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Dancing with the Shadows: El Gamma Penumbra’s Path to Stardom

Dreaming is something that money can’t buy. It’s for free and everyone can choose to chase after his own dream and make it into reality. Everyone has the right to it regardless of his social standing. Coupled with hard work and optimism, one can get a chance in life. Though there may be bumps along the road, for as long as one keeps his focus and perseveres, he can define his own destiny.



One group that hails from the islands of the Philippines dared to dream. What happened afterwards became a powerful testimony of the power of believing and persistence. To deliver a message in what they do—this is the aim of the El Gamma Penumbra. Formerly a group of hip hop dancers, the team was conceived from a gathering of schoolmates in Tanuan, Batangas.

There were originally 24 of them, but five decided to take a different path, leaving 19 “shadow play” performers. They made their first TV appearance when they auditioned for a talent show in a local television program in the Philippines, ABS-CBN. It was on “Pilipinas Got Talent Season 3” that the group first showcased their unique talent through their breath-taking performances, leaving the audience in awe.

Various talents from the different corners of the island came to compete in the prestigious competition, each determined to share what they’ve got and make history. El Gamma Penumbra shared the same conviction and passion, leading them to present something that very few tried, a shadow play that conveys a powerful message that left some in tears—it was that powerful. Despite this, however, they only managed to make it to through the finals, the championship eluded.

They might have run out of luck at that time, but they did not allow the failure to deter them from going after their dream. So when Asia’s Got Talent offered another opportunity, they set out for another journey to fame. The Asia’s Got Talent would be the world’s first pan-regional edition of the global hit “Got Talent” where countries all over Asia can join.

It was a mind blowing audition, remarked Melanie C as she describe the shadow dance that portrayed a love story that spanned generations, set against the backdrop of the several wonders of the world. Anggun, a French-Indonesian singer-songwriter who serves as one of the judges, did not hesitate to press the buzzer, sending the group all the way to the semifinals.

Then on the Grand Finals last Thursday night, May 7, at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, El Gamma Penumbra, standing firm on their desire to send a powerful impression, delivered a performance that highlights the need to take care of Mother Nature with the hit “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s animated movie Pocahontas.

It was a tear-jerking performance. Anggun claimed that it deeply moved her. David Foster also noted that they successful present a very clear message every time they perform on stage.

Melanie C also said that she is very impressed how the group is able to pull up a very strong performance despite the time constraints.

“The thing that stands out tonight is each time I’ve seen you, there’s a shorter gap and less rehearsal time. But it got even more incredible and that is just down to sheer hard work, your creativity, and I salute you,” Melanie said.

El Gamma Penumbra shares a great testimony of finding courage and believing in one’s dreams despite the challenges. It is because of their strong will that world is able to see such a magnificence—a kind of inspiration that only those who really dream can achieve.

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