Corrine is a dancer who grew up studying various dance forms including jazz, tap and ballet. As an adult, she rediscovered her love and passion through African dance. Since then she has also explored Flamenco and Dancehall among many other styles. Over the past 10 years, she has performed in various group numbers as well as worked with others in the dance community to choreograph and perform trio and duo acts.
Corrine is also an elementary school teacher. In her classroom, she tries to share her passion for dance, music, drama and the arts with her students by always encouraging them to explore their own creativity. Corrine joined Kathara in 2015, after returning from a visit to the Philippines and feeling drawn towards learning more about Indigenous Filipino history and culture. Since then, she has been growing her knowledge as an artist through music and dance.
Born in the Philippines, raised in Vancouver-Canada, Carlie has been a Kathara dancer of six years. She hopes to gain more choreography experience and build in drumming skills. She has numerous achievements of performing locally in special events to teach people the culture of indigenous tribes.
Most inspirational individuals in Carlie’s life are Babette Santos and JR Guerrero as they have been there since day one. For Carlie, they both showed the way of being true within and sharing their experiences as a Kathara member.
Leona began exploring movements at a tender age as a ballerina, but truly developed a love for dance and music in high school. Sculpted by the multicultural atmosphere within her circle of friends, her style and taste is greatly influenced by Afro music and Latin culture.
Nevertheless, Leona stayed true to her Filipino roots when she joined KDT (Kalinangan Dance Troupe). Her involvements with KDT in Montreal allowed her to teach traditional Filipino pieces to beauty pageant contestants and to instill cultural inspiration by sharing dance techniques with the Cirque de Soleil.
Today, Leona continues to delve deeper into her roots by learning ancestral rhythms with Kathara and through FMA while she keeps a close ear to West Coast soundscapes.
MARCUS JOSEPH “OSO” VELASCO
Marcus is a proud member of Kathara since April 2015. He is Kathara’s drummer and occasionally helps in facilitating drumming workshops. He is also Kathara’s event coordinator and a member of their Board of Directors. Marcus is the founder of a community group called Sounding Walls which focuses on decolonization and reconditioning our ideas of what it means to be Filipino.
He is also a seasoned barista, poet, aspiring writer, musician, storyteller, spiritual healer and a Tagalog language instructor for Wika ng Ating Dila. Marcus identifies himself as a queer male in a female assigned body who embraces both his feminine and masculine energies.
Marcus is part Filipino and part Chinese who was adopted and raised in Vancouver by a Chinese family. His sense of identity was heavily influenced dominantly through Chinese upbringing, and feels that he is a part of a growing generation of people strangers to their own culture. He feels a considerable need and longing for a deeper connection with his Filipino ancestral roots. He often can be heard saying, “when it comes to figuring out who we are, it is not a matter of learning but remembering. So it is important that we listen from within.” His primary intention, hopefully through his work and mentorship under Kathara, people will come to understand their own identity, history and culture.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Krishna’s family moved to Vancouver in 2011. With her desire to reconnect with her cultural roots, she joined Kathara Canada in 2013 and performed as a dancer and musician. She pursued her passion in film making and has done technical and coordination roles in multiple independent projects, including “indak ng mga Ninuno (Dance of the Ancestors)”, a short documentary about Kathara and associated second generation Filipino artists.
Currently, Krishna is co-producing Kathara’s first official music video. She aims to spearhead a feature length documentary on the artistic cultural fusion of Kathara and First Nations dance groups like Butterflies in Spirit.
Jaisa has been a performing artist with Kathara since 2016. She is a musician who plays the agung, a supportive instrument in kulintang ensembles. Prior to moving to Vancouver, Jaisa lived in Toronto where she was a principal dancer with Folklorico Filipino Canada from 1999-2015. She has gone on tour with Folklorico to Mexico, Italy, Estonia, Bulgaria and Alaska to perform at festivals such as Asian Culture Night and the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals (CIOFF).
In Vancouver, Jaisa has performed with Kathara at the Surrey Fusion Fest, The 3rd International Babalyan Conference, the MHHS Sampaguita Seniors Book Launch, The Bellingham Storytellers Guild, Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School, and the 2017 Talking Stick Festival. Jaisa has recently taken up playing the sarunay – a type of Philippine metallophone – which was an opportunity given to her via Kathara’s sarunay and kulintang workshops. Jaisa is looking forward to performing with Kathara at the upcoming Indigenous Roots of Expressive Arts Therapy IEATA conference this October 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Rod Caballero is an editor and filmmaker with ten years of experience in production and post-production.
A life-long musician, Rod joined Kathara with a strong interest in Southeast Asian music and now has his sights set on creating videos for the group.
Rod is currently enrolled in BCIT’s Video Production and Editing programme.