The Locsin Dance Workshop’s ICONS

SEVENTY years ago, in 1947, a 21-year-old housewife of Davao City named Carmen Dakudao Locsin started teaching ballet in the living room of a bungalow where she resided with her husband, Jose Severino Locsin, and children Bing and Boy.  Seven decades and seven children later, what began as a class of a few students became the Locsin Dance Workshop which boasts of thousands of students who have danced at its barres under the tutelage of Carmen, Bing, and Agnes Locsin.  The Locsin Dance Workshop, a lasting legacy of the late dance maestra and Datu Bago awardee for Dance Carmen Dakudao Locsin, is acknowledged by the Cultural Center of the Philippines as the oldest existing ballet institution in the country today.  And it is located right here in Davao City.

ALUMNI Night: Grand Finale

ALUMNI Night: Grand Finale

 In August of this year of 2017, the Locsin Dance Workshop celebrated the legacy of Carmen with a reunion of its former and current students in an event they so lovingly and aptly called ICONS.

 In 2015, a list of 70 memories of people, objects, venues, and dances was put together which guided the eventual themes of the performances last August in ICONS: Gala, and ICONS: Alumni Night.

 ICONS proudly presented the Locsin Alumni and the current students dancing in all dance forms offered at the LDW at one time or another.  It was one memorable celebration filled with ballet, jazz, modern & contemporary dance, tap dance, folk & tribal dances, flamenco, martial arts, hip hop, musical theater, and even aerobic dancing.

 Both shows were star-studded and saw products of the LDW at their best.  Smiles abounded while sweat glittered as all the participants performed with gusto and with sheer delight. The ALUMNI NIGHT, which I proudly hosted (unable I was to perform for my dance maestra Bing Locsin as I was out of the country) was a most delightful exhibition of talent and love of dance.

ANG WALANG Kamatayang Magkaugnay

ANG WALANG Kamatayang Magkaugnay

 The GALA was both entertaining and superbly artistic where the best of the Locsin Dance was put forth.  Choreography and performances were top caliber in the amazing works of Agnes Locsin, Biag Gaongen, and Alden Lugnasin which featured the performances of such talented and proudly Filipino dancers namely Sonny Locsin, Kris-Belle Paclibar-Mamangun, Gaye Galiluyo, Georgette Sanchez, Biag Gaongen, Sarah Anne Alejandro, Monique Uy, Samantha Martin, John Ababon, and the advance students of the LDW along with the LDW Alumni and the Locsin Family.  The GALA performers flew in from Germany, USA, Canada, Singapore, Bacolod, and Manila to participate in this singular event.  Special guests were respected theater/movie actor Nonie Buencamino, who hosted the evening’s show, and proudly Davaoeno performer, Joey Ayala, who sang the most popular Locsin piece, ang walang kamatayang “MAGKAUGNAY”.

 The audience was equally star-studded with the Locsin Alumni came in force to support their dance alma mater.  Seen in the audience were Tita Lacambra Ayala, Daisy Estioko, Sonia Gempesaw, Mila Jocson, Sylvia Garcia, Josie Tionko, Alfonso “Boy” Guinoo, Inday Montero, Betty Cabreros, Ellen Dakudao, Myra Medina, Ricky de Ungria, and many many more.  From Manila, Iloilo, Bacolod and Tacloban were more of Agnes’ friends.  Most noteworthy was the presence of Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran-Floirendo, and National Artist of Dance Ms. Alice Reyes.

JOEY Ayala

JOEY Ayala

 Bing and Agnes painstakingly put together this celebration in honor of their mother, the founder Carmen Dakudao Locsin.   Asked why they are celebrating the 70th anniversary and why not wait for the 75th, both replied, “Basi indi na namon kaya by then.”  For a more diplomatic response, a quote from the ICONS program:

 “For this platinum year, we pay tribute to the people, events, dances, and objects responsible not only for making dance a respected and popular form of art for everybody but also for helping build up the Locsin Dance Workshop as a living cultural institution in the city. We call these moving forces the LDW ICONS.

 Mommy’s dream was for us to take care of her dance school one day. That day has long been here with us, and through all these years, your love and support have given us the strength and inspiration to always do the best we can to live up to the challenge of Mommy‘s dream.”

                                                                        Bing and Agnes Locsin

Thank you, tita Nitang, Bing and Agnes Locsin, for teaching me to dance through all these years.

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