By Terence Repelente
The country’s finest ballet and contemporary dance company, Ballet Philippines, opens its 48th season titled Quintessence with A Gala Celebration. They will dig through their vaults and revive choreographic classics in a gala themed performance that will feature Filipino stars from various international dance companies. Among the guest artists are Candice Adea (formerly of BalletMet and Hong Ballet), Marcelino Libao (Hamburg Ballet), Kris-Belle Paclibar (formerly of Cirque du Soleil), Ronelson Yadao (formerly of Cloud Gate Dance Theater), Paul Ocampo, and Chien-Ying Wang (Ocampo Wang Dance), and Jean Marc Cordero and Rita Angela Winder (Ballet Kiel).
Some of the performances that will be featured in the repertoire are Bungkos Suite (1972), a collection of traditional and popular folk songs reflecting various moods but especially highlighting the playfulness, amorousness, and sense of humor of the Filipino; Grand Pas Classique, which stands as an epitome of classical purity and precision; Equanimity, which investigates the different phases of love: marriage, friendship, and partnership—how we create beauty amid misfortunes and disagreements, and the eternal tension between duty and desire, good and evil, and wants and needs; Salome (1994), about a woman who expresses her grief and passion as her lover leaves her to join the revolutionary forces against Spain; Minamahal, Sinsamba (2005), which is an intense and witty piece that is full of humor about love quarrels; Moon (1994), a powerful solo full of contrasting moments of lush dynamism and captivating stillness.
A Gala Celebration is a special performance full of rejoices, one of which is the glorious return of Alice Reyes, National Artist for Dance, as Ballet Philippines’ artistic director. She was particularly chosen to share the excellence of the company and showcase its achievements.
“It feels exhilarating and wonderful to be back. It is very challenging because I’m so much older now than when I started, but it’s always a joy to work with so much talent and so much dedication. They (Ballet Philippines) have worked so hard so it’s nice to see the progress in the work until they can really dance each performances beautifully,” she said.
The featured works include Agnes Locsin’s Salome, Bam Damian’s Minamahal, Sinasamba, Edna Vida’s Vision of Fire, Norman Walker’s Summer’s End, and an excerpt from classical ballet Raymonda.
“The 48th season is the beginning of a story I want to share with the Filipino community about this company, which started back in 1969, six months after the Cultural Center of the Philippines was opened by Imelda Marcos. I want to share the journey because it’s a story of the Filipino artists, which is why I’m presenting Filipino stars that have made it big abroad. They will return to the Philippines and dance with our own dancers.”
A Gala Celebration runs at the CCP Main Theater from Aug. 18 to 20. This is the first production of the 48th season, entitled “Quintessence.” The season’s lineup also includes “The Exemplars: The Best of Ballet Philippines (1970 to 1980) on Oct. 20 to 22, Edna Vida’s The Nutcracker on Dec. 1 to 10, and Don Quixote on Feb. 9 to 18, 2018. For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at 02 551-1003, the CCP Box Office at 02 832-3704, or Ticketworld at 02 891-9999.
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