FOR ITS 37th annual dance concert, UAAP Cheerdancing three-time champion Salinggawi Dance Troupe staged Banyuhay, an interpretation of the circle of life.

Choreographed and directed by Ryan Silva, the group’s mentor for three years, Banyuhay featured that side of Salinggawi dancing not shown on the cheerdance floor.

Cleverly choreographed, the concert was composed of 21 numbers alternately performed by senior and apprentice members.

In “Fetus Dance”, Salinggawi portrayed the dawn of new life, the dancers wriggling like fetuses. But the orange background with randomly placed cling-wrap sheets, stole attention from the dancers. And the tight-fitting skin tone clothes of the dancers might have also proved distracting.

The insertion of folk dances between themed numbers was also questionable since aside from the fact that the folk is not exactly the Troupe’s strongest suit, the dancers missed their steps and lacked timing.

Meanwhile, “Last Dance” and “Paalam na” reflected the romantic side of the show, featuring a man torn between women.

“Woman Dance” was one of the meaningful pieces of the show. A tribute to women, the dance featured the dancers in gauze-like white dresses and disheveled hair swaying to a haunting music. Toward the end, they took off their wigs to reveal that they were men.

Another crowd favorite was “Death Dance,” a fresh and humorous number about the final stage of the life cycle. The lights were turned off to reveal a number of neon green and orange skeletons jamming to Gary Valenciano’s “Hataw Na.”

The “Finale” summed up the show, in which the whole troupe divided into subgroups to perform the different dance crazes across several eras.

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For their encore, the troupe, dressed in their black, gold, and white uniforms, performed their winning piece in the 2004 UAAP NonStop Cheerdance Competition, in the process bringing down the house. The troupe was simply in their element here.

Banyuhay was a good show, but not Salinggawi’s best. They could definitely have done better. Florian C. Garcia


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