Theater Review : Ballet Philippines' Firebird and Other Ballets


I was invited to watch a ballet performance produced by Ballet Philippines held at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater, Pasay City for the 47th season of Wings composed of 4 different act namely: Weighted Whispers (World Premiere), Moving Two, Ne Neh Le Dej (Philippine Premiere) and Firebird (World Premiere).


Weighted Whispers was choreographed and costumes by Carlo AC Pacis, and music by J.S. Bach, Robert Schumann, and Samuel Barber. The story is about a woman that is torn between decisions in which person she should choose, her current partner that is abusive and manipulative versus the one that she truly loves. With the use of handles and harness in their costumes the narration of the first part gives a new dimension in telling the story in a more abstract way. The second part used a “Shifting Wait” an abstract ballet expressing a story about love, betrayal, and loss.

Moving Two is contemporary pas de deux choreograph by a BP Alumnus now based in Bacolod, Dwight Rodrigazo and music by Johann Pachelbel; A short yet an awesome performance by Katrene San Miguel and Lester John Reguindin interchanged by Jemima Reyes and Victor Maguad. The synchronous movement of both dancers express a combination of a classical and modern movement as they complement each other very well.

Ne Neh Ledej was choreographed by David Campos, music by Iva Bittova, and costumes by David Campos and Irene Sabas. Ne Neh Ledej is a Czechoslovakian language means, “Do not look any further.” Ne Neh Ledej is very refreshing to hear and watch as it uses a lot tribal sound with a lot of leap and bouncing movement. The story is leading us into the past where two different cultures coexist with each other; it is a no ordinary story for us Filipino as sometime in the past we as the occidental of the Philippines dance our way to understand and wrestle with our colonizer.

 Firebird was choreographed by George Birkadze, music by Igor Stravinsky and costume designed by Mark Lewis Higgins, set designed by Ohm David and lighting designed by Jonjon Villareal. The story is about the encounter of the pearl merchant with the firebird as he helps the bird into its freedom from its captor, Koschei the immortal. As the story flow, the merchant encounter the Princess from the Land of Spices and dances all through out the day up until the lights fade and when they hear a trumpet. At the end of the story, the Pearl Merchant is torn between a decisions whether to chase after the firebird or to return into the human world and look after the Princess. The following characters are portrayed by the following dancers:

•    The Firebird - was portrayed by Rita Angela Winder interchanged by Jemima Reyes. My favourite part of the firebird is when she fights Koschei the Immortal; it is very magical yet still touches the limitation of being half bird and half human.

•    The Pearl Merchant - was portrayed by Garry Corpuz interchanged by Jean Marc Cordero. The main actor of the story, I am convinced in his acting at the last part of the story where he is torn between his two-love interests. Personally, I would like to see the merchant chase after the firebird as they compliment each other very well.

•    The Princess - was portrayed by Denise Parungao interchanged by Monica Amanda Gana. I like how the Princess connects with the Merchant effortlessly.

•    Koschei the Immortal - was portrayed by Cyril Aran Fallar interchanged Victor Maguad. My second favourite character in the story, despite being a villain in the story, I like how he shows power and authority with only his movement.

In conclusion, I would like to recommend everyone to watch the all the performance, it is a four short ballet performance yet the each story encompasses a different and very interesting story.

SEE YOU AT THE THEATER !!!!!

Review by : Tony Yson

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