Arts & Expression, Southeast Asian, Dance
Alvin Erasga Tolentino is one of the most active Asian/Canadian dance artists who continue to reveal, provoke, fascinate and bring a fresh voice in the national and international dance scene. His successful career has garnered him notability and a distinct reputation as an original and an unpredictable contemporary performing artist.
Tolentino’s dance creations are driven from the need to intricately illustrate human experiences of light and darkness and the infinitely complex relationship between nature and humanity. His choreography challenges the exploration of hybridity that juxtapose to reveal the private and public territory empowering the issues within the traditional and contemporary crosscultural dialogue.
Born in Manila, Philippines, he moved to Canada in 1983. He has received professional art and dance training with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, York University’s Fine Arts in Toronto, in the US at SUNY Purchase, Limon Institute and with an ongoing training with some of the most prominent dance and art educators across the nation and abroad. A veteran of the contemporary professional dance scene, he is an active choreographer, dancer, teacher, designer and a visual artist.
From 1989 to the present, Tolentino has continued to receive critical praise as a dancer for his outstanding interpretations of some of Canada’s finest choreographers and dance companies, to name a few, EDAM, Karen Jamieson Dance, Kinesis Dance, Kokoro Dance, LoLa Dance and Mascall Dance.
In 2001, Tolentino founded Co.ERASGA, a dance company dedicated to the research, creations and presentation of contemporary dance with an emphasis in exploration and collaboration with multi-media art and artists nationally and abroad. He has created over 15 solo works and his full-length work includes; SOLA 1998, BATO/Stone and MINORI 2001, VOLT 2002 and FIELD 2003, SHE SAID and ORIENTIK/PORTRAIT 2005.
With an extensive international touring and artistic collaboration, Tolentino has travel and featured dance works to other countries including thePhilippines, Japan, Belgium, the Untied States, France, Dominican Republic, Croatia, Switzerland, Singapore and Venezuela.
His dances for the Camera include Birth, In the Skin of Becoming Swan and SOLA. They have been featured in national and international video/film festivals and have received prestigious nominations, including the 2000 BC Leo Awards, 2001 Canadian Gemini, and 2002 Grand Prix International Video dance competition for UNESCO in Paris.
“In the process, Tolentino established himself as a daring virtuoso dancer, with his originality, exuberance, technical brilliance and powerful grace.”
—Mel Tobias, The Philippine Chronicle of Vancouver