HARAYA Collective, a platform for artists to share experiences in theater-making, presents a unique dance theater dubbed "Panta Rhei (All in Flux)" for its maiden production offering with four performances in March at the Ignacio B. Jimenez Amphitheater of the Areté.
Areté is the new creative hub in the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Loyola campus.
Panta Rhei comes from a philosophical line attributed to pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus that states: "Ta panta rhei kai ouden menei" or "Everything flows, and nothing stays." Heraclitus insisted that change is the essence of the universe.
"Haraya Collective through Panta Rhei aims to reach a wider spectrum of audience by providing a theatrical experience that promotes dialogue, fosters critical thinking, and heightens engagement through storytelling," said Ricardo Magno, director and choreographer.
"We may be a millennia away from the ancient Greeks but we can still learn a lot from their literature specifically in handling grief and despair with hope and courage," Magno added.
"Panta Rhei (All in Flux)," a movement-based and non-linear piece that relies on thematic threads, challenges the audience members to view the performance from a new perspective and likewise develop an appreciation for Greek philosophy and drama.
Apart from the Heraclitus's philosophy and his famous line, the other themes from Greek literature and philosophy that the production focused on include: the birth and death rituals from Athens and their relevance to contemporary times; and the death of Persephone, which presents a different viewpoint on death.
Given the use of varied themes within the ancient Greek tradition, "Panta Rhei (All in Flux)" differs from other modes of creation where a singular literary piece serves as a take-off point.
The Company of Ateneo Dancers; the PUP Sining-Lahi Polyrepertory; and performers, namely, Gino Ramirez, Meann Espinosa, Rence Aviles, Marynor Madamesila, Lance Bahia, Shai Colanse, Justine Encila, Marcus Belisario, Zoe Hukom, Jacinta Pascual, and Nikki Soriano comprise the cast of "Panta Rhei (All in Flux)."
The performance framework used the Eleusinian Mysteries or the annual initiations for the cult of Demeter and Persephone in ancient Greece. The production combined ancient text on philosophy and mythology to shed light on the multiple truths pervasive today. The dance theater is also a devised work where performers drew from their own references and performance fortes to contribute to the creative process.
The other members that complete the artistic team include librettist Manuel Tinio, dramaturg Guelan Luarca, music directors Dale Bazar and Fitz Bitana who is also the associate director, associate choreographer Raflesia Bravo, production designer Tata Tuviera, and lighting designer D Cortezano.
"Panta Rhei (All in Flux)" is made possible by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through its Competitive Grants Program. The production is also supported by the Box Performance Garage in Kamuning, Quezon City.
"Panta Rhei (All in Flux)" will be presented at the Ignacio B. Jimenez Amphitheater of the Areté in Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Loyola campus on March 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket is priced at P600 and P400 for students, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens. (PR)