Dr. MCM Santamaria, Professor of Asian and Philippine Studies at the Asian Center, delivered a paper and conducted an igal workshop at ‘Shakespearean Journeys: The Inaugural Conference of the Asian Shakespeare Association’ (ASA), which was held from 15 to 18 May 2014 at the National Taiwan University and at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan.
Photo (L-R): Ricardo Abad (Director of 'Sintang Dalisay' and Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ateneo de Manila University), Judy Celine Ick (Professor at Department of English and Comparative Literature. UP Diliman), MCM Santamaria (Co-director of 'Sintang Dalisay'), and Edru Abraham, Jr. (Professorial Lecturer, College of Arts and Letters). Courtesy of MCM Santamaria.
Professor Santamaria, who is a member of the ASA, choreographed the igal dances and movement sections for Sintang Dalisay (Eternal Love), a play set in a fictional Muslim community in the Philippines. It is based on a 1901 play, “Ang Sintang Dalisay ni Julieta at Romeo’ (The Eternal Love by Juliet and Romeo) by G.D. Roke, and on Philippine National Artist Rolando Tinio’s translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The play was performed during the four-day conference. It received invitations to be performed in Australia, China, Korea, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
In his paper, Igal: Dance of the Southern Seas, Professor Santamaria introduced the igal as a “shared living artifact of the widely dispersed maritime Sama communities of Southeast Asia,” including the southern Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He traces the linguistics origins of the igal’s movement vocabulary in the so-called Austronesian world; explains how the dance figured in rituals and social events; and charts its relationship to other dance genres in the region, among others. Dr. Santamaria also conducted an igal workshop during the conference.
The conference was co-organized by The Asian Shakespeare Association, the Taiwan Shakespeare Association, National Taiwan University, and National Taiwan Normal University. The Asian Shakespeare Association is ‘dedicated to researching, producing, teaching, translating and promoting Shakespeare from an Asian perspective.’ For more information, visit their website http://asianshakespeare.org/site/index.
Photo: A scene from 'Sintang Dalisay. Courtesy of MCM Santamaria.