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Ferdie Cacnio at Galerie Anna |

Arts and Culture

Ferdie Cacnio at Galerie Anna

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Nicolas Poussin, a master of French classical painting, created the work “A Dance to the Music of Time,” depicting four female dancers, hand in hand swaying to the lyre music of an old man. The four women represented the four seasons and their succeeding passages through time, here symbolized by the ancient musician. This painting is at the heart of the solo exhibition “Ferdie Cacnio: Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet.” The show celebrates a decade of his dance paintings and sculptures, with new works now on view at Galerie Anna.

What distinguishes Cacnio from artists who have explored dance as a subject is that he himself is an active practitioner of the art. Not of the classical ballet, which has become a trademark of his art, but of modern dance, having done stints on television and the movies, indeed winning in dance competitions.

As an artist himself capable of capturing the power and drama of dance through another medium, Cacnio has already created a still growing body of work, as attested by several exhibitions devoted to the subject. Of his sculptural works, noted art critic Cid Reyes has written:

“The essential impulse in Cacnio’s sculptures is the pursuit of the expressive gesture, specifically an arrested moment that seems like an eternal pause. Though still and immobile, the lone dancer’s pose captures at once the elasticity of tension and the repose of isolation — in the flailing of the arms, in the seemingly fluid rushing of sprightly feet, in the sailing of the body through the air, as if the space itself were the hollowed volume from which the sculptural figure had been carved.

“Indeed, each part of the dancer’s physiognomy, each detail of her accouterments, quickens our interest in her. From the vertiginous stiletto heels that look like a pair of dangerous instruments to the compressed flesh heaving beneath a stifling bodice, Cacnio is in control of his material. What awakens the audience to the thrill of her “performance” is the pleasurable vivacity of the vicarious experience, as any minute now, one expects the house to erupt into thunderous applause.

“With the suavity of a trained stage performer, Cacnio shapes and molds the figure with the musicality of a born choreographer, swept by his own internal rhythm. By turns earthbound and spiritual, his dancers possess the compressed energy and fury of bodies articulating universal emotions — joy and celebration, grief and despair — in the purest and distilled expression that dance can communicate.”

Cacnio’s  paintings of  dancers, however, were rendered with intensity and speed of brushstrokes, as though, not wanting to miss a beat, the artist instantaneously grasped the afterimage left by the dancer’s split-second movements and the flurry of their garments or outfits.  Visages and torsos, arms and legs and toes are mere silhouettes, which direct our gaze to the motivation of the movement.

The challenge and triumph of Ferdie Cacnio’s art has to do with the difficult task of transcending one art, dance, and transmitting its dynamics and energies through another medium. Cacnio’s  decade-long wonder and fascination with dance has made him its most worthy acolyte. This show is his own “dance to the music of time.”

Galerie Anna is at the 4/F., The Artwalk, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, EDSA, Mandaluyong City. For inquiries, call 470-9869.

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