Lunes, Setyembre 17, 2018

Teatro Pinas Review : Ballet Manila's ICONIC 2.0 continuously offers a worth watching and delightful performances

Posted By: Star Powerhouse - Setyembre 17, 2018


& Comment

"If we are to go by the dictionary definition of "iconic" as something that is "widely recognized and well -established" and is "acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence," then we could honestly say that we have many such jewels in our collection. It wouldn't be possible - or even fair -- to fit them all in one production. So how about two?

Ibong Adarna
And that is why we have the Iconic 1.0 and Iconic 2.0 to open our 23rd performance season! Two completely different repertoire that promise to leave you breathless for two amazing weekends!"
- Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Artistic Director

Reading the directors notes after watching the two different repertoire, truly what has been promised and planned before the performances has been served hot and and absolutely stunning celebrating the evolution of the dance company's excellence, innovation, passion and discipline. All of the pieces has been sorted which creates an unforgettable watching experience that would make you crave for more.

A collection of choices picks from Ballet Manila's collaboration with the country's top choreographers as well as a sampler of works by in-house talent. Features works by: Liza Macuja-Elizalde, Oasis Barraso Jr., Eric V. Cruz, Agustus Damian III, Rudy de Dios, Tony Fabella, Gerardo Francisco Jr., Jonathan Janolo, Martin Lawrence, Ernest Mandap, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Sergei Vikulov, Agnes Locsin, and Simon Hay.

Below are the performances that I liked most from Iconic 1.0:

Music: Philip Glass
Choreography: Annablle Lopez Ochoa

This piece created especially for Ballet Manila had its world premier in March 2016 for the company's 20th Anniversary concert. It is the first work of Belgian-Colombian choreographer, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa for an Asian dance company. Drawing inspiration from a Balinese ritual centered on beauty and gratitude, Ochoa makes us of movements and gesture reflective of the region in this piece.

Music: "Canon in D Major" by Johann Pachelbel
Choreography: Augustus "Bam" Damian III

Sotto Voce which premiered in 2009 is a modern ballet, a refreshing departure from the traditional, as choreographed by Augustus "Bam" Damian III. It demonstrates the fluidity and skills of the soloist who are on pointers for the entire number

 Bloom and Sotto Voce are calming performances that would give you relaxation not just to your eyes but through your heart and soul. The excitement is there, at the same time there was a sensation that you would not want the performances to finish yet. It feels like, it is a performance that you would want see the whole day over and over again.

ICONIC 2.0 Carmen
Music: Les Holcomb and Matthew Fagher
Choreography: Agnes Locsin

An interesting and exquisite pas de deux about spider mating. Ballet Manila's modern piece for the 5th Helsinki and the 10th Moscow International Ballet Competition and the Nagoya International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition as well as its US Tours of 2004 and 2005.

The performance is something that will play with your senses. Highlighting long holds and lift. The artistic direction from the set design, the costume, lights and musical scoring are well synchronized with the attitude and the aura that the whole performance. The two artists completely own the scene and conquer the stage establishing a statement that this is ours; our time and our spot. The energy of the dancers perfectly depicted the traits of a spider as a territorial creature.  As a performer Joan Sia and Romeo Peralta knows how to channel their energy and pass it on to the audience. Although all of the performances are exquisite, this one has the greater depth in terms of artistry.

Music: "Kahapon Lamang" by George Canseco
"Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan" by George Canseco
"Tayong Dalawa" by Rey Valera
"Sana'y Maghintay Ang Walang Hanggan" by Willy Cruz
Choreography: Jonathan Janolo

For Ballet Manila's 19th-season opener, four dance-choreographers were tasked to come up with new pieces based on love stories culled from a popular top-rating advice show on the radio, "Musika't Pag-ibig" by Jonathan Jonolo depicts the search for love.

The flow of emotions from the performers, exactly delivered the direction of the choreographer. The depths of emotions of someone's searching for love has been properly executed. The excitement has been kept throughout the whole performance.

