Quantcast
Latest Stories

‘Sinderela’ with show-biz twist

By

CHOREOGRAPHER Hazel Sabas-Gower

Ballet Manila has an interesting twin-bill for its holiday treat and with contrasting flavors at that.

It opened with an austere, poignant “Sonata” (choreographed by Osias Barroso) to the full music of Elgar’s Sonata in E Minor, Opus 82, for Violin and Piano. Providing live music is British violinist Robert Atchison with Russian pianist Olga Dudnik on the piano.

Subtitled “Love’s Awakening with a Kiss,” “Sonata” is a complicated piece to interpret owing to the cerebral nature of the music. But you actually warm up to both the music and the choreography as the story unfolds.

Danced by Hana Oh and Harold Salgado with a corps de ballet, “Sonata” wove its own magic when music and choreography found their common link.

Salgado is a very competent partner and a very supportive one. A highly lyrical dancer with a luminous face is Oh, whose subtle acting gives you a romantic clue as to what the piece is all about.

Unsettling playing

It must be unsettling playing a three-movement sonata with the stage filled with thuds of dancers entering and exiting the stage. Even in this uncommon collaborative setup, Atchison and Dudnik proved a tried-and-tested chamber duo.

The first movement was a good opener for the piece; one soloist froze for the start of the second movement and all at once you could feel the poetry of the piece. The music didn’t have a hard time finding its way into the supple bodies of the dancers.

“Sonata” was a fitting tribute to the 150th birth anniversary of Sir Edward William Elgar.

One has seen several versions of “Cinderella” in the past based on the classic tale by Charles Perrault and the Grimm brothers. But Hazel Sabas-Gower’s story adaptation that localized the tale has many things going for it.

For one, the set design by Katsch Catoy and costume design by PJ Arañador easily set the mood of the story.

BRITISH violinist Robert Atchison and Russian pianist Olga Dudnik

The ballet proper opened with brilliant character actors Jonathan Janolo as Traviesa the stepmom; Gerardo Francisco as Avaricia the lazy stepsister; and Michael Divinagracia as the controlling stepsister, whose every move had the audience guffawing with every naughty move they had as they harass poor Sinderela, played by Jennifer Rose Olayvar.

Ballet on reality TV

Talent search on television was realistically incorporated into this ballet, complete with screaming fans, interviews with  contestants, and male lead Al Prinsipe (Nazer Salgado) appearing in a TV interview.

Gower’s adaptation changed the setting of the grand ball to a dance audition like the myriad of talent-search shows on television. Even in this setting, the choreography allowed breath-taking solo variations and grand pas, which all the more highlighted the original flavor of the choreography.

Hana Oh as Tita Nia and nature enchantress is one dancer blessed with a beautiful body and an arresting face that can convey joy and sadness with the least effort. Her dancing—never blatant or showing off—revealed familiarity with the score. She is one big additional asset to Ballet Manila.

The acting and dancing challenges of “Sinderela” are no less daunting than in “Swan Lake” or “Giselle.” The solo variations and grand pas required no less, and Salgado shone.

The Sinderela of Olayvar lived up to the acting challenge, but it was easy to see in the last grand pas that the choreography required so much power and stamina and was bound to drain. She managed beautifully but the big effort showed.

Other attractions

The other big attractions of the ballet are the superb ensemble dancing of the corps de ballet playing the roles of the Garden Spirits; the Time/Clock Spirits; the female auditionees and dance assistants.

By the way the audience reacted, one could gauge that this ballet was a winner.

True enough, this updated “Sinderela” by Gower is a show-stopper. Scene by scene, the ballet is as timely as last night’s talent search. The highly innovative choreography has the immense challenge of “Swan Lake” and “Giselle,” and the dancing and acting of the stepsisters had audiences rolling on the floor with laughter.

The popular show-biz inputs notwithstanding, this localized version of “Cinderella” managed to live up to the powerful Prokofiev score with aplomb!

We look forward to more choreographic gems from Hazel Sabas-Gower!


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ballet , Ballet Manila , Sinderela



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
    Marketplace