When it comes to Yuletide ballet fare, nothing beats the tale of the young girl Masha whose generous spirit on Christmas Eve transports her to a land of giant dolls, dancing snowflakes, the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
This year, for its Christmas production, Ballet Manila is presenting this ballet favorite—and more.
“We really wanted to offer something special, so we decided that we will have memorable excerpts from ‘The Nutcracker’ back to back with original choreographies that echo themes that are distinctly Pinoy,” said Lisa Macuja-Elizalde of Ballet Manila.
“Nutkraker: Pasko Na Namang Muli” will have its gala performance on Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., at Aliw Theater.
The first half of the show showcases Act II of “The Nutcracker,” with music by Peter Tchaikovsky and choreography by Vassily Vainonen. It is being restaged by Osias Barroso and Natalia Raldugina.
Taking on the role of Sugar Plum Fairy are BM principal dancers Dawna Mangahas and senior soloist Tiffany Chiang-Janolo.
The second half unfolds to a medley of Filipino Christmas carols performed in dance, inspired by familiar themes: An OFW coming home to be reunited with his family. Children singing Christmas songs in the streets for a few coins. Families gathered together while feasting on ham and queso de bola for Noche Buena. Simbang Gabi and puto bumbong. Gifts in colorful wrapper under the tree.
“These are just some of the heartwarming moments spent with family and friends during the season, which that make Christmas in the Philippines so unforgettable—and which we want to convey to the audience,” said Elizalde.
Ballet Manila co-artistic director Barroso leads the team of choreographers—Gerardo Francisco, Michael Divinagracia, Jonathan Janolo, Rudy De Dios and Francis Jaena—in creating new works to fill the stage with the sights, sounds, colors and flavors of a typical Paskong Pinoy.
The Filipino segment will feature the participation of BM’s Project Ballet Futures scholars.
Other play dates: Nov. 30, Dec. 5, Dec. 6-7. All shows will be held at Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City.
Ballet Manila’s 19th performance season is presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company and sponsored by Aliw Theater and Star City; ACS Manufacturing Corporation (Pride and Shield Bath Soap), First United Travel, BPI Express Credit, Island Rose, Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, Krispy Kreme, Hen Lin, Papa John’s Pizza and Crunchybelly by Carlos Kitchen.