A dance film by Alleluia Panis
SHE, WHO CAN SEE tells the haunting story of Salima and Nico. When the powerful waves of Salima’s shamanic inheritance surge into the daily realities of their middle-class life, their refusal to succumb to conventional western medical diagnosis of mental illness, plunge them into the disorienting world of visions, dreams, and ancestral spirits.
Director Alleluia Panis’ Statement:
SHE, WHO CAN SEE is my first dance film under the New American Dance Theater Series. As a choreographer and stage director for over 3 decades, my vision in making films is to expand my story-telling tools.
She, Who Can See is based in stories of people who have abilities to communicate with spirits. Western contemporary society considers this phenomenon as a medical condition, while ‘tribal’ or aboriginal cultures of the world, revere this ability to communicate with the ancients as a most precious and sacred gift. Considered taboo and hidden from the public, this dance film hopes to enlighten and lay bare the hardships when ancient beliefs collide with the modern world.
The character of Salima is a composite of several friends and relatives who believe they have the ability to communicate with spirits/entities/energies. They often refuse this ‘gift’ for its overwhelming consequences. The character of Nico is based on their long-term partners, whose love and support ground the ‘seer’. In the process of living through this most challenging journey, the partner gains her/his own mystical experience.
On the larger perspective, this piece is a metaphor for our search of the authentic self. I hope to honor and reflect our experiences as contemporary people, who are navigating and searching the right balance between our ancestral ways of knowing and the modern world.
Cast and Crew:
Salima: Alexandria Diaz De Fato
Nico: Gregory Manalo
Diwata: Ladislao ‘June’ Arellano
Diwata: Sammay Dizon
Diwata: Rebecca Fazio
Diwata: Jonathan Mercado
Directed by Alleluia Panis and Wilfred Galila
Executive Producer: Kularts Inc.
Producer: Alleluia Panis
Cinematographer: Wilfred Galila
Editor: Wilfred Galila
Composer: Florante Aguilar
Sound Design: Wilfred Galila
Costume Design: Ladislao ‘June’ Arellano
Choreographer: Alleluia Panis
Choreographic contributors: Ladislao ‘June’ Arellano, Alexandria Diaz De Fato, Gregory Manalo, and Jonathan Mercado
Story by Alleluia Panis
SHE, WHO CAN SEE is made possible with support from:
SF Arts Commission, SF Grants For The Arts, California Arts Council, San Francisco Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Bayanihan Community Center, New Art Media, API Cultural Center, and Filipino American Development Foundation.
Ladislao ‘June’ Arellano, Sharada Bose, Desi Danganan, Maya Escudero, Ching Gonzalez, Tamara Johnston, Laurie Krsmanovic, Christy P. Lanum, Gabriel Loquellano, Edwin Lozada, Joyce Lu, PhD, Lulu Lucero, Mark & Lisa Saguitan Melnick, Janice Mirikitani-Williams, Josephine Morada-Ortiz, Lydia Neff, Patricia Ong, Marcella Pabros-Clark, Fernando Padilla, Alleluia Panis, Vinay Patel, Sharon & Allan Pennell, Dagmar & Yesenia Sanchez, Helen Serafino-Agar, Eric Solano, Joel B. Tan, and Ching Aran Valdez.
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