Justin Talplacido Shoulder’s ANITO is a visual dance theatre work
featuring sculptures animated by live performance, lighting, AV and sound.
ANITO extends on Shoulder’s Phasmahammer, an eco-cosmology of alter personas
based on queered ancestral myth.
ANITO refers to ancestor spirits (umalagad) or nature spirits and deities (Diwata) in the indigenous animistic religions of precolonial Philippines. These beings also appear in comic books, anime and contemporary pop culture. The work encourages other ways of seeing and being in the world that attune with non-human entities.
The world of ANITO is a meeting place; a fertile petri dish incubating distinct and recombinant organisms. Beings that have survived and can thrive in new ways through their interrelationships and evolving landscapes to show us (humans) how resistance and collaboration give rise to hope.
Merging installation, visual arts, theatre and dance audiences are transported into the Skyworld — a luscious future folkloric space of possibility. The Skyworld is a multi-layered world that has its origins in Tagalog myth, and is now imagined as a contemporary cultural framework to tell stories within.
In ANITO, the Creatures (persona) birthed and inhabited by Shoulder are hybrids between human, machine, animal and plant embodied through hand crafted costumes, masks or prosthesis and animated by their own gestural languages.
The dynamic transformative set design (sculptures) become an immersive evolving landscape which embrace, shelter and collapse around these creatures.
The production design (objects, costumes, masks, sets/ sculptures) are inspired by, and draw from, investigation into spectacle techniques (quick change costumes and masquerade), filipinx textiles and biomorphic design (looking at how folkloric craft traditions approach design inspired by nature).
The project brings together an established core ensemble of Australian artists who have worked in collaboration with Shoulder on a significant body of their work.
Shoulder’s artistic partnerships with Matthew Stegh (Lead Set/Props/Costume Design/Maker), Victoria Hunt (Performance Director), Corin Ileto (Composer) and Fausto Brusamolino (Projection/Lighting Design), Eugene Choi (co-performer) are defined by an intimate and shared understanding of process, aesthetics, and creative aspirations. They directly contribute to the conceptual and dramaturgical development of the work via an ongoing exchange of research, reflection, making and realisation.