Continuing its series of international tours, Ballet Philippines sets off once again to perform in China this October. The company will be at the Chongqing Guo Tai Art Center in Chongqing on October 26, the Jinrong Theater, Xiamen Little Egret Art Center in Xiamen on October 29, and Guangdong Cantonese Opera Theater Performance Center on October 31. The tour is co-presented by the Department of Foreign Affairs-Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Similar to the Middle East Tour in August, this trip is an initiative in cultural diplomacy by the Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations, led by Undersecretary Laura del Rosario. It marks the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-China diplomatic relations.
BP will showcase Master Pieces, a mixed bill showcasing a collection of some of Ballet Philippines’ most acclaimed works. The repertoire has garnered glowing reviews and standing ovations since it was first toured, with raves such as “a stellar display of the diversity of our culture”, “extraordinary ballet worthy of world-class audiences”, and “The show has it all – atmosphere, romanticism, poetry and the indomitable Filipino spirit.”
As a testament to the company’s versatility, the works are an array of classical ballets, neo-classical works, modern & contemporary dances, and excerpts from full-length modern ballets. The repertoire includes*:
- FARANDOLE (Choreographed by George Birkadze; Music by Georges Bizet)
This neo-classical piece set to music of Bizet showcases the dancers’ athleticism and bravura with a slightly Spanish flair that echoes the Filipino’s Hispanic history and tradition.
- HALIK / THE KISS (Choreographed by Paul Alexander Morales; Music by Jed Balsamo)
This dance excerpt from Ballet Philippines’ 41st Season production Crisostomo Ibarra, a dance retelling of a seminal novel Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) authored by Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Managing to escape prison with the help of Elias, Ibarra visits Maria Clara to give his forgiveness and to say goodbye. She tells him the truth about her real father again asking Ibarra for his forgiveness. Finally he understands. They embrace each other and kiss.
- BUNGKOS SUITE / THE BUNCH (Choreographed by Alice Reyes; Music by Velarde- Obispo (Dahil Sa Iyo), Kasilag (Chitchiritchit), Kasilag-Velasco (Dandansoy), Paguio (Manang Biday), Obispo (Telebong); Music Performed by the Philippine Madrigal Singers)
A collection of traditional and popular folk songs reflecting various moods but especially highlighting the playfulness, amorousness and sense of humor of the Filipino.
- DUHA / DUO (Choreographed by Alden Lugnasin; Music by Jessie Lucas)
This is a technique piece to test man’s physical limits and possibilities in body movements. This dance was heralded at the 9th Concours International De Danse de Paris in France in December 2000. Described as different and beautiful, it showcases the dancers’ unique understanding of the contemporary Filipino dance style.
- AFTER WHOM (Choreographed by Augustus “Bam” Damian III; Music by Jerrold Tarog)
After Whom is a bold showcase for BP’s dynamism and bravado. It highlights the company’s prowess in the modern, contemporary and neo-classical genres.
- DON QUIXOTE GRAND PAS DE DEUX (Choreographed by Marius Petipa, Music by Leon Minkus)
One of the most famous pas de deux in the ballet repertoire, this virtuoso choreography with its distinct Spanish flavor is danced all over the world in a variety of versions all attributed to Marius Petipa, the ballet’s first choreographer. It is danced by Kitri and Basilio, the heroine and hero of the ballet as it is presented today.
- LE CORSAIRE GRAND PAS DE DEUX (Choreographed by Marius Petipa, Music by Ricardo Drigo)
The pas de deux from Le Corsaire (“The Pirate”) is a prime example of Petipa’s practice of reviving ballets from the Romantic Period and making additions to show how technique had since developed. Through the adagio, two solo variations, and coda, the dancers show off their talents in a variety of choreography. Corsaire gives spectacular scope to the male dancer in his solo variation and coda while the ballerina is simply served by the diversity of the choreography she has to dance.
- BACH CONCERTO (Choreographed by William Carter; Music by Johann Sebastian Bach)
Bach Concerto premiered in the Philippines in the 22nd Season Gala, restaged for the company by ABT’s Rosanna Seravalli. Using Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in F minor, this neo-classical ballet engages the subtlety of motion, moving toward the abandonment of the senses to the music’s rhythmic sensibility.
- LAHAT NG ARAW / ALL OF THE DAYS (Choreographed by Alden Lugnasin; Music composed by Mike Velarde and arranged & orchestrated by Ryan Cayabyab)
Taking its cue from China, this abstract work features men in ruffled skirts and Chinese fans. Representing the innate balance of all things in the universe, the yin and yang of masculinity and femininity are intertwined to create a stunning visual reminder that absolutes are complementary forces which serve to support and consume each other in the continuing miracle of life.
SOURCE: Mr. Toots Tolentino and Ballet Philippines
PHOTOS BY: Jon Oribello
FEATURED IMAGE BY: Hydee Ursolino Abrahan