In connection with the 120th death anniversary of Jose’ Rizal on Dec. 30, Ballet Philippines will present back-to-back productions of “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” titled “Crisostomo Ibarra” and “Simoun.” The two works are full-length ballets and will be staged for only one weekend, Oct. 21-23, although not one after the other.
“Crisostomo Ibarra” will be performed on Oct. 21, 3 p.m.; Oct. 22, 2 p.m., and Oct. 23, 10 a.m. “Simoun” is to be staged on Oct. 21, 8 p.m.; Oct. 22, 6 p.m.; and Oct. 23, 3 p.m. All the performances will be at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
This was announced during a recent press launch at the Rehearsal Mall of the CCP, during which key scenes from the two productions were performed by Ballet Philippines dancers led by Jean Marc Cordero, Denise Parungao, Victor Maguad and Monica Gana.
Choreography is by Paul Alexander Morales, with original music by Jed Balsamo. Gerard Salonga directs the ABS-CBN Symphony Orchestra.
The excerpts engaged one’s attention. There were party scenes, the entry of Ibarra to the consternation of the friars, a pas de deux by Ibarra and his sweetheart Maria Clara, Ibarra’s lament, and the death of Maria Clara.
The novels of Rizal were inspired by Alexander Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo” and, in turn, inspired National Artist Lazaro Francisco’s “Ilaw sa Hilaga.” In all four novels, the hero makes a violent exit and returns, disguised, to wreak vengeance upon his enemies.
The Ballet Philippines productions take highlights from the novels of Rizal to interpret in dance form a society on the brink of reform or revolution.
“The Noli and Fill are especially relevant to our present times,” said Morales. “We can learn lessons from them.” —CONTRIBUTED