“In the Belly of the Eagle: Man@ng Is Deity” – a stunning work of multimedia dance theater

by Eddie Wong

Heads up to all SF Bay Area fans of theater, dance, drama, and history!  Tickets are selling out fast for Alleluia Panis’ new work being showcased this weekend in San Francisco.  Go to Kularts-SF.org for tickets and more info.

I humbly submit the following videos from the March 20 rehearsal and thank Alleluia Panis, the cast and production crew for allowing Jade Verdeflor and I to witness the creation of this mesmerizing heartfelt and intense exploration of Filipino American history through the eyes of Valentino Pablo, who recounts his life as a farmworker in California. The piece shows not only the hardships of work and the racial discrimination faced by the manongs, but it also celebrates their humanity.

The first video reveals Alleluia Panis’ masterful  work as a director/choreographer. Note how she keeps the audience in mind as she blocks the action and explores subtle nuances of each actor’s performance.

The second video shows the glory of movement and music as the cast performs one part of the dancehall sequence at the rehearsal.

The final video is another performance at rehearsal with the full cast and is preceded by a short video sequence.

The story is told mainly through dance, but Wilfred Galila’s media projections provided additional narrative elements and set the mood. Joshua Icban’s musical score is joyous, somber, and evocative.

I’m looking forward to interviewing Alleluia Panis for a longer article about her entire career.  Stay tuned.




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