Spain-based Filipino dancers in ‘Giselle’, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ at the CCP | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“GISELLE.” Partners Aillen Gallinera and Jesus Pastor
“GISELLE.” Partners Aillen Gallinera and Jesus Pastor

MANILA, Philippines—When Ballet David Campos of Barcelona performs at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on March 22-25, it will not just be a dazzling interpretation of two ballet favorites, it will be a celebration of excellence of both Filipino and Spanish artists who will be headlining the performances of “Giselle” and “The Sleeping Beauty.”

Spain-based Filipino dancers Elline Damian, Aileen Gallinera, Eduardo Espejo and Karina Campos interpret the principal roles of the two classics when Ballet David Campos along with the Spanish Embassy of the Philippines, Instituto Cervantes and the Institut Ramon Llull stage the four-night performances at the CCP’s Main Theater or the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.

While this will be the first time the Catalan dance company will perform in Manila, Filipino dancer Irene Sabas, who is also the associate artistic director and ballet mistress of Ballet David Campos, said the upcoming productions are a golden opportunity to demonstrate and make known to the Filipino and Spanish societies that there are infinite ways and links still to foster and support to develop greater communication amongst cultures which can lead to successful projects like this.

“We have this certain image abroad that Filipinos are known more in the labor force, especially in Europe. Of course, this image – while it is very dignified as we are known as very good workers – there are other aspects of our character like our love of music and dancing and the arts. And that’s what makes this project so unique. We are showcasing that Filipinos are also brilliant artists,” Sabas says.

Sabas, who was a soloist at the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium, believes that Filipino artists are significant contributors to the world stage.

“This project is a venue of showing that Filipino performers are world-class talents. It has always been my dream to share to the Filipinos what I’ve learned. I know that the Filipinos will benefit from our knowledge. That is why we brought Filipino dancers in Spain, to teach them what we know,” she adds.

ELLINE DAMIAN for “The Sleeping Beauty”

For his part, Instituto Cervantes director Eduardo Calvo puts it this way:

“The ballet of David Campos would be best described as the expression in movement of Instituto Cervantes in Manila. And I say this because I deeply respect those who remember with nostalgia our common past, but I must say that the purpose of Instituto Cervantes is to build on today and tomorrow together with the Filipino people. David Campos fully shares this purpose with Filipino and Spanish artists who unite to show, day by day, this harmony through the universal language of dance.”

In the productions of “Giselle” and “The Sleeping Beauty,” the dance company’s artistic director David Campos choreographs a spectacularly re-imagined take on the two ballets. In his version of “Giselle,” for example, Campos takes the intrinsic plot of Giselle’s story, modifies it and carries it to the present day. In the first part we meet a young Giselle of the XXI century, naive and carefree, which later develops to an unfortunate incident of violence and foul play, and transforming the traditional second act with scenes close to the horror genre, but always with the tragic romance and forgiving love in the foreground.

“We wanted a different approach to these classics,” says Campos. “That way the fusion of the classical traditions with fresh, contemporary style gives our production a vibrant and energized feel that will appeal to the ballet audiences of today.”

For his version of “The Sleeping Beauty,” the innovative choreographer promised a unique and special experience for the audience to enjoy including some very special stage effects.

Ballet David Campos is organized by Ballet David Campos of Barcelona, along with the Spanish Embassy of the Philippines, Instituto Cervantes, Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Institut Ramon Llull. Other sponsors include: Centunion, Mapfre Insurance Corporation, Ayala Land, Ayala Land Premier, Indra, Hino, St. Mark Hotel, Petron, San Miguel, Mercedes Benz and Ollé Beltrán.

“The Sleeping Beauty” will run from March 22- 23 at 8 PM while “Giselle’ will run from March 24 at 8 PM and on March 25 at 6 PM. Tickets are available at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (tel. 832-3704) and on the TicketWorld website  (tel. 891-9999).

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