Swans, Queers, and HIV

 

Swans, Queers and HIV

Thank you for joining us for our 46th anniversary season. We focus this season on the growth of new ideas and collaborations for dance. This spiritual spring or pagsibol honors the continuous cycle of dance; life, rebirths and a new generation of dancers to take center stage.

We dedicate this performance ‘Body Positive+’ to the alarmingly fast growing number of our countrymen who are afflicted with the HIV virus. While this virus has plagued the world for decades, it is only now that we truly feel its presence at home. With more than 20 cases diagnosed each day in the Philippines, it is not surprising to know of such friends, like those we have in the dance community.

To my mind it is quite tragic and ironic for dancers - synonymous to vigor and health, to suffer such a condition. I will confess that it is by our personally meeting and talking to these individuals in our community that we have been motivated to make a small contribution to the efforts to raise our awareness about this disease. They are after all, us.

Internationally, artists and gays have always been prone to this disease and this has increased in our present world of quick connections and invisible borders. For the love that for a long time ‘dared not speak its name’ this became a crisis point and continues to be a battle point. In our case, perhaps with our reluctance to talk of matters about sex and sexuality, we have the sad truth of a steady increase of incidences despite the global decline. We have to face and acknowledge this shadow. It is our role to stop its growth. While there are now drugs that can help maintain your health there is still no ‘cure’ for HIV or AIDS. In the same vein, the disease continues to make no distinctions about class, faith or gender. We are all at risk.

In this gala we feature a diverse array of dances, with the excerpts of ‘Swan Lake’ as an emotional, romantic anchor. It features contributions from many guest choreographers including Enrico Labayen, who is based in San Fransisco, to present to us poetic dances that reflect on love and. We hope this program, the art exhibition and calendar with Artletics Inc. will help inspire us to move with positive vigor and energy towards health, action and compassion.

Paul Alexander Morales
 
 

 

A Message from the Ballet Philippines President

 

With a renewed spirit, we are ready to present our 46th season. We have been blessed these past several months with the opportunity to share the gift of dance with a wide audience from North America to the Middle East – we’re practically on a world tour!

It began last October, when we embarked on our North American Tour. That whole month, we were privileged to have performed in six cities, garnering standing ovations every night. The friends we made in the duration of that tour have since remained close to us, and some have even visited us here in Manila several times.

In July, our Artistic Director and our dancers flew to Hawaii to participate in the Asia Pacific Dance Festival. There they were exposed to the signature genres of the participating companies in the Festival, namely Hula, dances from Fiji, and Okinawan folk arts. They even taught Festival participants the steps to our signature “Tambol at Padyak”!

Five days after returning to Manila, the company was off again, this time in full force, for a tour of the Middle East. Ballet Philippines performed “Master Pieces” in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Manama, Doha, and Amman. As always, it was a thrill for our dancers to meet and perform for our kababayans abroad.

Meanwhile, Ballet Philippines 2 has been bringing our unique brand of dance to Visayas and Mindanao. Just last month, the junior company brought the full-length “Rock Supremo” to Davao, performing for an audience of over 10,000 in three venues. To cap it off, they performed our mixed bill, “Master Pieces” in SM Lanang Premier.

All this before our season performances at the CCP began, but it’s not over yet! This October, we’re set to go on a three-city tour in China.

We are truly grateful to all of our friends, sponsors, and subscribers, who have faithfully supported us all throughout our 46 years. Your support is taking us all over the world!

Margie Moran Floirendo

I Just Dance

 

Art imitates life and its meaning is very personal. “Art” may mean painting, sculpture, literature, and crafts. For me, “art” is dance.  Peerce says that “Dance is the art of moving the body in a rhythmical way, usually to music, to express an emotion or idea, to narrate a story, or simply to take delight in the movement of itself.” For me, it is even more than that. It is also a relaxing pastime, an exercise, not only of the body, but also of the mind and heart. It is rather an intangible kind of art; it cannot be touched, only seen. Dance only exists in the body of the performer and dies the moment the dancer stops moving.

