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Member Spotlight

Co.ERASGA: Alvin Tolentino

February 2020: Co.ERASGA
Q & A with Artistic Director Alvin Tolentino

HM: Who is Alvin Tolentino in as sentence? 
AT: A contemporary dancer and choreographer and an advocate of cross-cultural artistic expressions.

HM: Tell us a bit about your company Co.ERASGA.
Co.ERASGA celebrates a milestone 20 years of dance in 2020 and has served the dance milieu through creations and performances reflecting on cultural identity, gender, hybridity, and we promote cross-cultural collaboration and community engagements.

HM: What was your path to building a career in dance?
Over three decades, my passion and vision for dance as an art expression and communication has allowed me to collaborate and work with distinguished Canadian and international artists. I founded Co.ERASGA in 2000 to develop my artistic voice and to nurture my art practice of dance and choreography.

HM: How would you describe the work you do in three words?
AT: Intentional. Collaborative. Progressive.

HM: What inspires the work you create?
I am inspired by many things and now more than ever, I am drawn to honor indigenous teachings, knowledges and their spiritual relations and respect for the natural world.

HM: Do you have any memories of moments or people that have influenced your artistic trajectory?
Just recently I had an interaction with Filipino indigenous shaman, Mamerto Tindongan. He said, “We are never disconnected with our people and culture. We just need to remember, reconnect and re-align.”

HM: What are the core values of your practice?
Discipline, determination and compassion are core values I hold on to and exercise to unravel the rigor of my art practice.

HM: Do you have any particular ritual that you carry out each day?
AT: Mindfulness with everything I encounter, but this is so much easier said than done.

HM: I am a Dance Centre member because?
: I have been a member of the Vancouver dance community for more than three decades and have been affiliated as a member of The Dance Centre over 20 years. The Centre is a catalyst to represent our dance vision globally.

Thank you!
Hilary Maxwell, Member Services Coordinator

Photos: Tracing Malong, Yasuhiro Okada / Colonial, Jim Bonto

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