Something unusual is happening at Ballet Philippines, which we’d like to share with you.
‘The Firebird’ will be staged at CCP from August 19-21, as part of the 47th performance season. The Russian folk tale, choreographed by the accomplished George Birkadze to a rousing score by Igor Stravinsky, will be reimagined and set in pre-Hispanic Philippines, which lends itself to wonderful creative possibilities.
Pre-Hispanic Philippines was populated with kingdoms, sultanates and indigenous tribes. Merchants from the Middle East to China and India traded commodities like gold, spices and porcelain…all of which provide abundant inspiration for spectacular costumes. The artist Mark Lewis Higgins was tapped to create the costumes, and will do so with team of students from Slim’s Fashion & Arts School as a training program. Mark’s paintings are traditionally inspired by history and culture, and his current works are centered on Southeast Asian themes. ‘The Firebird’ will show how his rich aesthetic can be brought to life on stage.
This exciting production is seen as a chance to reach out to a new audience, and to inspire the next generation of talent to consider designing for the stage. It would hopefully mark the beginning of similar collaborations in the future.
With this vision in mind, Mark has volunteered to donate to Ballet Philippines his original paintings of the costume studies and designs. There are fifteen original paintings, packaged as five sets of three. The medium is gouache (watercolor with gesso) and chalk on charcoal paper, and the paintings are approximately 12 x 16 inches each, unframed. Through this special fundraising program, donors will receive a set of three paintings and two VIP tickets to the gala night of "Firebird and other ballets".