by Paula Citron
Alvin Erasga Tolentino is a veteran Vancouver choreographer currently on a cross-Canada tour with his acclaimed multimedia solo “Field: Land is the belly of Man”. It is a reflective and thoughtful piece with the universal theme of man’s relationship with the earth.
Tolentino was born in the Philippines. “Field” and its homage to the rice farmer is part of his heritage, and it is Tolentino’s obvious passion which gives the work its power.
The first projection is spectacular. A single grain of rice appears on Tolentino’s belly, twisting and turning in a frenzy. This one grain then becomes one of many on the back wall, and we see the dancer’s shadowed hand frantically reaching for the rice.
Stylized scenes of planting and reaping are interpolated by choreographed passages that reflect the farmer’s interior, emotional concerns. Tolentino even becomes the actual field, or elements of the environment. His eloquent body speaks both as the farmer and the rice.
From the Betty Oliphant Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.