Independent artist Eisa Jocson collaborates with Ballet Philippines in creating "Your Highness"

Eisa Jocson's newest creation, “Your Highness" will have its world premiere here in the Philippines on July 27 ,8pm and on July 28, 3pm and 8pm at the CCP Little Theatre; and will be performed at several major European performing arts festivals from August to September 2017.  This work is a production by Ballet Philippines and  Künstler Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main ( Germany ),  co-production with Internationales Sommer festival Kampnagel ( Germany ), Zürcher Theater Spektakel ( Switzerland ) , La Bâtie -- Festival de Genève ( Switzerland ).

Eisa Jocson is an internationally renowned contemporary choreographer and dancer from the Philippines; she is an artist whose line of work is creating and touring in countries in Asia Europe,America and Australia. A trained visual artist and with background in ballet, she won her first pole-dancing competition in Manila back in 2010 and began her international dance career with public interventions like 'pole-tagging' here and abroad. Her 3 solos, “Death of the Pole Dancer"  (2011) ,"Macho Dancer" (2013)  and "Host" (2015) toured extensively in major festivals abroad.

Under the 2017's HAPPYLAND series, her new creations, "Princess" a duet with Filipino performance artists Russ Ligtas and " Your Highness" are the continuation of her investigation into Filipino labour,performance of happiness and production of fantasy within the happiness empire . “Your Highness " is her first ensemble creation and her very first work to be premiered and produced in the Philippines.

Taking Disney's princess figures as a starting point, Eisa Jocson draws in her performance the attention to the hidden strata of exclusions and labour embodied within the globalized production of fantasy. Together with five dancers of Ballet Philippines ,the preeminent ballet company in the country,Jocson investigates in Your Highness the relation between princess figures,collective and individual fantasy and mobility.

Jocson shared the insight story 
The massive employment of Filipino performers by Hong Kong Disneyland has led to a dire brain drain across the Philippine performing arts industry,with its impact strongly felt even in companies such as Ballet Philippines,which lost some of its best dancers to HK Disneyland when it opened over a decade ago.

Your Highness, created with the young and dextrous dancers of Ballet Philippines,is a concert that prefigures their potential transition into the industry of happiness. It endlessly rehearses there becoming "real" within the fantasy hall of "performed happiness”; of manufactured desires built upon privilege and the idealised Other.

“As an independent Filipina choreographer, it is a unique and inspiring adventure to collaborate with Ballet Philippines in creating this new ensemble work,” Jocson shared.

“It is exciting to see the dancers push their capacities into unknown terrain with incredible virtuosity. And I am looking forward to share this performance born out of an intense and meticulous process of exploring the dancer’s and ballet’s manifold bodies and voices,” the choreographer finally noted.

Your Highness’ international artistic team is led by Jocson (choreographer), GiaGequinto, Stephanie Cabral, MailaHabagat, Alexis Piel, and Carlo Padoga (Ballet Philippines dancers), Arco Renz and Anna Wagner (dramaturges), Teresa Barrozo (music and sound design), Florian Bach (lighting design), and Dennis Maristany (costume design).

Written and Photo: Patricia Curitana

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