The Sugar Plum Fairy is one of the most iconic roles in classical ballet. Although she usually apprears only in the second act, she creates a lasting memory on all who watch her. Meet our first-time fairies who will make magic on the CCP Main Theater stage in this season's production of Edna Vida's The Nutcracker.
Denise has essayed some of ballet’s most demanding roles. Only last season, she took on the dual role of Odette / Odile in “Swan Lake.” This month, she prepares to breathe life into the Sugar Plum Fairy, the enigmatic monarch of the Kingdom of Dolls.
"I've never danced the Sugar Plum Fairy before," Denise reveals. She danced in The Nutcracker for a recital when she was younger but she said that she was much too young, and, jokingly added, not too serious about ballet, to remember any of it. Nevertheless, she is ecstatic and grateful to be essaying the role for it is a new check on her list.
Whenever she hears The Nutcracker music, the magnificence of the musical score comes to mind. Its sweeping melody and lilting harmony, makes her imagine herself leaping and twirling across the stage nonstop in tune with the music. Unlike her previous roles, as Giselle and Odette/Odile, the Sugar Plum Fairy requires a different approach. The Sugar Plum is ethereal, beyond matter. There is no major character journey, according to her; it is purely about showing the music through the movements.
"It's about technique and musicality. Ms. Edna's choreography for the pas de deux is challenging! I can;t wait to share it with my loved ones."
Back when she was still a student in the Philippine High School for the Arts, Jemima had the chance to perform with Ballet Philippines in the 2009 production of Noordin Jumalon’s “The Nutcracker.” Here she acquired her fondest memory of The Nutcracker. "I was a Snowflake and one of the Children. It was a great learning experience and it was an amazing opportunity to dance with the Company," says Jemima.
She has danced the Sugar Plum Fairy in recitals before, and now that it's for a ballet of this scale, she is excited.
“Being cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy only makes my Christmas more complete. Every time I perform, I do it for the ones who are watching,” says Jemima. “Whether its in the rehearsal hall, a theater in or outside of the Philippines, I make sure to thank them by giving a wonderful performance. And with each curtsey, I show them my sincerity and gratefulness.” Jemima can hardly wait to be on the CCP Main Theater stage, and share with the people the magic of Nutcracker and the joy of dance.
Candice Adea is, without a doubt, one of the premier dancers of this generation. This season she is back with Ballet Philippines as our Resident Guest Artist, and, only last month, we saw her portray the eponymous heroine in the ballet “Amada,” and The Bride in Norman Walker’s “Songs of the Wayfarer.” She has been with Ballet Philippines for more than a decade, essaying roles from the Company’s extensive repertoire of classical and contemporary dance. She was with Hong Kong Ballet and Ballet Met. So, imagine our surprise when she told us that she’s never before danced the Sugar Plum Fairy. "I was always Clara," she says. She was young and just about the right height. But being Clara wasn’t the most memorable for her. It was in 1997, when she was cast as the “Bunny Rabbit” in Noordin Jumalon’s version of the Nutcracker. “It was my very first role in the ballet,” she said. She was a scholar of CCP Dance School (presently the Ballet Philippines Dance School) at the time. “It was also my very first solo role in a Company production,” she added.
Now, she looks forward to dancing alongside Lester Reguindin, who was an apprentice when she was already a principal dancer. “Now he’s rising up to prove his worth as an artist.” Together, they form an impressive pair. According to Candice, it took a village to help her get to where she is. It is to them that she dedicates her performance.
Catch these leading ladies in Edna Vida' & Alice Reyes' The Nutcracker from December 1-10, 2017 at the CCP Main Theater. For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at (+632) 551-1003, the CCP Box Office at (+632) 832-3704, or Ticketworld at (+632) 891-9999 or Ticketworld.com.ph.