Dance was able to give me the gift of self expression at a time where i needed it most…

Ralph Escamillan - Dancer

The first exposure for dance for me was a video of a dance group called “Philippine Allstars”, competing at World Hiphop 07. This was first time I saw Filipinos dancing, and at the time, I didn’t know that dance was an past time in Filipino culture. Sure I saw my parent get down on the dance floor at weddings, parties and other events but this was the first time I saw Filipino’s being represented in such a grand way. I searched the local studios for classes, and had to find a job cleaning at the studio in exchange for classes because my mother, at the time, could not afford it. After a few breakdancing classes i wanted to try other styles and explore the world of dance.

When I was you younger I said I would become one of three things:

  1. Singer
  2. Artist or
  3. Chef

I wanted to be a chef in high school, and demanded the school to introduce a culinary program because of it. I also was very into art, thinking I could become an artist maybe. I was interested in Dataism and its retaliation to the politics of the times. Life drawing, sculpture and mixed media were my forte. Dancer should have been on that list, but iI never in a million years thought I would be dancing if you asked me at age 11. I had no sense of rhythm or hand-eye coordination. Who knew that dancing at first “recreationally” would manifest itself into something that I come to love.

I focus on dance because it is something that takes place every day. In a sense, we are all dancers – and as cheesy as that may sound, it is true. Dance was a way for me, like many artist, to express myself and was a tool to release my frustrations and anger towards life. The first time anyone told me that “you inspired me” also gave me another reason to keep dancing. I wanted to be able to touch and inspire others through dance. I wanted them to have imagination people and to think of their bodies as a way to communicate to the world and not merely a static object in space.

Ralph Escamillan - Dancer

I haven’t “chosen” contemporary dance, it more  chose me.  Contemporary dance has only recently come into my life in the past year in a half, but i think that I have always been thinking of dance in a contemporary way. I used to imagine moving space with my hands, watching little tornados form out of thin air… I was crazy.  I still train in other disciplines in dance such and hip-hop and freestyle dance, which has influenced my take on contemporary dance as well. Contemporary should innovate, be honest, and push the boundaries of the human body. It is one of the most challenging genres of dance because it requires a sense of maturity and confidence in one’s body.  I don’t like the idea of having labels and names for ones movement – so I think of myself more of a mover than anything else. Being a mover has changed my way of thinking in life and the basic fundamentals of dance can be used in everyday life.

The artists of inlayers are asking for your support by donating to our online fundraiser. Though the project is underway with the support from Alberta Foundation for the Arts, this funding only covers 25% of the budget. The rest is up to our own efforts. Your donations will go to help pay the 8 involved artists for their full time contributions, hard work, and dedication during the 6 weeks of this project as well as additional creation and production costs.
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About Ralph Escamillan

Ralph has been dancing since tender age of 14. His first exposure was from watching the Philippine all stars on YouTube, after which he fell in love with dance. He started with break dancing at HarbourDanceCentre and expanded his learning later taking hiphop. At harbour he also tried a multitude of genres such as ballet, contemporary, modern , waacking, house, locking and popping. He trained with Freshgroove productions learning hiphop fundamentals inside and outside the company. He has also been a fortunate to be a part of other companies such as SickStylz and 247Comapny. He was recently currently affiliated with KillTheLight and HouseofLadouche and Contemporary Dance Education Company Modus Operandi just this past year. Ralph has recently worked with Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, Box4 piece, which toured to Calgary. He is now currently lives in Toronto working with urban dance company Gadfly.

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