Annielille Gavino Kollman/
My work is a reflection of myself as a dance artist, a mother, a wife, a choreographer, a mentor, an activist, a visual artist and as a human. My choreographic process begins by drawing from personal life experience and then weaving my story with that of others through careful research and interaction. The process output are works that many can identify with.
As a child, I was always creating, whether through movement, or theatre, or something as simple as chalk. This search for artistic impression continued into young adulthood, pausing briefly only in college. At the time, attempting to appease my entrepreneurial minded parents, I went to University for Business. My life in ballet was put to a halt. However the need to create pulled me out of that world. I pursued my dance career by packing my suitcase from the Philippines to New York City to study at the Ailey School. There, I learned modern techniques. I then followed the path in African American Dance, dancing professionally for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and Dallas Black Dance Theater. I was able to work with legends such as the late Katherine Dunham, Eleo Pomare, David Rousseve, Donald Mc Kayle, Diane McIntyre, Alonzo King, Elisa Monte, Donald McKayle and many others.
Then, motherhood and family life called. This drastic change to the pace of life became a path to reinvention and discovery. At that time, my family life moved me to a suburb of Virginia. Life was slow and I found myself in a world unknown. I found myself relearning movement through the lens of my infant child. I found myself exploring textures from smooth to rough, shapes from linear to circular, and human emotions such as happy and sad. I found ways to use non-verbal communication with my child. I found myself exploring the woods like a task exploration of space and time. I was exploring colors and its respective emotional responses. These moments of isolation also drove me to investigate dance as a means to create and speak. I created dances that represented the forgotten ones. Through the poetry of dance, I spoke about culture, heritage and integration, politics and social justice. I started a project based collective called Malayaworks. This was the silver lining over the dark cloud. This was the seed to my choreographic path.
Currently, I live in Philadelphia, a much bigger city with a pool of artists to work with. My new path is leading me to the art of collaboration. In the works is a collaboration of rhythms with Kuchipundi dancer, Madumusita Bora and Tap dancer Robert Burden. Also in the works is a recreation of my immigration work, La Migra Let’s Run which will be featured at the 2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. I am also dancing professionally with Kun Yang-Lin/Dancers. The challenges of being a mother, a wife and a working artist continues, but it is not a bad challenge.
My choreography has influences from all the dance choreographers I have worked for, and all training I have immersed myself in, from classical, modern, and urban to folk. This makes my process fluid and complimentary to any dancer’s movement style. My choreography is driven by concepts and imagery. I create a realm that transports dancers and the audience away from or deeper into reality. My dances tell a human emotional experience, whether presented as a narrative or as an abstraction. Just like any immigrant, I blend my own history into the dancer’s. My goal is for my works to create an emotional response, and a dialogue that resonates to the dancer and audience, even after the work has been seen.