Artistic Administrator, Choreographer, and Dance Teacher
December 16, 1984 – February 28, 2022
Kenn Erwin A. Velasquez was born in Mahayag, Zamboanga Del Sur. He went to Molave Vocational Technical School and took a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).
In May 2003, he began working at the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) in Iligan City as an artistic administrator, resident artist, choreographer, and dance teacher. He also lived in Cebu from 2013 to 2017 and became a part of the Cebu 2 All Stars.
According to IPAG founding director Steven PC Fernandez, Velasquez led the group’s Artistic Cluster and training programs, and choreographed and played the lead in “Tighod (Tides of Times)” at the Asia-Pacific Bond Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam before the COVID crisis. He also performed in and choreographed the IPAG music video “Ea.” His last choreography was performed in “#backlog: The Myths of our Lives,” which previewed in December 2021.
Velasquez also performed in international theaters and festivals such as the Bharatiya Lok Sanskriti Utsav International Folkloric Festival in January 2011, and the Asia Pacific Bureau Festival in September 2019 in Hanoi.
Kenn performed and toured with IPAG from 2017 to 2019 for the CCP’s Ugnayan sa Sining project under the Cultural Exchange Department (CED), along with performing artists from Negros, Manila, and Pampanga.
In 2020, he performed a special dance in solidarity with the rest of CCP’s Kaisa sa Sining regional network to advocate the role of arts during the beginning of the pandemic.
Velasquez was very busy in 2021. In March that year, he performed in “Dialogues ng Mindanao,” one of four segments of Tahanan, a collaborative online theater project of playwright-director Fujita Takahiro and actors from across the Philippines, and presented by the Japan Foundation, Manila.
In June 2021, Velasquez created and performed a very inspiring prayer-dance ritual for the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Independence Day and employees’ retirement online program. In November 2021, he choreographed and performed a dance for the CCP CED’s annual Kutitap Multi-Arts Camp, participated in by 150 children from all over the country.
The CCP CED, which Velasquez assisted through the years, deeply mourned Velasquez’s loss. “Thank you, Kenn, for your friendship, your outstanding artistry, your dedication, your wisdom, your generosity, your wit, your laughter, and your love!” they wrote in a tribute.
“We will forever be grateful for all your contributions to the CCP Outreach and Cultural Exchange programs. And of course, we are thankful for all your contributions to the Philippines’ arts and culture sector.”
IPAG’s Fernandez said: “We’re certain about the first thing he’ll do in the other universe: gather the angels to perform to keep the spirits of the living alive.”