For yourself, to yourself
by Megan Mizanty
Alonzo Magsino runs his fingers through an invisible river. He tells us of his mother, who immigrated from the Philippines: a winding, transcontinental journey. He mirrors the movement—a symmetrical waved path—for his father. They both landed in Brooklyn, and then Alonzo’s life story begins.
The Torch Runners is a jump from other to self—dancing initially to fulfill the wishes of family, professors, critics to the sheer joy of movement for one’s own experience. For me. By me. To me. That’s the desired legacy.
When Alonzo launches into full body movement, the finely tuned swivels of his waist, hips, and shoulders cut through the space. Ballroom dance in his bones. But aesthetics shift, just like his life. The repertoire widens. He shares DJ aspirations, beatboxing, the lights flashing above him. Closely hugging the beats and polyrhythms, his movement quality changes with each song. Taut. Fluid. Controlled. Abandoned. There’s bright potential in his future. He drags his hands down his face. What’s on your mind, Alonzo?
He mimes guzzling from a red solo cup, then crushing it, tossing it to the side. I’m curious to know more - is this a part of his autobiography? Or pulled from another’s ? Although Alonzo is sharing this dance as a solo, it was originally created with two others. I imagine the feats taken to alter it all. For a moment, he pauses, considering his next choice. He kicks the cup away.
One of the last memorable images isn’t of Alonzo, but his two shadows. They move on either side, a nod to other versions of himself, perhaps past and future. He reaches for a glowing white candle, carrying the light beyond the space, to whatever lies ahead.
The Torch Runners, Alonzo Magsino, Fidget Space, Cannonball Festival, Philly Fringe Festival, Sept. 8, 14, 20
By Megan Mizanty
September 17, 2023