Have you ever been in love?  Or be completely out of it? It may sound funny but dance for me is like that. Every time I dance, I feel like I am falling in love for the first time and then falling completely out of it the moment I finish. It’s always been like a love-hate relationship between us and yet I know that dance for me is everything; to live is to dance and not to dance is not to live at all.

I could honestly say that it is the closest thing to my heart. It makes all the bad good and all the good, better. When I dance, I feel that nothing can go wrong — whatever it may be I just dance; whatever I may feel, I just dance. And somehow, everything does work out and it all gets better. For me, life is like that.

BP2 Goes to Davao

 

Ballet Philippines 2 brings Rock Supremo to Davao on August 19 & 20 and Master Pieces on August 22. We dance for Davao!

Ballet Philippines brings Master Pieces to the Middle East from August 7 to 14

 

Following BP’s highly successful North American Tour in October of 2014, the company set off once again to perform in five theatres in four countries: Ductac Centerpoint Theatre (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Abu Dhabi Theater (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), Bahrain National Theatre (Manama, Bahrain), Katara Cultural Village (Doha, Qatar), and Al Hussein Cultural Center (Amman, Jordan). The tour is co-presented by the Department of Foreign Affairs-Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

This is Ballet Philippines’ first trip to the Middle East in its 46-year-long history. BP’s Artistic Director, Paul Alexander Morales leads the performing group. An initiative in cultural diplomacy by the Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations, the tour offered much more than a rich and stunning cultural experience. By bringing the performers into the region, Undersecretary Laura del Rosario wants to change the mindset of the Middle Eastern audience about Filipinos. The group also hopes to give the Filipinos residing in the Middle East a taste of their own culture.

The company performed “Master Pieces”, a mixed bill showcasing a collection of some of Ballet Philippines’ most acclaimed works. As a testament to the company’s versatility, the works are an array of classical ballets, neo-classical works, modern & contemporary dances, and excerpts from full-length modern ballets. The repertoire includes*:

FARANDOLE (Choreographed by George Birkadze; Music by Georges Bizet)

This neo-classical piece set to music of Bizet showcases the dancers’ athleticism and bravura with a slightly Spanish flair that echoes the Filipino’s Hispanic history and tradition.

HALIK / THE KISS (Choreographed by Paul Alexander Morales; Music by Jed Balsamo)

This dance excerpt from Ballet Philippines’ 41st Season production Crisostomo Ibarra, a dance retelling of a seminal novel Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) authored by Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Managing to escape prison with the help of Elias, Ibarra visits Maria Clara to give his forgiveness and to say goodbye. She tells him the truth about her real father again asking Ibarra for his forgiveness. Finally he understands. They embrace each other and kiss.

BUNGKOS SUITE / THE BUNCH (Choreographed by Alice Reyes; Music by Velarde- Obispo (Dahil Sa Iyo), Kasilag (Chitchiritchit), Kasilag-Velasco (Dandansoy), Paguio (Manang Biday), Obispo (Telebong)

A collection of traditional and popular folk songs reflecting various moods but especially highlighting the playfulness, amorousness and sense of humor of the Filipino.

DUHA / DUO (Choreographed by Alden Lugnasin; Music by Jessie Lucas)

This is a technique piece to test man’s physical limits and possibilities in body movements. This dance was heralded at the 9th Concours International De Danse de Paris in France in December 2000. Described as different and beautiful, it showcases the dancers’ unique understanding of the contemporary Filipino dance style.

AFTER WHOM (Choreographed by Augustus “Bam” Damian III; Music by Jerrold Tarog)

After Whom is a bold showcase for BP’s dynamism and bravado. It highlights the company’s prowess in the modern, contemporary and neo-classical genres.

BACH CONCERTO (Choreographed by William Carter; Music by Johann Sebastian Bach)

Bach Concerto premiered in the Philippines in the 22nd Season Gala, restaged for the company by ABT’s Rosanna Seravalli. Using Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in F minor, this neo-classical ballet engages the subtlety of motion, moving toward the abandonment of the senses to the music’s rhythmic sensibility.

