by Nanie de Castro
Song and dance combined is usually associated with happiness and merriment: drunk on pulsating beats and youth, in the arms of a familiar melody, at the brink of good news. Such is not the case for Where the Light Settles.
The short film, a triptych of sorts, is an melancholic mix of music, movement, and mood, focusing on the relationship between mental health problems and professional and personal relationships. Three segments tell the story through specially choreographed dances brought to life by Ballet Philippines company members Timothy Cabrera and Denise Parungao, set to songs by Autotelic (“Unstable”), Maya’s Anklet (“Kung Alam Ko Lang”), and The Sun Manager (“In Darkness”), respectively.
It all started out as an idea for the music video of “Unstable,” shares conceptual artist, Ren Aguila, as he and director AJ Orlina met the audience during the film’s premiere last September 12, 2015 at the Archivo 1984 Gallery. He then candidly reveals to a very surprised audience that the emotional choreography for Autotelic’s segment of the film was created by Artistic Director of the Ballet Philippines, Paul Morales—whose last (and first) work on a music video was 22 years ago, for “Ang Huling El Bimbo” by the Eraserheads. And later on, he continues, as “Kung Alam Ko Lang” and “In Darkness” came, things fell into place. What was originally a series of music videos became a short film—which, according to Aguila, they plan to one day stage.
For now, Where the Light Settles will hit the big screen this September 20, 2015, at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) as part of Body Positive, a Ballet Philippines program set to highlight issues of health and wellness. The segments featuring Autotelic’s “Unstable” and Maya’s Anklet’s “Kung Alam Ko Lang” have also been released as music videos; you can catch them playing on MYX, on the respective artists’ pages, as well as various streaming sites.
You can get a copy of another Autotelic gem, “Misteryoso,” on Fresh Filter 1, a Jam 88.3 compilation vinyl, available via Satchmi.