By Tina Hidalgo-Jacinto
“It is a dance of the whole body and not of the limbs only. It appeals not merely to the eye, but to the emotions and the imagination.” That was Mikhail Fokine on Anna Pavlova’s brief solo in The Dying Swan, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s lyrical and melodious music, the brilliance of the waltz of swan maidens, the pas de deux between Odette and Siegfried from Act 2, and the extraordinary challenge of the double role of Odette/Odile dancing in the lakeside scenes, substantiating Swan Lake’s enduring appeal to audiences worldwide.
Ballet Philippines (BP), the first resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), recently celebrated its golden anniversary with its founder, National Artist for Dance and BP artistic director Alice Reyes.
Of the formidable group that has showcased more than 500 productions, powerhouse BP president Kathleen Liechtenstein proudly said, “It has undoubtedly been the top influencer in the arts of dance, sustaining its role as the country’s heart, soul, and cultural conscience.”
Ballet Philippines partnered with CCP’s resident company, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Herminigilfo Ranera, who brought to life Tchaikovsky’s music of Swan Lake that has since conquered the world, making it the most popular of all ballets. For the gala night, guest performers from theMarinsky Theater, Kirov Ballet principal dancer Andrey Ermakov and first soloist Elena Evseeva with her excellent classical line, took the lead roles of Swan Queen Odette and the evil Odile and Prince Seigfried who falls in love with her.
Former Miss Universe and CCP chairman Margie Moran-Floirendo said, “Tonight, Ballet Philippines commences its 50th dance season with Swan Lake, a fitting choice—a timeless, classic tale, to celebrate the golden year of an enduring dance company residing in a 50-year-old perennial artistic venue.”
After the two gala performances, our very own Denise Parungao and Jemima Reyes played Odette and Odile with partners Eugene Obi Ile and Victor Maguad respectively as Prince Siegfried. From the New York theater scene was Adam Sage, the associate artistic director and ballet master, as well as New York theater designers, set designer Eduardo Sicangco and lighting genius Jennifer Tipton, who won the Tony award for best lighting design in 1977 and in 1989.