Patawili creates a space for Filipino Philadelphians through dance, Oct 18 & 20

Culminating her Asian Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Mini-residency project, Annielille Gavino will present Patawili, a Sunday dinner and multi-disciplinary immersive dance-theater experience on Filipino-American stories. This will occur on October 18 & 20 at 7:30 pm on the 3rd floor of the Asian Arts Initiative,  1219 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 ). Experience the ritual of food, dance, and music from Panay Island, Philippines where Gavino is originally from.

Traditionally, celebrated by the Tumandok people, an indigenous group from Gavino’s native island, Panay, “Patawili” is a communal gathering where people gather and celebrate with a ritual of food, dance and music. Inspired from this, Gavino will re-create a new ritual of “Patawili”, at Asian Arts Initiative. It will be interactive performance in which the audience will participate in the tradition, Kamayan, a meal in which food is eaten with hands. Simultaneously, an installation of “Missing” posters will be displayed on the 3rd floor gallery. Each missing poster will feature ancient Filipino gods, each lost since 1521 ( the beginning of colonization ). The dance theater will be performed after a brief walk through the gallery. During the performance, Malaya Cassandra ( a 2nd generation Filipina ), Gavino’s 11 year old daughter, will narrate the story of Bighari, the goddess of the rainbow. This contemporary twist on a mythological story will portray the journey of a goddess who migrates to earth and finds herself disconnected to her family in heaven, representing the displacement and conflicts of identity that many Filipino immigrants face. This story and the process of telling it is Gavino’s way to connect Malaya and other Filipino immigrants to their heritage.

The night will end with a comedic film about the arrival of Magellan in the Philippines. The film will reveal that Magellan did not circumnavigate the world, unlike what is taught at most middle school social studies classes. The film will feature Lapu Lapu, a chief who defeated Magellan in the battle of Mactan, Philippines. Following the format of “Drunk History”, a comedy series from Comedy Central, we will drink to the retelling of the history often untold in the US public school system.

This work is a tribute to Filipino American History Month.

Annielille Gavino, affectionately known as Ani ( meaning “Harvest” in her native tongue, Hiligaynon), is a native of the Philippines and a movement artist, choreographer, teaching artist, mother and community organizer. She immigrated to the United States in 2000, and has worked with legendary choreographers such as Katherine Dunham, Donald McKayle, Baba Chuck Davis, and many others. She danced with international modern dance companies such as Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Dallas Black Dance Theater and Kun Yang- Lin/ Dancers. An interdisciplinary dance artist, she uses dance as a storytelling element for cultural connection, resistance, spiritual journeys, and community engagement. Her works have been supported by Dance Place, Fleisher Art Memorial, Barnes Foundation, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Small But Mighty Arts, Leeway Art for Social Change and more.

October 18, 2019 7:30-9pm (Free Open Dress Rehearsal)
October 20, 2019 7:30-9pm
Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 N. Vine St., Philadelphia
Tickets for Sunday’s performance $5-20 at