LONDON-BASED West End Mamas and Papas, composed of Gerard Duffy and
Maya Barredo-Duffy, Robert Atchison and Gia Macuja-Atchison and Nick Bonner
and Cez Campos-Bonner
Ballet Manila ends 18th season with ‘Heart 2 Heart’
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:14 AM February 08, 2014
Ballet Manila ends its 18th performance season with the latest installment of its popular “Ballet & Ballads” series, this time titled “Heart 2 Heart.” The London-based musical theater groups West End Mamas and Papas are featured guests.
The post-Valentine presentation—offering a complete repertoire of music, song and dance—will have its gala on Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., at the Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City. Other performances are set on Feb. 22-23, March 1-2.
“Heart 2 Heart” features the special participation of prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, who is also Ballet Manila’s artistic director. She dances opposite principal dancer Rudy de Dios in “The Last Poem,” choreographed by Augustus “Bam” Damian III, which tells the story of a man and his dying beloved.
Three choreographic works are being premiered: Ernest Mandap’s “Lune,” Francis Jaena’s “Shutter” and Gerardo Francisco’s “Corvus.”
“Lune” is a short, witty take on the 1920s era of the Charleston dance and the two-step. “Shutter” is characterized by jazz-like movements. “Corvus,” the Latin word for crow, combines fast movements and defined showmanship to articulate the powerful image of the bird it is named after.
Ballet Manila staples like the all-male “Aramica” and the romantic “MAZN,” as well as the classical pas de deux “Harlequinade,” are likewise featured.
After making their debut in last year’s “Ballet & Ballads,” for which they won an Aliw Award as Best New Artist, the West End Mamas this time brings with them the West End Papas.
Gia Macuja-Atchison, Cez Campos-Bonner and Maya Barredo-Duffy are joined by their respective husbands—violinist-conductor Robert Atchison, and singer-actors Nick Bonner and Gerard Duffy. All six are seasoned performers whose careers boast various engagements in London’s famed theater row.
There will be songs from “Les Miserables” and “Starlight Express,” OPM tunes and a Disney/“Frozen” medley. Rousing numbers like “Eto Na-Doobidoo” and “In The Mood” will have the audience clapping and humming along.
“Jammin’”—a number featuring a violinist, a surprise guest trumpet player and 16 ballerinas on pointe—is also something to watch out for.
“Ballet & Ballads” was conceptualized by Manila Broadcasting Company chairperson Fred J. Elizalde, Macuja-Elizalde’s husband. Combining the resources of MBC and Ballet Manila, it has sought to popularize ballet all over the country in line with the dance company’s mission of bringing ballet to the people.
Launched in 1998, the series has been presented in major venues in Metro Manila and has been taken on numerous provincial tours. Previous editions of the series have featured such pop stars as Ariel Rivera, Janno Gibbs, Jaya, Nyoy Volante, Lani Misalucha, Toni Gonzaga, Kyla and Freestyle.
Explaining the broad appeal of the long-running series, Macuja-Elizalde notes: “It combines the musical appeal of a concert and the visual delight of the ballet; that’s why it’s always fun.”
“Heart 2 Heart: Ballet & Ballads” is presented by Ballet Manila, Aliw Theater, Star City and Manila Broadcasting Company, with ACS Manufacturing (Shield Bath Soap), First United Travel Inc. and SEAir as major sponsors, with the support of Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, Island Rose and Ticketworld.
For tickets to the Feb. 21 and March 1 shows, call Ticketworld at 8919999 or visit ticketworld.com.ph. For inquiries, call Ballet Manila at 5255967 or 4000292; or visit www.balletmanila.