“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. ” ― Martha Graham
For the Manoeuvres, both technique and passion would make them great – a technique perfected by years of practice and a passion nurtured by their desire to be the best dancers possible.
They would once again be guided by Martha Graham’s words: “I believe that we learn by practice. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”
For twenty years, they would get that practice, plus all the experience, status and acclaim, as back-up dancers for Gary Valenciano - through concerts such as “Pure Energy”, “MOVE”, “RADICAL”, “Shout,” movies like “Hataw Na” and as support for his friends in the business. The Manoeuvres’ credits would run like a Who’s Who in Philippine show business - Gary Valenciano, Regine Velasquez, Jaya, Side A, Pops Fernandez, Freestyle, Sharon Cuneta, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Martin Nievera.
They would travel all over the world, perform on top rated shows in the country’s biggest networks and made waves by creating dance crazes and popularizing songs like “Macarena,” “Rump Shaker,” “Informer,” “Sweet Soul Revue” of Pizzicato Five, and “C’Mon N’ Ride It (The Train)” by Quad City DJs.
The Manoeuvres would have their own solo concerts - “Man At Large” at the Star Complex Shangri-La Plaza in 1994, “Man At Large 2 The Repeat” at the HeartBeat Mega Disco in 1995 and their 20th Anniversary Concert in 2005 entitled “Manoeuvres Beyond.”
They would also perform for corporate events of giants such as Smart Telecommunications, Toyota Philippines, McDonald’s, San Miguel Beer, Jollibee, Levis, Penshoppe, Mazda and Nestle Philippines, to name a few. They would go on campus tours in Miriam College, San Sebastian College and others.
Their performances would take them around Asia such Japan, HongKong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, to as far as the United States of America, Canada, Italy, Paris, Middle East and Israel.
“I am a dancer. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.”
― Martha Graham
Yes – as athletes of God, the Manoeuvres, individually and collectively, would declare that their talents, achievements, sense of being and satisfaction of spirit could only come from and through God. They would constantly and consistently draw on this knowledge for the strength, wisdom and passion to use the gifts God had given them, to fulfill what He had chosen them to do.
Eager to share their experience and know-how with the youth, they would teach the Ang TV Kids and ABS-CBN’s Star Circle such Jolina Magdangal, Roselle Nava, Camille Pratts, Rica Perallejo, and many others.
Moreover, for the past 16 summers, they have conducted annual dance workshops for Trumpets Playshop and at the Bread of Life. They would instill in their students not only the skill but also the values they themselves had learned over the years.
These Manoeuvres’ maneuvers would gain for them their own army of shrieking, screaming fans.
Their fans would remain loyal through the changes in the group’s membership – as original members would marry, start families, retire and put up businesses of their own and new, younger members would infuse the group with new blood and new energy.
In 2000, the Manoeuvres made another move – this time to Artistation founded and managed by the late, great Wyngard Tracy. Jon Supan, one of the original six, was given full management of the group under the supervision and training of Wyngard Tracy himself.
Weekly stints on the Sunday variety shows, Party Pilipinas, Eat Bulaga, and Masayang Tanghali Bayan, would keep them in the public eye while live performances would bring them closer the people, increasing their fan base even more.
Under Artistation, the Manoeuvres would promote dancing to the youths as a way to veer away from the use of drugs under the GENTXT School Trip Dance Clinic of Globe Telecom. This tour would take them to 25 cities all over the country from 2003 to 2005.
In 2004 to 2005, they would embark on an 8-city Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao mall tour covering for Skechers’ “Dance Revolution,” showcasing the history of Hip Hop.
In an effort to put down roots and plan for the future, the Manoeuvres would establish a home for themselves – the Dance Planet Studio at Broadway Centrum in Quezon City.
2007 and 2009 would find them performing in a Stomp-like number, doing hiphop and parkour, and making ala Elvis in Pagcor’s Musical Theater presentations “Wanders” and “Flow.
In 2010, Wyngard Tracy sadly passed away. At that time, he and Jon were in the process of creating Artiste’ Hub, Inc. A sub-company of Artistation, it would cater to other artists as well as the Manoeuvres.
For starters, Artiste’ Hub, Inc launched the Manoeuvres’ new show in March 2012 – Manoeuvres@Large - an extension for Channel 5’s “Party of Five,” “Saberday” and “Sunday Fun Day.”