“Cinderella” lead dancers Monica Amanda Gana and Denise Parungao. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/BP/Paul Alexander Morales
Ballet PH brings back National Artist Alice Reyes’ ‘Cinderella’ from Nov. 28 to Dec. 7
INQUIRER.net / 02:14 AM November 15, 2014
MANILA, Philippines—The smash hit of the holiday season with the best romance and laughter formula is coming real soon. Yes, the undisputed masterpiece of classical elegance and magical production of “Cinderella” is back.
As a special pre-Christmas treat, Ballet Philippines shall stage anew Alice Reyes’ “Cinderella” on November 28 at 8 p.m. at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines.
“Cinderella” is the best loved fairy tale of all time about a poor girl whose true worth is recognized not by her family but by a prince bearing her lost shoe.
“I have always wanted to do a ballet for children – Cinderella was the perfect material. After all, I can’t think of childhood without Mother Goose and Cinderella. Working on a full-length ballet patterned after the traditional classic form presented many problems.
“The easiest way would have been to adhere to the Cinderella scenario already established by such noted choreographers as Petipa, Fokine, Sergeyev and Ashton, among others. What kept me on track in my version was the one thought that eventually became a guide: the ballet was for Chris and Sara and Marco and Carlo and little Alice and all my wonderful little friends who keep bringing “wonder” into my life. I would like to give them something back in return.
“Thus, the garden divertissement with animals dancing for Cinderella; two talented girls playing the stepsisters rather than men; a warm fun-loving King who wanted grandchildren; two princely brothers of Prince Charming to lighten the palace scenes; and lots and lots of dancing.”
“I like Prokofiev and took immense pleasure in working with his ballet score for Romeo and Juliet. Although the ballet Cinderella is traditionally choreographed to Prokofiev, I found his Act II music too heavy and dark. So I turned to Tchaikovsky, the “ballet composer”, sure that we could find enough music for a full-length ballet from all his works.
“After months of listening to various symphonies, suites and concertos which were researched, unearthed and presented to me by my collaborator-cum-conspirator, Rudy Vidad, the music score developed. It was then handed to Frankie Feliciano who bravely translated the material into logical form for the orchestra to play,” says Alice Reyes, Ballet Philippines’ founder and Artistic Director Emeritus.
First staged in 1981, “Cinderella” continued to be produced and performed by Ballet Philippines in 1984, 1989 and 2002.
Now on its fifth re-staging and 33rd anniversary, the role of “Cinderella” will be played by soloist Denise Parungao and junior company member Monica Amanda Gana.
This is Gana’s first lead role with Ballet Philippines, while Parungao was last seen in the title role of Ballet Philippines’ “Giselle” in 2013 and 2014.
Playing opposite them as Prince Charming are Principal Dancer Richardson Yadao and Junior Principal Dancer Earl John Arisola.
To add even more magic to this production, Madame Isabelle Garachon, wife of the French Ambassador to the Philippines and former professional dancer, will be playing the role of Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, alternating with Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran Floirendo.
With a joyful mixture of kings, princes, fairies, and animals, the three act ballet of “Cinderella” is set to a collage of music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who composed some of the world’s greatest ballet music.
Alice Reyes is the visionary founder of Ballet Philippines who propelled the company into a national arts institution we can all be proud of. In the Philippines, she established regular season concerts, professionalized dance as a career, and played a major role in the phenomenal development of dance in the country.
Reyes began her dance training at an early age and it continued undiminished even while she worked for a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Foreign Service at the Maryknoll (now Miriam) College and did postgraduate studies at the Ateneo de Manila University.
With a background in ballet, folk dancing and jazz, Reyes ventured into the challenging and exciting realm of modern dance. Through a grant from the John D. Rockefeller III Fund, she went through an extensive training period in the United States at the Colorado College under a Hanya Holm scholarship.
She was subsequently awarded a grant from the Music Promotion Foundation of the Philippines, which enabled her to study further under leading exponents of the medium and earn a Master of Arts in Dance from the Sarah Lawrence College under its scholarship program.
Upon her return in 1969, she staged her first modern dance concert at the CCP. Its success made her decide to remain in the Philippines and develop the great potential of dance in the country.
Since then, her outstanding performances on stage have provided artists an enriching example to emulate. The sheer diversity of her choreographic talent has produced highly acclaimed works ranging from the classics like “Cinderella” and “Romeo and Juliet”, to Filipino modern works like “Amada”, “Itim-Asu”, “Bayanihan Remembered”, “Mga Babae”, “Tales of the Manuvu” and “Rama Hari”.
Through her efforts, dance has become among the country’s respected careers and distinguished professions. The Filipino dancers have emerged as an indispensable part of our cultural heritage. In June 20, 2014, Alice Reyes was declared National Artist for Dance by President Benigno S. Aquino III through Proclamation No. 807.
Don’t miss this unforgettable and spectacular ballet production with breathtaking choreography, spectacular sets, costumes and special effects. Although intended as a ballet for children, both young and young-at-heart audiences are sure to be enthralled by this lively and humorous production. It’s utterly alluring and ravishing.
“Cinderella” will be performed at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on the following dates and times: November 28 (3 pm & 8 pm), November 29 (2 pm & 6 pm), November 30 (2 pm & 6 pm), December 5 (3 pm & 8 pm), December 6 (10 am & 6 pm), and December 7 (2 pm & 6 pm).
The artistic and creative teams are led by Reyes (Choreographer and Librettist), Salvador Bernal(+) (Set & Costume Designer), Monino Duque (Lighting Designer), Barbara Tan-Tiongco (Technical Director), and Victor Ursabia and Ramon Victoria (Restagers).
For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit www.ballet.ph or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.
The 45th Anniversary Sapphire Season. Rare scenes of power and grace. Love, valour and redemption. Under the artistic directorship of Paul Alexander Morales, this is a toast to 45 years of dance excellence.