A NEW version of Stravinsky’s celebrated ballet, “Firebird”; back-to-back presentations of Rizal’s heroes, Crisostomo Ibarra the idealistic reformer who becomes Simoun, jeweler and revolutionary; more Filipino dance productions capped by the great warhorse “Swan Lake, with its bravura challenges for the male lead: These are among the treats awaiting the ballet buff in the 47th season of ballet Philippines titled “Wings,” which opens on Aug. 19 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
“‘Firebird’ is one of the more iconic productions in ballet,” said Ballet Philippines Artistic Director Paul Alexander Morales during a recent press launch at the CCP. “We tried to give it wings and bring it to a different level. All of our choreographers are really reworking their pieces.”
Also present during the press conference were BP president Margie Moran Floirendo and the artistic team of the various productions.
“Firebird” will be staged at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Main Theater (tel. 5511003), Aug.19-21. Also featured are Carlo Pacis’ award-winning “Shifting Wait” and a new work by Spanish choreographer David Campos. This will be followed by “Bagong Sayaw” on Sept. 10-11,17-18. Olivier Ochamine conducts the Philippines Philharmonic Orchestra at Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater), featuring two young dancers in new works.
On Oct. 21-23 comes Morales in “Crisostomo Ibarra/Simoun,” with Gerard Salonga directing the ABS-CBN Orchestra; the music is by Jed Balsamo. “We always come back to Rizal to help and contribute to the discussion on what is Filipino,” observed the choreographer.
Filipino pop music takes center stage for the next two weeks of December, with Bibeth Orteza’s “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko,” featuring the music of VST & Co.
February and March 2017 will see the restaging by Nonoy Froilan of “Swan Lake,” with music by Tchaikovsky, an acid test for those who aspire to be prima ballerinas. “It is a great opportunity for the dancers to experience this great warhorse of ballet,” said Morales.
“Firebird” has been trans- planted from Russia to the Philippines. “Paul wanted it Filipino,” said Russian choreographer George Birkadze “I had to do something, different, true. Everything, every step has to mean something, spiritual, not gymnastic.”