Ballet Philippines, a resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), ends its 48th season with a beloved warhorse, which deserves to be up there with romantic bestsellers “Giselle” and “Swan Lake.”
Lead roles will be played by Joseph Gatti, guest artist from the United States, one time principal dancer of the Cincinnati Ballet and a gold medalist in several international ballet competitions; and Candice Adea, another bemedalled dancer and the first Filipino woman to win first prize at the 7th Helsinki International Ballet Competition.
This was announced at a recent press launch at the CCP. Among those present were Ballet Philippines’ president Margie Moran Floirendo; Adam Sage, who restaged the ballet based on an episode from Miguel de Cervantes’ masterpiece; and Guillermo Escribano of the Spanish Embassy.
“‘Don Quixote’ is very special to Ballet Philippines , starting with the first grand pas de deux in 1973 by Nonoy Froilan And Muñeca Aponte,” Floirendo said. “It is one big happy fiesta, a celebration of life in dance.”
Escribano said the novel which inspired the ballet (and the Broadway hit “Man of La Mancha”) “is both national and universal. It is Cervantes’ 400th year and the novel is about immigration, heroism, a big adventure, another world where men were brave and it shows what is best in human beings.”
The ballet “is comedy, love, not long-drawn out, so you don’t have to concentrate to know what is happening,” Sage observed. In short, just watch the dancing.
Asked to compare “Don Quixote” with other all-time greats like “Giselle” and “Swan Lake,” he said “It’s much more human, it’s the Spanish flavor.”
The ballet follows the iconic Don Quixote as he arrives in Barcelona with loyal squire Sancho Panza. He meets the flirtatious innkeeper’s daughter Kitri , whom he mistakes for his lady love Dulcinea. Kitri is in love with the poor but personable barber Basilio but her father disapproves of the match. Complications arise when Don Quixote becomes a matchmaker of sorts.
The ballet piece is a favorite of many dance companies because of its bravura lifts, turns and lifts.
In addition to Gatti and Adea, Basilio and Kitri will be played by BP regulars Victor Maguad and Ian Ocampo, and Jemina Reyes and Monina Gana.
The Manila Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Monila will provide the music during gala nights Feb. 9, 8 p.m., and Feb. 10, 7 p.m. –CONTRIBUTED