THE Cultural Center of the Philippines unveiled its roster of 2018 shows, with the July conferment of the newest batch of national artists and the September gala concert to honor its first and longest-serving president as among the peak points.
Chris B. Millado, CCP vice president and artistic director, made the official announcement of the 2018 CCP season in a press conference at the CCP’s Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater). He said the 2018 season productions “lead up” to the CCP’s 50th anniversary year-long celebrations from September 2019.
“Come July, the CCP and National Commission for Culture and the Arts will jointly hold the conferment ceremony and tribute to the awardees of the Order of National Artists, the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts,” Millado said.
Millado also said discussions on the 2018 batch of national artists “have already started as we speak.”
“This year, the CCP also celebrates the life and works of National Artist Lucresia R. Kasilag with a concert dubbed as CCP Gala: The King’s Concert in September,” he said.
“Tita King,” as Kasilag was fondly called, spent her life developing the Filipino audience’s appreciation of music. Kasilag was the first and longest-serving CCP president, from 1976 to 1986.
“She worked to discover the Filipino roots through ethnic music and fuse it with Western influences, an approach that current Filipino composers emulate,” Millado said.
Most of the CCP productions will be mounted by its resident companies namely, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), Ballet Philippines (BP), Philippine Ballet Theatre (PBT), Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company, UST Symphony Orchestra, National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA), and the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
The PPO, CCP’s resident orchestra company, celebrates its 45th anniversary with a concert featuring classical masterpieces under the baton of its music director and resident conductor Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura, as well as outreach concerts, and performances all over the Philippines.
Both the Saturday Group and Philippine Arts Educators mark their 50th anniversary with respective exhibits this March.
In May, the Association of Pinoyprintmakers holds an exhibition for their 50th anniversary.
The Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, considered as the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the Southeast Asian region, highlights its 30th run this year.
The competition harvests the best films in various categories such as Short Feature/Narrative, Experimental, Documentary, and Animation. It will also be a year of collaborations with international artistic companies, as well as Philippine premieres of international productions.
It started with the Japanese theater company Rinkogun which presented “Retire-Men,” a humorous play about the Japanese people who move to different Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and the Philippines, on Jan. 27 and 28, at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute.
On Feb. 8 and 9, CCP hosts the UNIMA Chinese Puppetry, showcasing the magnificent and mystical tradition of Chinese puppetry and featuring performances by the Yangzhou Puppetry Troupe, the Pingyang Puppetry Protection and Inheritance Center, and the Sichuan Huge Puppet Theatre.
The Russian Classical Ballet performs “Swan Lake,” featuring two of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet Theatre dancers Alexander Volchkov and Nina Kaptsova, from Feb. 27 to March 11 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.
After 10 years, the Earth Hour returns to CCP.
Organized by the Wold Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Earth Hour is the world’s largest environmental movement urging people to switch off non-essential lights for 60 minutes, as a way to protect and save the planet.
On March 24, Filipinos are encouraged to participate at activities at the CCP grounds to mark #Connect2Earth in a festive night.
In September, the CCP launches the Encyclopedia of Philippine Arts.
Akapella Open International 2018, a competition for contemporary a capella groups which aims to promote the love for contemporary a capella and appreciation for vocal harmony performance, happens in October.
Other highlights of 2018 CCP season calendar include: the Young Artists Series, which is co-produced with the Philippine Opera Company; Marawing Salamat: The Best of Opera and Fashion for Marawi featuring I Pagliacci, a two-act Italian opera with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo; 2017 Gawad Buhay Philstage Award, the pioneering industry awards exclusively for the performing arts; Triple Threats, a series of concept concerts featuring real life couples Julienne Mendoza and Stella Cañete, Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez, Franco Laurel and Ayen Munji Laurel; Wifi Body.ph, a competition for choreographers; Festival of Arts and Ideas, now on its 2nd year; CCP Ballet Competition 2018, gathering ballet dancers, choreographers, and masters who will compete in classical solo variation and contemporary piece categories; Performatura: Spoken Work Festival, celebrating literature by engaging it with music, theater, dance, film, and visual arts; CCP Met Opera in HD at the Ayala Cinema; Kabataang Gitarista, now on its 6th year.
There are also CCP regular festivals and shows such as the Pasinaya, considered the largest multi-arts festival in the country where Filipino people can pay as much as you want and see as many as you can; the Virgin Labfest, the annual festival of raw, untested and un-staged one-act plays; Cinemalaya, the largest independent film festival with the aim to support cinematic works by upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers.
Proud of its art education and outreach programs, the CCP holds various training and workshops such as National Rondalla Workshop 2018, National Folk Dance Workshop for Teachers, CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop, CCP Summer Dance Workshop, among others.
Must-see exhibitions include “Walking Still: Rene Aquitania Exhibit”; “Stretched Banners” by MJ Flaminiano; and, solo exhibits by Marlon Contreras, Froilan Calayag, Lesley Ann Cao, among others.
(For more information, please call CCP at 832-1125 and visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph)