TV program of the Philippine Information Agency, right at the dance studio where the young dancers were practicing the day before they left for Indonesia.

The young children are scholars, most of who comes from various public elementary and high schools in Tacloban and nearby municipalities. While their counterparts are playing, these young dancers are sweating it out training and perfecting their dance steps and forms.

The young dancers compose the first batch scholars of the Kaliaawan Performing Arts Group which was established by Mr. Jess de Paz with the sponsorship of Leyte Park Resort Hotel, about six years ago.

Mr. de Paz said that he envisioned the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group as a training ground for future Leyte Dance Theater members who are interested in teaching dance and choreography.

At the same time, it also provides opportunities for the children ages 9-15 to avail of free training in the different forms of dances- folk, ballet, jazz, and contemporary, as Engr. Wilson Chan of the Leyte Park Resorts partly subsidized the program.

The young dancers are among the 40 who passed the rigid auditions given to different public elementary schools in Tacloban City. These children are indeed lucky because they are the only dance group in the Region who are being trained professionally as performing artists.

Mr. de Paz said the participation of the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group to the Jakarta Children's Folkloric Festival which runs from July 4 - 12, 2008, was made possible, through the endorsement of CIOFF Philippine Chapter President, Ms. Corazon Inigo.

For the second time, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts has financed the travel expenses for the group as official representative of the Philippines to the Festival, Mr. de Paz said.

The first time was in 2006 when the group represented the Philippines in the same Festival which was then held in Istanbul, Turkey.

The performers who are now in Jakarta are Querima Lovely Agullo, Mark James Catindoy; Marco Paolo Chumacera; Randylou Kenneth Corregidor; Jerine and Jeserie Culajara; Zyrha Mae Del Pilar; Lydon Jay Ebin; and Jessica Cristy Fabi.

Also included areHanna Kristtina Mari Lagutan; Shev Lira; Mara Angelie Roa; Edzel Bardiago; and Jade Patrick Misa.

The musicians are Nieson Castil; Mark Ryan Torrente who also acts as assistant choreographer; Josephine Flores; and Vilma Natividad. Thely Agullo is the Costume Mistress; Daniel Guarino is the Props Manager; Imelda Lagutan is the assistant head of delegation; Jerry Mores is the choreographer and lead musician and Mr. Jess de Paz is the Head of Delegation and Artistic Director.

On July 4, the young Filipino dancers performed for ten minutes at the Ancol Recreation Park. On July 5, they rehearsed together with the other 9 participating groups from various countries, at the Pekan Raya Jakarta and on July 6, all the participating groups paraded at the Pekan Raya Jakarta.

On Sunday, the young Filipino dancers were given 10 minutes to perform at the Maxima Dufan and on July 8, at the Mal Ciputra and Ancol Plaza Semanggi.

On July 9, the group will perform longer, 15 minutes to be exact, at the Ancol Recreation Park/Beach while on July 10, at the Ancol Recreation Park/Arts Market, the group will perform for 20 minutes.

The closing ceremony will be on July 11, at the Ancol Recreation Park/Putri Duyung Cottage.

Here is wishing the young dancers of the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group the very best. (PIA 8) [top]

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