Ballet Philippines dares to “dance where no one else has” for its 53rd season – Manila Bulletin
The show and events to expect from one of the Philippines’ leading dance companies
After years of barren theaters, Ballet Philippines is about to heat up the stage and beyond as its performers get ready to put on their dancing shoes. For its 53rd season, the first resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines is here with a renewed sense of wanderlust.
During its launch at the Gallery by Chele in Taguig on May 25, Ballet Philippines announced its upcoming shows, gave a preview of its upcoming exhibition and presented a performance excerpt from its principal dancers. where no one else has.
“We wanted a launch that would reflect the inspired and reinvigorated spirit of the company,” said Ballet Philippines President Kathleen Liechtenstein. “Think of this as a ‘revenge dance.’ After years of online classes, live streaming and digital migration, we wanted to get out there again and go where ballet has never been. We’re not talking only venues, although that is in the works, but also new partnerships and collaborations.”
Mikhail “Misha” Martynyuk, Artistic Director of the Philippine Ballet and Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, gave an overview of the future shows and events the dance company is set to bring to life on stage and beyond physical spaces. and geographic locations.
‘Dance Through Time’ (June 2022)
“Dance Through Time” is a creative portrayal of Filipino culture and significant events in its rich history. In this fascinating journey through time, each dance will take the audience through the dance revolution, from its beginnings to the present day. Choreographed and taken over by Mikhail, this first show aims to be an extraordinary sensory experience that is both moving, lasting and captivating.
‘Paquita and Bolero’ (Act 1, September 2022 Gala)
Ballet Philippines presents two performances that meet at the crossroads of fate and fear, destiny and despair, love and isolation: “Paquita and Bolero”. Premiered in 1846 at the Paris Opera Ballet, Paquita tells the story of a gypsy in Spain during the Napoleonic occupation. Unaware of her noble lineage, the heroine saves the life of a young French officer, Lucien d’Hervilly. It is by decree of the conspiratorial Spanish governor that his life will be taken by the gypsy leader, Iñigo. Coincidentally, the abduction by gypsies also took Paquita away from her biological parents.
The events leading up to Paquita and Lucien’s first meeting echo the story’s themes of fate and destiny. A romance told through dance, “Paquita” is a celebration of conquering love, from the pas de trois in the first act to the children’s mazurka in the last act.
Inspired by global quarantines and pandemic shutdowns, Mikhail choreographs “Bolero” as a nod to the times. In this performance, the company’s principal dancers move through enclosed spaces to depict struggle, anguish and despair. Their movements, accompanied by music by Maurice Ravel, resemble those of a toreador, which is at once hypnotic, encompassing and relevant at a time when we all suffer from the freedoms of a pre-pandemic world.
‘Equus’ (Act 2, September 2022)
Directly translated, “Ecuus” (Equus) means horse. In the world of dance, it is also often said that artists work like horses. This is especially true for ballet. Behind the beauty, grace and flight of a ballet dancer lie endless hours of hard work and training. In Ballet Philippines’ “Equus,” the rigors and regimented life of performance artists are presented as a prelude to creating absolute splendor on stage.
“Equus” is a heartbreaking ode to the work of a dancer, likened to that of a horse, where perfection comes with a price. Inspired by playwright Peter Scheffer, this season-opening performance is billed as the centerpiece of Ballet Philippines’ 53rd season.
‘The Nutcracker’ (December 2022)
“The Nutcracker” is a timeless Christmas presentation that celebrates the magic of the season and of childhood. Based on Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, this holiday show follows the story of Marie and her siblings Clara and Fritz as they are taken to the land of magic, mouse kings, magicians, snowflakes and sweets.
A must-see ballet for young and old, this exciting and warm presentation will add joy to the festivities of the season. After all, Christmas just isn’t the same without “The Nutcracker.”
‘Rizal’ (March 2023)
A performance that depicts the life and times of national hero, Jose Rizal, this performance is more than just a retelling of history. “Rizal” by Ballet Philippines is an ode to a man who did what was necessary for his country, his family and his loves, even if it cost him his life. Through his novels and poetry, Rizal lit a fire for what would later be known as Philippine independence.
With deep religious undertones in the opening, “Rizal” is a compelling and captivating piece that crosses generations, nationalities and social status. It is a universal love story reminiscent of the life of a man whose uncompromising integrity and sincere love for country inspires hearts to take the good side of history.
Exhibition “Dance Where No One Else Has” (to be confirmed)
Ballet Philippines merges dance, fashion and photography through an exhibition in partnership with the Fashion Design Council of the Philippines and artist and photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol. With the grace, movement and enduring beauty of ballet as a guide, the country’s top fashion designers have created couture collections, elevating the narrative of dance in the post-pandemic world.
“More than the usual performance preview, we also wanted to showcase Ballet Philippines’ new collaborations in our goal to empower the creative community,” Kathleen said.
“As we kick off the 53rd season, I can’t wait to get back on stage and back on stage. Every artist knows the importance of finding their element and their audience. I’m also thrilled to have the opportunity to create new productions for the company,” Mikhail added. “Now we are doing a great job of restoring our bodies and minds to discover new images.”
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