Dancing on the Edge
Festival Of Contemporary Dance 2009
Co. Erasga

Date and Venue 12 July 2009 | Roundhouse Community Centre

Choreography Alvin Erasga Tolentino Music Emmanuel de St. Aubin Performer Alvin Erasga Tolentino

Reviewer Michael Pink

Part of the innovative Dancing on the Edge Festival included the talented and energetic work of Alvin Erasga Tolentino, a Filipino-Canadian dancer who continually impresses with eclectic new works of dance that fall outside the bounds of conventional dance thinking.

Dance is often limited by convention and rules. Not so with Tolentino who constantly challenges the audience with fresh approaches to movement and art. A moving artist is perhaps the best way to describe this always interesting dancer who is one of Canada’s leading modern dance artists.

He is also a noted choreographer who has created numerous works such as SOLA 2000, BATO/ Stone 2001, Minori and Volt 2002, SHE SAID 2004 and BODYGlass in 2006/07 with Peter Chin. He has also danced with leading companies including EDAM; Kinesis Dance and Karen Jamieson.

His new work, Paradis/Paradise, performed outside at the Roundhouse Community Centre drew a capacity crowd. The setting itself lends insight to Tolentino’s idea that art is part of life and part of the community.

The solo performance, inspired by the rhythmic music of Emmanuel de St. Aubin, was intense and fresh. Dancing on a small stage, with a video backdrop of colorful images, Tolentino provided the audience with a journey of motion that resembled a form of tai-chiesque movements.

Despite the wind, occasional traffic, passers by, and the ambient noise of the streets, Tolentino was able to focus with intensity and impressively, to hold the attention of the audience. This dancer can find ways of moving with grace, expression and modernity. Tolentino can also evoke emotion and feeling through his dance which is an essential element of the mood that successful dancers must create for their audience.

Tolentino received enthusiastic applause after the performance and deserves solid acknowledgment that he clearly holds his own in the modern dance world.

© 2009 Michael Pink