Founded in 1987, UPDC was set up for the apprenticeship and professional training of dance major students in the College of Music, University of the Philippines. It is meant to develop the technique and creativity of student dancers and choreographers as a company. Moreover, it serves the university’s choreographic needs (dance and allied arts, other curricular studies and extension programs) not just in UP Diliman but also in other UP campuses nationwide. It also aims to promote dance as a serious form of study and profession, and aa public and communal expression. UPDC compliments a main program of the college, the dance degree program: 4 years as diploma, 5 years a baccalaureate.
The program is the most comprehensive in the country in dance practice and theory, in music and theatre, in Asian and Philippine dance and music, in movement notation (Benesh system, the only one in the country), etc. Diploma requires the production of a dance recital while the Bachelor of Music includes a thesis requirement. Students often collaborate with music composition majors and sometimes with the faculty in recitals and performances, as performers and composers, Many students/ graduates have been involved in Asian festivals, workshops, Laban notation studies and academic complementation (the last three mostly in Taiwan).
Prominent students have received UP awards, invitations to festivals, and workshops in Asia and Europe and specia studies in Taipei and Sumatra, Indonesia. Two had scholarships in India to study Bharatanatyam classical dance. Also, it is the only company know to have deconstructed the dance classics like The Nutcracker (into Maria Clara’s Colonial Dream – as japayuki), Giselle (into Ang Higanti), Cinderella (into Mariang Sinderela Ang Bagong Bayani), Petrouchka (into Pedro Kusinero), and Les Noces (into Ang Kasal).
The UP Dance Company has premiered a good number of original works from dance recitals and a commissioned work fir the 30th anniversary of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts had once sponsored UPDC’s national tour, performing from Aparri to Davao. It has joined festivals in Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei and Kaoshiung in Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia and Korea in their individual capacity. Furthermore, UPDC has once organized the Contemporary Dance Map in Quezon City that had routes of several dance studio venues, and the Wifi Body Festival with the Contemporary Dance Network Manila.
National artisxt Leonor Orosa Goquingco once wrote of the dancers as “talents coming up brightly in the firmament of dance.”
- Champion (Contemporary Category) – Sayaw Pinoy National Dance Competition – Dec. 7, 2013
- 1st runner up (College – Contemporary Category) – Dancelebration Avenue 2014 – Mar. 9, 2014