Latest Stories

Pirates, a damsel in distress and human trafficking


LEMUEL Capa and Regine Magbitang in pas de deux

The ballet “Le Corsaire” (The Pirate), inspired by a poem of Lord Byron, is a tale about pirates, a damsel in distress, kidnapping and human trafficking.

Gasp. Human trafficking?!

Yes, said ballet icon Tita Radaic in a statement read during a recent press conference at the Cultural Center of the Philippines: “There is a historical dimension to ‘Le Corsaire,’ a glimpse into one of the oldest ‘industries,’ not too edifying, quite shameless, really, and that is kidnapping and human trafficking.”

Precolonial experience

In short, Radaic said, the ballet is about “the abduction of young maidens for sale as chattel in public markets and bazaars. It harks back to our own precolonial experience when men, women and children were kidnapped (I am not going to mention by whom and which religious groups, so as not to hurt present sensibilities).”

Lemuel Capa, Regine Magbitang and Matthew Davo

She added: “A perfect example are the pintados of Iloilo, terrified people who escaped to higher grounds away from the coastlines, when marauders plundered their villages and carried off entire families for sale in the slave markets of Asia.”

“Le Corsaire” will be presented by Philippine Ballet Theater (tel. 6328848) at CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo on April 5-7, 8 p.m., with a 3 p.m. matinee on April 7.

The lead dancers are played by Veronica Ylagan (alternating with Joana Galeste) as the heroine Medora; Lemuel Capa (alternating with Nordic Caraig) as Conrad, the pirate; Matthew Davo (with Ian Ocampo) as Ali, the slave; and Regine Magbitang (with Lobreza Pimentel) as Gulnare, Medora’s friend.

At the press con, the media was treated to tantalizing excerpts from the ballet, with Magbitang playing Medora.


Different postures

JULIE Borromeo

“Le Corsaire” has been presented by Ballet Manila at least twice in recent years, with prima ballerina Lisa Macuja, no less, as Medora. A journalist, tongue-in-cheek, asked if Philippine Ballet Theater was not “intimidated” by this.

Radaic, a member of PBT’s artistic council, rose to the defense of her company.

“The word intimidated does not apply here,” she declared. “We have our own way of interpreting the same story. The same subject can be expressed differently.”

And Ronilo Jaynario, PBT artistic director, added: “The postures of the PBT dancers are different; the artistry of our dancers is different.”

RONILO Jaynario (left) with Philippine Ballet Theater dancers

Another dance icon, Julie Borromeo, a PBT trustee, called attention to the wealth of artistic talent in the country.

“We could be the greatest Asian country in the arts,” she said. “It’s said that even before they can speak, Filipino kids can sing and dance. Now Singapore, with government support, is trying to be great and they have noticed Philippine productions.”

Borromeo concluded: “We are starting to be great. Our future politicians [with support] and our wonderful newspapers can make a difference.”

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 , dance , Le Corsaire , Lifestyle

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
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  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


  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • [VIDEO] No assurances on Janet Lim-Napoles’ bid to become state witness
  • South Sudan president fires long-time army leader
  • Grenade explodes outside MPD Station 1
  • 25 cops ordered relieved over links to drugs
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

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

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted