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The Return of Carmina Burana

National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes opens the 49th season of Ballet Philippines with one of the company’s most iconic pieces


Photos by Jojo Mamangun and Noel Pabalate

Ballet Philippines opens its 49th season with a riveting performance of Carmina Burana. Choreographed by the company’s artistic director and National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, it brings together icons of performance arts on the sacred stage of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Alice Reyes’ version of Carmina Burana is one of the company’s most iconic pieces. It highlights the power, passion, and emotion of Carl Orff’s magnum opus taken from 13th century Goliard poetry. The dance begins with an almost stealth-like silence, gradually building up to create a breathtaking vision of bodies bursting with energy, moving with elegance and grace.


The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra accompanies the piece with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Carl Orff’s masterpiece under the baton of maestro Gerard Salonga. Ethereal and powerful vocals by the Madrigal Singers bring to life religious satire, sentiments of joy, and drunken elation shared among poets of medieval Europe. These live musical performances by both the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Madrigal Singers add layers and depth to Reyes’ rich choreography. National Artist Salvador Bernal’s production design creates a majestic landscape of rock formations on stage that transports one to another time, space, and universe.


What I am trying to do is to present to our new audiences some of our iconic pieces that have not been done for so long… reflecting the company’s tapestry of dance gems. —Alice Reyes


The program will also feature pieces that highlight the history of Ballet Philippines. It will include Brando Miranda’s rendition of Vivaldi Concerto—vigorous, lively, and spirited. Vivaldi was first premiered in 1983 and returns on stage after 35 years this season. Norman Walker’s Seasons of Flight, will also take center stage. It tells the tale of human relationships—its dynamics, idiosyncrasies, and complexities—through graceful avian movement and migratory patterns. Debuted by Ballet Philippines in 1972, it was the first of five pieces created by Norman Walker for the company. “What I am trying to do is to present to our new audiences some of our iconic pieces that have not been done for so long… reflecting the company’s tapestry of dance gems,” shares Alice Reyes.


Alice Reyes

In celebrating the bright future of dance, Ballet Philippines is also staging an exciting new piece by the company’s young and talented choreographer Ronelson Yadao, It was during the 48th season that Yadao decided to return to the company after dancing with Cloud Gate Theater in Taiwan. As he stays on for another milestone year, the talented choreographers of the company will premiere more pieces that will add to Ballet Philippine’s unparalleled repertoire.

The 49th season of Ballet Philippines builds up to its grand celebration of its golden anniversary in 2019 with the return of one of its masterworks, Carmina Burana, which runs from Sept. 7  to 9 at the CCP Main Theater. For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at (+632) 551 1003, or Ticketworld at (+632) 891 9999.

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