El Gamma1

El Gamma Penumbra Acquires Instant Semifinals Qualification When Gold Buzzer Slammed

El Gamma Penumbra are most certainly some spectacular shadow dancers rarely seen with this magnitude of quality and emotions.  Their extraordinary audition number to the tune of Imagine Dragons “On Top of the World” was aptly described by Judge Melanie C as “mind-blowing”. The shadow dance depicted a love story that spanned generations and is set against the backdrop of several wonders of the world, including the mighty Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House, the African Safari, the Eiffel Tower, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro and the Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur.  All this to the tune of hitting the solid gold button.  

All four judges were visibly awed by their spectacular and mind blowing performance, but it was French-Indonesian singer-songwriter Anggun that showed the most appreciation by pressing the Golden Buzzer that sent El Gamma Penumbra straight to the semifinals.

Dong Pilotos, the group’s manager and proprietor of El Gamma Penumbra Dance Theater, where they took their name from, said that their seemingly effortless performance, which lasted less than three minutes was rehearsed for 12 hours a day for eight straight days.

“Conceptualizing the project alone during our meeting at a 24-hour McDonald’s store in Quezon City lasted all night and extended through the wee hours of the morning,” Pilotos clearly recalled.

Asked about how the group came about and how they went on to specialize in what they describe as “Shadow Play”, Pilotos revealed that the group was originally a group of hip-hop dancers formed by a group of schoolmates in Tanauan, Batangas.

“They were originally 24, then five departed and they were down to 19.  However, for ‘Asia’s Got Talent,’ only 13 were allowed because of production limits,” he added.

The boys that performed on “Asia’s Got Talent” were Marvin Marfa (creative head), Rowell Amano (senior choreographer), Wahlid Bucana, Mark Tadia, Johndolf Bayer, Kenneth Arante, Carl de Guzman, Rey Andamon, Michael Sapin, Paolo Esteban, PJ Javier, Allen Latido and Arnel Cipriano.

If El Gamma Penumbra sounds and looks familiar, it’s because this is not the first time they competed in a talent show. Four years ago, they participated in Season 3 of the “Pilipinas Got Talent’, the now defunct Philippine edition of the “Got Talent” franchise.

But instead of doing their hip-hop thing, they decided to do something very much different. “The boys got inspired with the brilliant concept of “Shadow Play” and decided to do their own take on it,” Pilotos added.

Rooted upon shadow puppetry that dates back to ancient China, the art of telling a story through silhouettes has since evolved and been adopted in other countries. El Gamma Penumbra, however, took it to a totally different and heightened level as they created astounding and mind blowing silhouettes with very minimal props.

“We have some cardboard materials but most, over 90 percent of what you see in our performance is pure human shadow, the bodies of our dancers,” Pilotos underscored.

It came as no surprise that they became crowd favorites on “Pilipinas Got Talent” and made it as far as the grand finals in that contest.

Although they did not win, their amazing performances did not go unnoticed. No less than the country’s Department of Tourism tapped them for its “Choose Philippines” campaign in a promotional clip that went on to win Best Music Video at the 34th Catholic Mass Media Awards.

For “Asia’s Got Talent,” they hope to even go further now that they landed in the semifinals. Although they forgot to include the Philippines among the wonders of the world they featured in their winning number, they’re very proud to be representing the country in such a prestigious international competition.

Asked if they have anything more to offer if they continue to advance in “Asia’s Got Talent,” Pilotos confidently said that their next performance is even more emotional than their debut in the competition.  “You will cry. We will make Filipinos cry,” he promised.

To ensure El Gamma Penumbra and other Filipino semifinalists remain on the show, viewers must vote for them in one of three ways: SMS, Facebook and the “Asia’s Got Talent” mobile app. Voting opens after the broadcast of each semi-final episode and will remain open for four days. Full details on how to vote can be found on the Asia’s Got Talent official website.

The semifinals of “Asia’s Got Talent” aired on AXN Thursday, April 16. The Grand Finals performance night at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is scheduled on May 7 with the results show happening on May 14.

Wow, we are all standing by with bated breathe and looking forward to one of the most greatest shows on earth today.