Blog #3: Preparing for Demonstrations
I've since complete my first belt and have worn it with my regalia already. Last weekend I joined Ron Quesada, Porling Rabara, Manong Napoleon Batalao, Jenny Bawer Young and Titania Buchholdt in providing music for a moving dance ceremony by "Las Companeras" for Cece Carpio's Altar Installation at the "Laughing Bones, Weeping Hearts" Dia De Los Muertos exhibition at the Oakland Museum. We weren't in full regalia, but I was asked by my Master Weaver to wear my belt over my clothing. I delighted in playing music with my friends, and was happy to see Ron, who flew in from Hawaii to inspire such dancers as Erin Wadell, Lisa Juachon and others. Choreographed by Patricia Ong, the modern movements were inspired by our ancestors who boarded ships, and worked as laborers in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. That night our tongatong and gangsa rhythms wove in and out between the threads of present, past, and into the future. Check out Cece's installation of carved canoes hanging in space reminding us of the carved canoe images atop the ancient burial jars back home, like the images from Egypt with the ancestors going home in their canoes... I'm digressing, but it's amazing how one thing connects to another. Several friends in the FilAm community dream of carving traditional canoes, like back home, and last Friday I learned Cece has carved several small models... we've been looking for carvers & one amongst has been there all the time!
Dreams can be woven together and as each day passes I see how dreams come alive and manifest into the future. This LAGA (backstrap weaving) project is one such dream. I am in the midst of the dream and until now, didn't realize that it was difficult to write about while trying to complete it. Sometimes writing and living just don't quite match up. On living the LAGA DREAM:
1. Completing the LAGA belt went fairly smoothly.
2. Completing the LAGA tapis has had its complications. (Not to be discussed in this blog, but let it be known that I am half way completed...)
3. Figuring out how to bring the LAGA DEMOS on the road is a mind boggler!
Normally, the LAGA weaver has the weaving attached to the wall, with a strap behind her back to provide the tension, and with her feet braced against wood on the floor (see photo.) Jenny & I have had to use closet dowels attached to furniture and between doors to simulate what is done in Lubuagan. I've had to place a chair against the wall (yes, I'm SHORT!) to push my feet against for the proper tension & YES! it works! But figuring out how to have a contraption that will support the weaving during a demonstration has occupied my mind the last several weeks. I've talked to Patrick Tamayo, an excellent Sagayan Dancer and carpenter, who has made kulintang stands for FilAms for advice and I'm hoping he'll help me figure out a good, sturdy, light, and portable solution to my dilemma for future live demonstrations. In fact, maybe some of you can suggest designs for me by replying to this blog... in the meantime, I am going to recruit my pilates machine for my solo demonstration through KulArts at 2 Blocks of Art this Friday, October 19th, 2012, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Check all the art out in SOMA. Drop on by the Bayanihan Center for more art and my first ever LAGA DEMONSTRATION & the debut of my pilates support for LAGA this Friday at:
Bayanihan Community Center
1010 Mission Street @ 6th
Here's the website: http://kularts.org/wp/2-blocks-art-walk-oct-19/