A musical adaptation of India’s greatest epic closes Dulaang UP’s 38th season, Ang Nawalang Kapatid, adapted from The Mahabharata by acclaimed playwright Floy Quintos, with original score by Ceejay Javier, directed and choreographed by Dexter M. Santos, is a re-telling of the epic battle between the Kaurava and Pandava families. The story focuses on the anti-hero Karna, a brave young man who must choose between loyalty to his family or to the state which made him a prince.
ANG NAWALANG KAPATID was originally written as a children’s play for the Ateneo Children’s Theater and was first produced for their 2011 season. This new version allows for many more of the complexities of the original material to be dramatized. New arrangements of the original songs were created by Ceejay Javier, whose original works include “Isang Panaginip na Fili”, “Astig”, “Alex in Wonderland”, “Break Away Antigone”. He is best known as Musical Director for Atlantis Productions’ “Next To Normal”, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, “Carrie”, “Addams Family”. As expected, the new staging will showcase Dexter Santos’ flair for images and movement as seen in his previous works “Maxie the Musical”, “Collection”, “Orosman at Zafira”.
In adapting the Indian epic, Floy Quintos has chosen to highlight the story of family and blood ties, and the conflicts that these bring about. Karna, who in Indian literature is traditionally the anti-hero, is now a young man searching for his dharma, his truth and destiny, while unaware of his true blood ties. The young and energetic cast is made up of the Dulaang UP Ensemble, with a live band and Krina Cayabyab as the vocal director.
Through this production, Dulaang UP seeks to bring the timeless story of The Mahabharata to a wider audience. By filtering the epic through the sensibilities of Filipino artists, the production shows us our Indian roots and its enduring impact on our culture. The production highlights how this timeless epic has shaped strong values like loyalty to family which is so much a part of South East Asian culture.
The artistic staff includes Gino Gonzales for the Costume Design, John Batalla for Lighting Direction, with a Set Design by Ohm David. Musical arranger Louise Ybañez gives a thrilling attack to a modern adaptation of the classic, coupled with the stunning choreography by Al Garcia, Jeffrey Hernandez, Stephen Viñas, and Vincent Pajara.
Ang Nawalang Kapatid will run from February 5 to February 23, 2014 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman.
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