Translation by: Kirby Vicente
The following text is the english translation of Dance Dance Asia’s (Vince Mendoza x Rhosam Prudenciado Jr. x Mycs Villoso) Artist Interview which originally premiered on the kxchange.org website on December 8, 2020, 7:00 PM. “DANCE DANCE ASIA – Crossing the Movements” is a project that aims to encourage interaction and creative collaboration for stage performances among dance groups and dancers in Asia, with a focus on street dance. The project was launched in 2014 by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and PARCO Co., Ltd.
DANCE DANCE ASIA(DDA) has organized performances and workshops by Japanese street-dance groups in seven Southeast Asian countries, and also presented multi-group performances by Southeast Asian and Japanese dance groups in Tokyo.
In 2015 it collaborated internationally for the first time to showcase some street-dance performances, and it moved further toward realization of larger-scale collaborative endeavors for about five years.
Official website: https://dancedanceasia.com/en/
This artist interview features excerpts from some productions of DDA. The first video is on the DDA’ s first performance held in Manila in January 2015 where three Japanese dance groups (s**t kingz, Tokyo Gegegay and TAPDANCERIZE) were introduced through performances and workshops.
Question: Where are you coming from?
Hi I’m Rhosam Prudenciado Jr Aka sickledsam in the dance community it’s 8:54 right now I’m in Sampaloc Manila I’m originally from Iloilo. I started dancing when I was 7 years more likely around 5 to 7 years old. Back then I was exposed to cultural and interpretative dance before I learned different genres. I started street dance and Hip Hop. I had a semi-professional experience when I went to college my mentor and director Tita Annie introduced me to ballet that’s where I get to learn modern dance added with ballet. They call it fusion. In 2006 I went to Manila to be a professional dancer at the age of 22. I auditioned for Air Dance. I became their member in a few years. In 2015 I became their Artistic director, I resigned. Right now I’m the founder of LikhaPH, I started this program last year after travelling to Visayas, and Mindanao to give free dance education. Right now I’m doing the program’s online initiative and yeah that’s it.
For the longest time I know that I am a performer. I am a performer before I became a Choreographer. So I started dancing for different choreographers for different dance companies that I joined and performed not only in the country but also abroad. My journey towards becoming a choreographer started when I competed at Air Dance Idol, it’s an inside competition so we will determine who compete for National competition or who we can endorse for outside competition. Because I was confident enough and I trusted my skills more than a 100% ever since, I decided to join. For my first competition with Air Dance, I won third prize and I said maybe I can be a choreographer even though I’m more into dancing because I really wanted to dance and I don’t want to take in choreographing early on because I only wanted to perform. And on the 2nd year I didn’t win and then Sir Steve asked me what am I doing with the choreography like he did not get it. So I said, maybe Sir Steve watch me in Wifi Body because at that moment I cannot fully explain my choreography so I invited him to watch my performance for Wifi Body so he can at least have a grasp on it. I developed my choreographing skills because of me wanting to prove to my mentors and to myself that I can do it. That’s where my choreographic career started. When I competed for Wifi Body and I won the 2nd prize they sent me to Japan so I was the finalist for the Yokohama Dance Collection and I won and Japan sent me to France to study so I learned a lot and this just proves that I can really hone my choreographic skills. And when I returned to Manila and been doing dancing and choreographing, I sort of teach as a side job. To be honest I don’t want to teach and then something big happened to my career. I was diagnosed with an injury in my lower back. Perhaps Lord was saying that I think you need to be diverted, maybe you’re fine with your career for performing and choreographing so maybe be a dance teacher. So I started teaching and slowly I grew up liking it the only problem when you teach is when you teach the basic movements rather than teaching for the advanced and professionals because for the professionals they already have an understanding so that was my struggle before being a dance teacher. Like how would I teach the basics? They say patience is a virtue but I’m not a patient person because the standard when I teach, perform, and choreograph is very high. If you will talk to the Air Dance company before, I barely choreograph other’s body other than myself because sometimes they cannot meet my standards. So I really needed to divert the idea of my career as a performer, artist, and choreographer when I got the injury and that’s where I fully understand the importance of having an understanding and awareness of the body and that you have to take it slow. That’s what I’m teaching right now that our bodies have different capacities and capabilities and you cannot confine other’s bodies to only one standard. So there’s always different standards meaning the way they approach the dancing, the convey what you wanted them to move that should be your understanding rather than having a set amount of flexibility or movement. That’s what I learned when I got the injury. Now it’s really evolving and now I’m doing community outreach program where I understand that right now that I’m coming from that sense that I need to go back where I started which is on the region so I want to give the information to the region because all the information is in Manila and I think the Manila practitioners need to cater to the regional dancers because they don’t have the capacity and capability to go to Manila to have that good education to dance so it’s up to us to visit and teach them. That’s why I made LikhaPH.
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