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17/08/2009: Filipino Dancer/Choreographer Named Metro DC Dance Award Finalist; Slates September World Premiere for “The Mountain” Work at JFK Center for the Performing Arts

Filipino Dancer/Choreographer Named Metro DC Dance Award Finalist; Slates September World Premiere for âThe Mountainâ Work at JFK Center for the Performing Arts

17 AUGUST 2009 WASHINGTON, D.C. - Filipino dancer and choreographer Jason Ignacio has been named finalist for the Metro DC Dance Award, attracting more attention to the world premiere of his work “The Mountain” in September at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts here.

The Metro DC Dance Award named Ignacio finalist for its Outstanding Individual Performance Category.  The awarding ceremonies will be held on September 14 also at the Kennedy Center.

Ignacio, who has previously been awarded the 2009 DC Mayor’s Arts Awards for Outstanding Emerging Artist, is now preparing for the September world premiere of “The Mountain,” one of two works commissioned by the JFK Center for performances this year under its Performing Arts for Everyone and the Millennium Stage programs.

In a statement, the Kennedy Center described “The Mountain” as a work that “focuses on Filipino culture, environmental preservation, and the need for economic moderation.”

Ignacio was inspired by and incorporates two "mountains" in the Philippines: the volcano Mt. Pinatubo which erupted in 1991 and the landfill used as Metro Manila's waste disposal facility for decades dubbed Smokey Mountain. A collaboration between Ignacio and physicist Domenico Vicinanza, the score incorporates music made from the seismic rumblings of active volcanoes.

“The Mountain” draws inspiration from Ignacio’s dance background, having been born, raised and trained in the Philippines.

Ignacio said that while “The Mountain” draws heavily on Filipino folk dance forms, it has “an urgent global message that speaks to many regardless of one’s background and culture.”

“I am hopeful that the use of Mt. Pinatubo and Smokey Mountain as central figures in my dance will help make people realize that we need to do our share for the environment,” added Ignacio.

“The Mountain” premiers on September 10 and 11 at the JFK Center. Additional support for “The Mountain” is provided by CityDance Ensemble and the Embassy of the Philippines. END.