Leyte Dance Theater emerges from typhoon rubble to perform in US

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 24, 2014

CARSON, Calif. – Just over five months ago, these dancers who live in Tacloban were displaced, injured and struggling to survive as a result of Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation.

“I could say it’s a learning experience because I learned a lot. The discipline that I got I had crutches at the same time teach dance. It’s very hard and at the same time I had to attend to my family. Ang dami iniisip natin but then again because of commitment and passion na gawa rin natin,” recalled choreographer Gerry Mores.

Two weeks ago 21 members of the Tacloban based Leyte Dance Theater came to the US for a ten week series of performances. Many of these dancers hail from typhoon ravaged Tacloban, some lost their homes and many were displaced.

“It was so hard for us. Because after the storm, after the typhoon, I couldn’t locate the dancers because most of them fled Tacloban and it was very hard to locate then. There was no communication and it took me a month to be able to find out where they were,” explained artistic director Jess De Paz.

The group had just completed the california leg of their tour and met with the local Filipino community.

As they showcase their award winning talents, they also hope to help raise funds for the ongoing typhoon Yolanda relief efforts.

“It had been a mission of the Leyte Dance Theater to help in anyway, to be able to develop not only dance but also the needs of the community,” said De Paz.

The dance theater arrived in the US in early April and will continue performing for the next 2 months doing multiple performances throughout the country including Las Vegas, New York, Texas and Arizona until they go home.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com

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