Sunday, May 26, 2024

ITI scholar turned director conducts lecture

“ART SHOULD NOT be limited, do not limit yourself. Let it flow,” Denise Mordeno Aguilar, theater practitioner and educator, conducted a lecture entitled “Turning Grief to Greatness: A Director’s Process” last Aug. 8 at the Audio Visual Theater-1.

The lecture was part of the Albert Faurot Lecture Series, a running lecture series in the Culture and Arts Council.

Aguilar studied at the Intercultural Theater Institute (ITI) in Singapore. She was also a recipient of the Kuo Pao Kun Foundation-ITI Scholarship.

According to Aguilar, she was able to play characters of different cultures.

First of which is the Kudiyattam (Indian), which requires strength from the gut. It recognizes the “three Body Principle” (Individual, Actor, Character) and the powerful use of eye and hand gestures.

Second, is the Beijing Opera (China), wherein a lady requires a lot of elegance. Lady characters are more effectively done by men. Aguilar said, “Men tend to exaggerate because it is not in their nature.”

Third is the Japanese Noh, which circles on Ju Ha Ku: Beginning, Middle, and End. It represents beauty in both sides: darkness and light, good and bad (always balanced).

Lastly, the Wayang Wong (Indonesian), which follows breath as an actor moves and finds beauty in slowness.

Aguilar calls art a “divine intervention” and said theater is basically a collaboration of different arts: visual arts, dance, and music.

“Directing has a huge responsibility in telling a truth in a story,” Aguilar said.

She takes notes in every production, always thinking “What could have worked better?” in order to develop the play.

According to Aguilar, directors should not limit themselves as well as they should not limit their staff and actors/actresses.

“Being too worldly…it blocks a lot of things from us. It hindrances us from appreciating art. Every art is a soul,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar is one of the directors in Ulahingan: Heaven as The Sea (A Manobo Epic), which will be restaged on Aug 25.


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