By Ibarra C. Mateo
BALLET Philippines opens its 49th season today with “Carmina Burana” choreographed by National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, who is BP’s artistic director.
Carmina Burana has limited performances from Sept. 7 to 9 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater.
BP first mounted Carmina Burana in 1973, second time in 1983, and then third time in 2003.
During an interview, Reyes said “BP opens with Carmina Burana because you begin the 49th season as big as you can. We should.”
“We were able to Maestro Gerard Salonga and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Madrigal Singers” in the 2018 staging of Carmina Burana, Reyes told reporters.
“Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana – O Fortuna is monumental. The goal on my part is to measure up to the work visually,” Reyes also said.
“For the 2018 version, all dancers were not yet born during the 1983 BP production of Carmina Burana. The current dancers are in their early 20s,” Reyes said, adding that she had to “adjust” the movements to suit the physical attributes of the young dancers.
“We will continue to show the body of work by BP that speaks of the Filipino soul, mythologies, stories, songs, and of ourselves. We have gems of stories that speak of who we are as a people.”
Reyes’ version of Carmina Burana is one of the company’s most iconic pieces.
“It highlights the power, passion, and emotion of Carl Orff’s magnum opus taken from 13th century Goliard poetry. The dance begins with an almost stealth like silence, gradually building up to create a breathtaking vision of bodies bursting with energy, moving with elegance and grace,” BP said.
The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra accompanies the piece with “a hauntingly beautiful rendition” of Orff’s masterpiece.
The Philippine Madrigal Singers “bring to life religious satire, sentiments of joy, and drunken elation shared among poets of medieval Europe” BP said.
“The live musical performances by both the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Madrigal Singers add layers and depth to Reyes’ rich choreography,” it said.
National Artist Salvador Bernal’s production design creates a majestic landscape of rock formations on stage that transports one to another time, space, and universe.
The program also features pieces that highlight the history of BP such as Brando Miranda’s rendition of Vivaldi Concerto — vigorous, lively, and spirited. Vivaldi was first premiered in 1983 and returns on stage after 35 years this season.
Norman Walker’s Seasons of Flight, will also take center stage. It tells the tale of human relationships — its dynamics, idiosyncrasies and complexities — through graceful avian movement and migratory patterns.
Debuted by BP in 1972, it was the first of five pieces created by Norman Walker for the company.
“What I am trying to do is to present to our new audiences some of our iconic pieces that have not been done for so long … reflecting the company’s tapestry of dance gems,” Reyes said.
In celebrating dance, BP is also staging an exciting new piece by the company’s young and talented choreographer Ronelson Yadao, It was during the 48th season when Yadao decided to return to the company after dancing with Cloud Gate Theater in Taiwan.
(Experience the return of one of Ballet Philippines’ masterworks. Carmina Burana running from Sep. 7 to 9, 2018, at the CCP Main Theater. For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at (+632) 551-1003, Ticketworld at (+632)891-9999 or go to Ticketworld.com.ph.)
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