Multimedia Dance Theater Performance Portrays Pilipino Americans in San Francisco during the 20’s-60’s

Multimedia Dance Theater Performance Portrays Pilipino Americans in San Francisco during the 20’s-60’s
New Work From Alleluia Panis, Isadora Duncan Dance Award Nominee


Kristen Soller

San Francisco, CA, February 20, 2019 - Kularts, the premier presenter of contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts in the United States, is proud to present In the Belly of the Eagle: Man@ng is Deity, Alleluia Panis’ latest multimedia dance theater workshop performance featuring original music by Joshua Icban and media art by Wilfred Galila premiers at Bindlestiff Studio on March 22-24. Inspired by real-life accounts of Pilipino Americans between the 1920s-1960s in San Francisco, this performance portrays the 8,000-mile immigration journey to America, and the resilience of the Pilipino people.

In his deathbed, Valentino Pablo, of the manong generation, experiences vivid moments of his early 20th century American life. He and his fellow Pilipinos bonded together to ease their struggles of living in a society that valued them for their cheap labor but loathed them and denied their humanity. He relives the bitter hardships, the fleeting joys, and their determined spirit of survival and camaraderie that defined his generation.

Pilipino American influence in the arts and community organizing has a long-standing relationship to San Francisco. Alleluia Panis’ ‘Incarcerated 6x9’ presented by Kularts was recently nominated for two Isadora Duncan Awards in ‘Outstanding Achievement in Performance,’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design: June Arellano (Costume), and Wilfred Galila (Media Art).’ Panis is also the recipient of the SF Arts Commission Artistic Legacy Award.

Kularts, as an elder arts organization within SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Cultural Heritage District, shepherds the arts & cultural work within the community, making visible the continuing presence and complexity of the Pilipino community in SoMa, and producing community art programs like the annual Parol Festival and Isugid Pinoy.

Alleluia and Kularts’ contributions to San Francisco’s artistic and Filipino communities cannot be measured. An innovator and an activist, she was part of a generation of beloved artists who fought for the establishment of the Cultural Equity Endowment Fund. Today, Alleluia continues to hold space for emerging and established Filipino artists and cultural bearers through her work as a choreographer and artistic director, and through her activism with SOMA Pilipinas — SF Art Commission Officer Kate Paterson-Murphy

The workshop performance In the Belly of the Eagle: Man@ng is Deity, a recipient of the prestigious Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Special Art Award, graces the stage as other Pilipino American arts gain national recognition including Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong, written by the late historian Dr Dawn Mabalon, and Gayle Romasanta; the fiction America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo; and the debut of Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad’s cookbook I Am Filipino: And This is How We Cook.

Showtimes for In the Belly of the Eagle: Man@ng is Deity - March 22 & 23 at 7:30pm, and March 24 at 2:30pm, at Bindlestiff Studios, 185 6th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For additional information and tickets please visit



March 22: 7:30 pm
March 23: 7:30 pm
March 24: 2:30pm

Bindlestiff Studios: 185 6th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Media Art by Wilfred Galila
Score by Joshua Icban
Dance Artists: Dre ‘Poko’ Devis, Jazlynn Pastor, Katherine Pantangco, Frances Sedayao, Jose Abad, Ladislao ‘June’ Arellano, Cristino Lagahid III, Jonathan Mercado, Johnny Huy Nguyen, and Earl Alfred Paus.

About Kularts:
Founded in 1985, Kulintang Arts, Inc., now known popularly as Kularts, is the premier presenter of contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts in the United States. Through three decades of service, Kularts has grown into a leading elder arts organization, uniting generations of artists and community activists in a common effort to build a collective space and sense of belonging within San Francisco, specifically the SOMA Pilipinas: Filipino Cultural Heritage District. Kularts creates work that makes visible the contributions of Pilipino Americans and creates room for cultural continuity and knowledge.

About Bindlestiff Studio:
Bindlestiff Studio cultivates artists who reflect and celebrate the diverse values, traditions, and histories of Pilipino and Filipino American cultures through bold artistic expression and community engagement. Originally opened in 1989, Bindlestiff became the only permanent, community-based performing arts venue in the nation dedicated to showcasing emerging Filipino American and Pilipino artists. The studio provides the often under-served Filipino American community access to diverse offerings in theatrical productions, music and film festivals, workshops in directing, production, acting, stand-up comedy, and writing, as well as a children and youth theater program.

About Alleluia Panis:
Alleluia Panis has received awards for her choreography from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, New Langton Arts, and Creative Work Fund. She has created over twenty full-length dance theater works since 1985, which have been performed on main stages in the United States, Europe and Asia, including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Singapore Arts Festival, and Verona Arts Fest – Italy. Her work was recently nominated for two Isadora Duncan Awards in ‘Outstanding Achievement in Performance’, and ‘Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design, for ‘Incarcerated 6x9’ (2018).

About Wilfred Galila:
Wilfred Galila makes use of a variety of media for storytelling and art making. His films have been screened at the 23rd and 26th annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. As a media artist, he has collaborated with dance artist Alleluia Panis on the multimedia dance theater productions She, Who Can See (2015) and Incarcerated 6x9 (2018, nominated for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design - Isadora Duncan Dance Awards), as well as the dance film She, Who Can See (2017) that was screened at CAAMFest in 2018. Galila is mounting a multimedia art installation piece as a commissioned artist by Kularts for the Postcolonial Survival Toolkit exhibition and series of events at The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco in May 2019.

About Joshua Icban:
Joshua Icban is a composer based in Vallejo, California.  As a creator, his work focuses on the intrinsic relationship between memory, history and identity. Josh is also a regularly performing guitarist who plays in a number of projects and groups in the Bay Area. Past credits include the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco State Gospel Choir, Afro-Cuban Ensemble He has served as composer/arranger & music director for Awesome Orchestra and Bindlestiff Studios and has had his work as sound designer featured in spaces such as Counterpulse and the Asian Art Museum. He recently graduated with an MA in ethnomusicology at CSU East Bay and teaches private lessons in the North Bay.