HERstory, is a conceptual dance theater merging the personal into the political context of feminism. It investigates matrilineal bloodlines and ancestry, prior to European monotheism. The work honors the mother as the creator, the "mana" ( life force ), the birthing power; contrary to the belief that the nurturer is parallel to the weak.

HERstory, inspired by matrilineal pre-colonial societies, demonstrated how goddesses were omnipresent in our spirituality. Films were created in this multidisciplinary performance with the collaboration of filmmaker, Jasmine Lynea.

Copyright - The Dance Journal: Celebrating Fierce Women at The Barnes’ Artist Bash https://


HERstory Deconstructed (March 2018) is facilitated and choreographed by myself, in collaboration with Jasmine Lynea (on film). This is a process-based durational performance involving discourse, creative writing and improvisation (music jam, dance cypher, spoken word and story circles ). Gathering dancers, poets, singers at Fleisher Art Memorial, this experiential performance moved audiences literally from gallery spaces to the sanctuary, and emotionally through the stories shared on generational trauma, patriarchy, colonialism and #metoo movement. The mother-daughter dance section became a highlight as Gavino invited mothers and daughters to a dance, a commentary on her own frustrations on the Western patriarchal ideas of the bride. The performance ended in a ritual of signing permission slips allowing each attendee the permission for self-love and self healing.

"I lived in a small apartment with my uncle. My parents throughout elementary school lived in the farmlands where they worked the fields. They came to see me a few times a week until they settled financially and were able to live with me. For the most part of those years, I was under the supervision of my uncle who turned out to be my first abuser.  My uncle exposed me to experiences that a child should not be exposed to. I recall attempting to tell my mom, but because of shame, I kept it a secret. During this time, Inday, my young self-died. And Annie was born."  - Ani Gavino

Carmenita was created for stage,cathartic retelling of the my early childhood experiences with abuse. This was my first autoethnographic work, a narrative, a coming out story to my family who I protected at the expense of my own safety.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

Email:  malayaworks@gmail.com


October 15, 2020

Delaware Contemporary Museum 

March 16, 2020
Movement Research at Judson


January 18

Lunar New Year Celebration


December 6,7 2019

De(scribing) Maharlika @ Swarthmore University   4:30 pm Friday; 8 PM Saturday


November 14, 2019

Patawili Films: Parang Drunk History (a retelling of the historical narrative that Magellan circumnavigated the world and discovered the Philippines; honoring the chief that led the battle against Magellan, Lapu-Lapu ). De(scribing) Maharlika film, a film honoring and naming the indigenous tribes of the Philippines -- Philadelphia Asian American Festival @ Flesher Art Memorial, 8 PM




October 21,23 2019 @ Asian Arts Initiative, 7 PM

Patawili: a Sunday dinner and multi-disciplinary immersive dance theater experience on Filipino-American stories culminating an Asian Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Residency project. This worked involved visual and conceptual installations and a story of an ancient Filipinx mythological character, Bighari, the goddess of the rainbow.  



Oct.5, 2019

Taga-ilog: a site specific work designed to go with Isaac Witkin’s  sculptural piece “The Bathers”, commemorating Outlet Dance Project’s 15th Annual Festival for Grounds for Sculpture


September 21, 2019

Sunset CypHER for Bartams’ Garden: part of Philadelphia Fringe, a site specific performance centered on ancient mythological stories ending with a dance and drum cypher for the community 



August 18, 2019

Oval + Summer season: Solo Site Specific work performed at the Philadelphia Oval as part of the Fairmont Parks and Conservancy’s Oval + Summer season