Once upon a time there lived an unhappy young girl. Her mother was dead and her father had married a widow with two daughters. Her stepmother didn’t like her one little bit. All her kind thoughts and loving touches were for her own daughters. She had no rest and no comfort. The poor girl had to work hard all day. Only when evening came was she allowed to sit for a while by the fire, near the cinders. That’s why everybody called her Cinderella. One day, a Royal invitation arrived at the house. A ball was to be held at the palace and the stepsisters were getting ready to go, leaving Cinderella behind…
We all know the rest of story, don’t we?
National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes’ CINDERELLA had its premiere in the early 80s, fulfilling the choreographer’s desire to create a ballet for children. After it’s successful premiere in 1981, it had various re-stagings in 1984, 1989, and 2002 to wide critical acclaim.
This Christmas season, Ballet Philippines brings back to the CCP stage Reyes’ retelling of one of our most loved fairy tales. CINDERELLA brings together the best that Philippine ballet has to offer, and rewards its audiences with the familiar magical delight of childhood and its undying dreams.
The CCP curtains open to the stunning original stage designs of National Artist for Theater Design, SALVADOR BERNAL. His classic representation of the world of Cinderella and her Prince Charming still wows the modern audience. With considerable depth and brilliant colors, Bernal’s original 1982 impressions magically bring us to a night of fantasy and dreams. Worth mentioning is his design for the Garden of Divertissiment. It’s visual scale goes beyond the stage and reaches silently to the audience, making us part of Fairy Godmother’s wish-fulfilling magic.
Worthy of note are the performances of its lead roles. ISABELLE GRACHON (Brunhilda) is as stunning and as wicked as one expects from the archetypal stepmother that we know. Her nuances deliver a crisp rendition of cruelty through grace. RICHARDSON YADAO (Prince Charming) is wonderfully charming and appealingly loveable. The wicked stepsisters, MA. CELINA DOFITAS and KATHERINE TROFEO (Griselda and Prunella), command the audience with their stiff, ungainly and hilarious sequences. Finally, Ballet Philippines’ Principal Dancer DENISE PARUNGAO as Cinderella is every ballet fan’s dream come true. She wonderfully executes Reyes’ choreography with stunning grace and captivating precision. She is the same Cinderella that we love, and wish to be.
Here are some performance photos and head shots of the cast in this year’s re-staging of the Alice Reyes classic.
But what makes CINDERELLA so memorable are its suites and its dazzling choreography. It glued me for two hours, and still wanted more after the curtains closed. Newly Awarded National Artist for Dance ALICE REYES, proves how much she deserves to be given recognition for her timeless works. Her memorable contributions, not just to Philippine ballet, but also to children’s theater in the country, establish her worth as an artist who still continually amazes, even new audiences, with her craft.
Ballet Philippines’ CINDERELLA is a must see this holiday season. Apart from the captivating performances and amazing designs, it reminds us of the story that we embraced at our bedsides before lights out. It calls to mind that the goodness that lies in our hearts will flourish and pay us back a thousand fold. Finally, it brings us back to a world where dreaming is enough, and that faith can lead us to where we want to be.
Alice Reyes’ CINDERELLA will be performed at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on the following dates and times:
November 29 (2 pm & 6 pm)
November 30 (2 pm & 6 pm)
December 5 (3 pm & 8 pm)
December 6 (10 am & 6 pm)
December 7 (2 pm & 6 pm)
For inquiries, visit Ballet Philippines’ website or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003.
For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.
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