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Embracing what is mine. Lineage. Culture
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Anito Gavino (formerly Ani Gavino) is a Filipinx multidisciplinary artist, movement scholar, archivist, and cultural worker indigenous to the island of Panay, Philippines. She directs her project-based company Ani/MalayaWorks, a dance collective unapologetically consisting of dancers from the global South.


Ani/MalayaWorks began as a mother/daughter choreographic process. Gavino officially started the company in 2014 as a way to teach her daughter and her Filipino-American community about ancestral lineage, pride, and legacy often muted when living abroad. Realizing that many first-generation hyphenated Americans relate to this disconnection to cultural identity, Gavino felt the urgency to create spaces for ancestral memory work through dance and community-engaged participatory choreographies.


She uses Katherine Dunham's philosophies to frame her artistic research which centers on autoethnographic processes to explore dance and its relationship to culture, history, and utopic futures. Her scholarship focuses on the reclamation of the Africanist as the origins in dance forms such as Jazz, Caribbean dances, and her very own Indigenous dances. She’s interested in finding the cross-pollinating intersections of culture and history encoded within movement. Currently, she is inspired by Dunham's work, and Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild's scholarship of digging the Africanist by tracing connections between her Philippine islands to the Caribbean. 


Gavino’s dance career highlights include dancing with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Latin Ballet of Virginia, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, Ananya Dance Theater, and directing her community-based immersive dance company, AniMalayaWorks. As a dance documentarian, her films have been screened at the Dance Studies Association, Muhlenberg’s Dance Film Week, and San Francisco’s Asian Arts Museum, and recently was awarded the Best Debutant Director by the Pink City International Film Festival in India. She is a recipient of the 2021 Leeway Transformation Award and Career Transition for Dancers, a grant awardee of the MAPfund 2020, 2022, National Performance Network 2020, 2021, Leeway Art for Social Change, Scribe Video Center, Velocity Fund Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Independent Public Media Fund, and more. Anito is also a writer for ThINKing Dance. She studied Journalism at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, and has a MFA in dance from Hollins University. She serves as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Muhlenberg College where she teaches courses in Jazz Dance and Dance Practices. More information can be found on

Si Anito ay isang katutubo ng Panay, at isinilang sa Maynila at lumaki sa kanyang probinsya, Iloilo. Siya ay nagtungo at nakipagsapalaran sa Estados Unidos taong dalawang libo (2000). Nakalipas ang panahon at nagtungo sa taong dalawang libo at labing apat (2014) kung saan siya'y napanatili sa Estados Unidos at sumayaw sa mga kumpanya katulad ng Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Latin Ballet of Virgina, KYL/D at Ananya Dance Theatre. Siya ay lumilikha ng mga sayaw upang mailabas ang kanyang saloobin sa pamamagitan ng pagsasadula. Siya rin ay gumawa ng isang grupo binubuo ng Pilipino at Asyanong-Amerikanong mananayaw at ipinangalan itong, AniMalayaWorks. Sila ay nagtatanghal sa pamamagitan ng iba't ibang estilo na may malalim na kahulugan at kwento tungkol sa pamilya, kultura, komunidad, buhay imigrante at reklamasyon. Sila ay nagtatanghal sa iba't ibang lugar katulad ng entablado, kalsada o museo kasama ang kanyang anak na si Malaya Ulan. Ginawaran siya ng Leeway Transformation Award noon 2021, Leeway Social Change Grant 2019 at 2020, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Scribe Video Center Planning and Finishing Grant, Independent Public Media Fund, MAPfund 2020 at MAPfund 2022 para sa kanyang bagong proyektong, Sinawali at Primx. Siya ay sinuportahan ng Painted Bride, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Barnes Foundation at marami pa. Siya rin ay isang profesora sa Muhlenberg College at Manunulat sa ThINKing Dance.

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