MOSLEM (Choreographed by Agnes Locsin; Music by Bayanihan Dance Company)

A neo-ethnic ballet inspired by the Singkil, Pangalay, and Kzadoratan dances of Southern Philippines.

DIANA AND ACTAEON (Choreographed by Agrippina Vaganova; Restaged by Victor Ursabia; Music by Riccardo Drigo)

Diana and Acteon is a bravura concert number often performed to showcase the dancers’ virtuosity. The piece depicts a brief scene whereby the hunter Acteon unwittingly intrudes into the favorite haunt of the goddess Diana.

BLUEBIRD PAS DE DEUX (Choreographed by Marius Petipa; Restaged by Victor Ursabia; Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky)

The Blue Bird Pas de Deux is an excerpt from the classic ballet, The Sleeping Beauty. This pas de deux featuring Princess Flourine and the Blue Bird, exhibits the dancers’ playful but elegant technique.

ESMERALDA PAS DE DEUX (Choreographed by Agrippina Vaganova; Restaged by Victor Ursabia; Music by Ludwig Minkus)

The Esmeralda Pas de Deux is an exciting excerpt from La Esmeralda, a ballet inspired by Victor Hugo’s “Notre Dame de Paris”.

MORIONES / THE CENTURIONS (Choreographed by Agnes Locsin)

Inspired by the Moriones Festival of Marinduque, Locsin’s Moriones was choreographed for Ballet Philippines II’s participation at the Recontres Festival Du Danse in La Baule, France. This highly kinetic choreography highlights the dancers’ athleticism and musicality, and exemplifies Locsin’s signature neo-ethnic style.

LAHAT NG ARAW / ALL OF THE DAYS (Choreographed by Alden Lugnasin; Music composed by Mike Velarde and arranged & orchestrated by Ryan Cayabyab)

Taking its cue from China, this abstract work features men in ruffled skirts and Chinese fans. Representing the innate balance of all things in the universe, the yin and yang of masculinity and femininity are intertwined to create a stunning visual reminder that absolutes are complementary forces which serve to support and consume each other in the continuing miracle of life.

LAKAMBINI / MUSE (Choreographed by Paul Alexander Morales; Music by Ebe Dancel)

Lakambini is a dance piece from the full-length work Rock Supremo that narrates the important incidents of the Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio. The song depicts Bonifacio's fictional last love letter to his beloved Oryang, as his last words to her are sung, his hope overcomes his despair.

NOCTURNE (Choreographed by Carlo Pacis, Music by Felix Mendelssohn)

The final duet from A Midsummer Night’s Dream showcases the reconciliation of Titania and Oberon as imagined by Hong Kong- based Flipino choreographer, Carlo Pacis. The production won a lion’s share of awards at the 2013 Philstage’s Gawad Buhay! Awards including Outstanding Modern Dance Production and Outstanding Choreography.

TAMBOL AT PADYAK / DRUM AND BEATS (Choreographed by Tony Fabella; Music by Samuel Asuncion, Carol Bello, Kalayo-Pinikpikan)

Set to local beats, global beats and heartbeats, this award-winning and audience-rousing work is full of youthful energy which mirrors the Filipinos’ joy of living.  This showstopper, utilizing the local “bakya” (wooden slippers) to amplify its rich rhythm, has wowed adults and children, foreigners and expatriates ever since it premiered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

*Repertoire subject to change

Ballet Philippines (BP) is the flagship professional classical and contemporary dance company in the country. A resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, it was founded in 1969 by Alice Reyes and Eddie Elejar. It is widely recognized today as a cornerstone of the contemporary Filipino identity. The Ballet Philippines Dance School continues to produce dancers of international caliber.

For inquiries, visit www.ballet.ph, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call Ballet Philippines at (+632)551-1003.

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BP celebrates its 46th anniversary season under the direction of Paul Alexander Morales. Witness the rise of a new generation of Philippine dance in Dance Spring [Pagsibol].

See you at the ballet!