01 October 2017 – The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai hosted yesterday the screening of the award-winning documentary on Filipino dance, Ricardo Carraza’s Beyond the Block. Over 380 people filled Dubai's VOX cinema at the Grand Hyatt, marking the first time a Filipino documentary was shown in any of Dubai’s theaters.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes noted that this was the first time the Consulate is highlighting Filipino hip-hop and urban street culture as a specific aspect of Philippine dance. He added that the screening of this documentary is a way of instilling in overseas Filipinos pride in their particular brand of Philippine art, regardless of the origin of these forms of art. Members of Dubai’s hip-hop and dance community attended the special screening and expressed appreciation for this endeavor, the first time the Consulate has given them an avenue where they could express their art.
The Filipino community also expressed eagerness in embracing various types of Philippine dance as most pigeon-hole Philippine dance in terms of folk and traditional dance, ie. tinikling, pandanggo sa ilaw, etc., thereby excluding newer forms such as hip-hop and urban street dance.
Producer, writer, and director of the documentary, Ricardo Carranza, who flew in from Finland, said that this was also the first time he collaborated with the Philippine foreign service to promote urban street dance culture. He emphasized that Filipinos are reputed to be one of the major proponents of this form of art, noting the success of various Filipino dance groups in the US, Europe, and Asia like the Jabbawoceez, the A Team, the Philippine All Star Dance Crew, and many others. END