Five celebrated dance groups of UPD kicked the season into high gear with a concert held last December 14, as each group brought their interpretation of the holiday season in their respective genre.
The University Theater was filled with the cheers of students, mostly classmates, to witness the event.
The concert was presented by the Office of the Chancellor of UP Diliman through the UP DIliman Information Office (UPDIO) and the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA).
Opening the program were UPD Chancellor Caesar A. Salomaand Prof. Rubén D.F. Defeo, Director of the UPDIO, OICA and administrator of the University Theater.
First up was the UP DanceSport Society from the College of Human Kinetics, who, to the tune of merry Christmas carols, performed a whole gamut of dancesport genres from ballroom to Latin.
Men in tight fitting outfits swung ladies in their high heels, skirts swishing to the beat of the musician a performance entitled PaskongBusilak.
Performed under the artistic direction of Prof. Albert Dimarucut, the Christmas carols accompanying the production number were just as varied, ranging from English to French and even some East Asian renditions.
The UP DanceSport Society is a sports and artistic organization that upholds the artistic value of ballroom while being competitive in dancesport. It produces high-caliber athletes and student leaders who are both skilled in competitions and performances and are able to organize events and teach others.
Attention then shifted to the College of Music's UP Dance Company (UPDC), under the artistic direction of professors Angel Baguilat and Herbert Alvarez with director emeritus Steve Villacruz. The number conveyed the spirit and joy of the season.
The UPDC performs nationwide and in different campuses of the UP System as well as in international dance festivals in Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia. It has annual presentations at the UP Abelardo Hall and the University Theater.
The highlight of the night was the longish but still engaging performance of the UP Streetdance Club, who adopted the theme PaskongItim.
Mixing modern urban beats with jazzed up interpretations of popular Christmas carols, their number was the most exhaustive and applauded of the five performances of the night. The multi-awarded group utilized the full range of their street dance skills in several numbers, all tied up with the black theme and under the direction of Prof. Von Ace Asilo.
The UP StreetDance Club has distinguished itself as the four-time champion of the SkechersStreetdance Battle competition and as the country’s representative in the World Hip-Hop Championships last July 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
No dance concert in UPD would be complete without the participation of the UP Varsity Pep Squad or, UP Pep, as they are better known.
Under the artistic direction of coaches NJ Antonio, PioOpinaldo and Prof.LalainePereña, the UP Pep came in Philippine colors, displaying the stunts and skills that wowed audiences and won for them the third place at the 6th Cheerleading World Championships held in Hong Kong last November 2011.
The Pep Squad are especially thankful this year, because aside from the Hong Kong competition, they also emerged victorious in the 2011 UAAP Samsung Cheerdance Competition, becoming back-to-back champions.
Christmas is especially colorful for Filipinos,and the CHK’s UP Filipiniana Dance grouppaid tribute to that spirit with their performance entitled PaskongMakulay.
Under the artistic direction of Prof. Van Cornelius Manalo, the group showcased the many local festival dances to the tune of classics like “Kampana ng Simbahan,” “Eto na Naman,” and “Noche Buena (Kay Sigla ng Gabi).”
The UP Filipiniana Dance Group is an acclaimed performing group that represented the country in the Grupo Foclorristico Citta di Erba Euro-Fold Festival in Italy in 1997 and at the Surin International Folklore Festival from 2006-2010.
The evening was capped off by a finale featuring all 186 performers frolicking to the tune of CM luminary Prof. Ryan Cayabyab’s “Kumukutikutitap” and “Pasko na Naman.”—Anna Kristine Regidor