14/09/2009: Twin Triumphs: Filipino Choreographer Jason Ignacio Draws Standing Ovation for Kennedy Center World Premiere, Wins 9th Metro DC Dance Award
14 SEPTEMBER 2009 WASHINGTON DC – Praise and recognition continue to be heaped on Filipino dancer and choreographer, with the world premiere of his work “The Mountain” receiving standing ovations at the Kennedy Center and his performance in dance meriting recognition in the 9th Metro DC Dance Awards.
“The Mountain,” one of only two works specially commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. drew standing ovations from the audience during its two-day performance recently.
Ignacio said, “The Mountain” draws from the rich and diverse folklore and mythology, synthesizing traditional and modern dance forms with cutting-edge technology and “speaks to all about humanity’s continuing responsibility as nature’s stewards.”
In “The Mountain,” Ignacio used Mt. Pinatubo and Smokey Mountain as metaphors for “a dance that is based on intimate experiences in the Philippines yet carries a compelling global environmental message.”
“I wanted to show – through dance – nature’s power and humanity’s power to transform things for the better, for himself and for his world. My being Filipino is evident in the imagery that I tried to paint with movement and I am hopeful that people will respond to my message positively.
Before the performance, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa pointed out, “Smokey Mountain has since been closed down and efforts to manage solid waste and to recycle are gaining ground in the Philippines – through Government and through people’s movements.”
“Tonight, we are reminded anew of what we need to continue working on, if we are to live, to flourish and prosper as one human family. As we experience the performance tonight, let us reaffirm and renew our pledge to do our part in the preservation and protection of our environment,” added Ambassador Gaa.
“The Mountain,” played to full house audience at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
A few days later, Ignacio won in the Outstanding Individual Performer Category at the At the 9th Metro DC Dance Award Monday, also at the Kennedy Center. Ignacio tied with Delphina Parenti. Both Ignacio and Parenti are members of the critically-acclaimed CityDance Ensemble, a professional contemporary dance company based in Washington, D.C.
"I offer this victory to God, my country and my countrymen. I am proud of my filipino heritage, I treasure my filipino values and I am inspired to continue reaching for new artistic heights. I am grateful to everyone who has supported me - my family, CityDance, my mentors, the Filipino community and the Embassy of the Philippines who have joined me in my continuing journey of self discovery and awareness about our world," said Jason after receiving the award.
Ignacio said “It is important for me to speak to Filipinos and other youth in the world through dance and I am thankful for the support that I have been so far receiving.”
During the awarding ceremonies, Ignacio noted the presence of Filipinos who came to support him and noticed too several Asians seated beside him who told him, "We're here to see you!”
“It was such a nice feeling that I'm not only reaching to Filipinos but with other peoples and cultures as well,” explained Ignacio.
In a statement, Ambassador Gaa congratulated Ignacio, saying, “Jason has traveled far with his art. He will travel even further with his creativity and passion. And we will be more than happy to listen to what Jason has to say of his journeys.”
“This is an achievement our people and country can be proud of and it is a testament to the artistry and grace of our people, the creativity of our youth and the excellent training in our institution,” added Ambassador Gaa. END
Ambassador Gaa Joins Jason Ignacio and Citydance Ensemble for Kennedy Center World Premiere Performance of “The Mountain”
11 SEPTEMBER 2009 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ambassador Willy C. Gaa joins Jason Garcia Ignacio and CityDance Ensemble members onstage during the curtain call of the world premiere performance of Ignacio’s “The Mountain.” “The Mountain” received standing ovations during its two-day run at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. “The Mountain” is one of the two specially commissioned works by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. as part of the Performing Arts for Everyone and the Millennium Stage. Inspired by the volcanic eruption of the “Mt. Pinatubo” and the so-called “Smokey Mountain” landfill in the Philippines, “The Mountain" draws from the rich mythology and folklore of the Philippines to send out a strong global message of humanity’s responsibility as stewards of the environment. END
Jason Ignacio Receives Recognition from Ambassador Gaa for “The Mountain” World Premiere
11 SEPTEMBER 2009 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa (third from L) pins the Philippine Flag on Jason Garcia Ignacio (left) in recognition of the successful Kennedy Center world premiere of Ignacio’s “The Mountain.” Ignacio received from Ambassador Gaa the Pearl Cultural Heritage Award during simple awarding ceremonies at the Kennedy Center. Ambassador Gaa cited Ignacio for his contributions to raising the level of awareness and understanding of the Philippines’ rich culture and heritage through outstanding work in dance. Ignacio recently received the Best Individual Performance Award at the DC Metro Dance Awards Monday. Ambassador Gaa is joined here by his wife, Mrs. Erlinda Gaa (right) and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Robert Borje (second from L). “The Mountain” is one of the two specially commissioned works by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. as part of the Performing Arts for Everyone and the Millennium Stage. Inspired by the volcanic eruption of the “Mt. Pinatubo” and the so-called “Smokey Mountain” landfill in the Philippines, “The Mountain" draws from the rich mythology and folklore of the Philippines to send out a strong global message of humanity’s responsibility as stewards of the environment. The Embassy of the Philippines provided support for Ignacio’s “The Mountain” throughout the entire creative process and during the performance. END