Music: Ryan Cayabyab as arranged by Arnold Buenas
Choreography: Tony Fabella

An original dance version of one of the enchanting tales by Severino Reyes in his popular collection of works called "Kwento ni Lola Basyang", this story is about Rodrigo who only wanted to receive the wages he deserves. Unfortunately, his cunning master, Ahab fools him by paying him less that what he is expecting. While wallowing in his despair, he chance upon an old lady in need of food and shelter, to whom he offers help. As tales turn out, this lady melts away to reveal a beautiful enchantress and offer him a mysterious golden violin that will help him get what he wants.

The performance has the best build up of emotions and humor. It will surely give excitement to the audience. This will surely bring you back to your childhood, from the set design, the costume, lights and musical arrangement. The texture, mood and tone of the the stage is quite colorful and elegantly decorated. The performance is something that you would never expect.

Week one is done and I remember exactly how excited I am to watch the Iconic 2.0.

Music: Diwa de Leon
Choreography: Gerardo Francisco

Since its world premiere in August 2017, Ibong Adarna has won numerous awards, including the award for Best Dance Production in the 30th Annual Aliw Awards. It was also featured as the opening production at the Karmiel Dance Festival 2018 in Israel.

Music: "Je Crols Entendre Encor" from The Pearl Fishers by George Bizet
"Un Bel Di Vedremo" from Madam Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
"Questo Amor, Vergogna Mia" from Edgar by Giacomo Puccini
"Au Found Du Temple Saint" from the Pearl Fishers by George Bizet
"Bella Figlia Dell'Amore" from  Rigoberto by Giuseppe Verdi
Choreography: Martin Lawrence

"Love can be blind, love can be painful and can be joyous. Love can be a whirlwind of mixed emotions that take you on a journey. Aria is my response to these beautiful arias that have been written by Verdi, Puccini and Bizet. It takes you on a journey of the heartbreak and requited love." -Martin Lawrence

Music: Olafur Arnalds
Choreography: Simon Hay

The Distance Between is an abstract duet which draws its inspiration from the ancient legend of Orpheus and Eurydice:

Orpheus lives the drama of the death of Eurydice, which can still come back to light only with the trust and strength of faith.

Music: Carl Czerny
Choreography: Osias Barroso Jr.

An excerpt from the full Ecole that was originally choreographed for the Ballet Manila School in 1999. We are given a glimpse into a dancer's life, a journey that begins with burning passion and strong sense of discipline; the beauty and demands of classical ballet. Ecole showcases the strength of the ballet company.

Music "El Adwa Echimaliya" by Von Magnet
Choreography: Augustus Damian III

El Adwa is Ballet Manila's third creation to the music of the extraordinary album Nueva Cruzes. It contemplates the weight of the decision to enter into combat

Music: Ludwig Van Beethoven
Choreography: Lisa Macuja Elizalde

Inspired by ballet painting of Degas, this is choreographic miniature was created to showcase the ports de bras and romantic style of the ballerinas of Ballet Manila.

Music: George Bizet-Rodion / Schwerin
Choreography: Eric V. Cruz

Whether she comes out a seductress, a witch, or a victim of circumstance, Carmen is a woman determined to survive, using any means at her disposal in order to do so. Don Jose bit off more than he could chew.

Icon 1.0 and Icon 2.0 summarized how the dance company evolved over the years that offers a excellence from the carefully selected piece in its repertoire. Ballet Manila established an image that they will always deliver an extraordinary and world class performance and never break its audience expectations.

The careful selection of costumes, set designs, set changes, lights and projections, the over all aesthetic and mood of the stage is truly stunning and not complicated. Every seem to be so right. All of the transitions and set changes are done smoothly and clean.

Good job to all of the performers, they are all in character, even when on standby they never let go of their characters on stage. They are not just dancers, but a very loud and clear actor that doesn't need to deliver a single line to communicate to the audience and to one another. The exchange of conversations were loud and clear, movements were strong and precise. The vision of the choreographers and the artistic team to make every performers standout was clear in manner that all forms and blocking are well organized and synchronized

There are times that stage is full of dancers, but never lose the discipline of being organized and keep everyone in place that the performers know when to give the spot for everyone and knows exactly when to standout among the other dancers. I love the give and take attitude of the dancers, maintaining the right balance of emotions, energy, attitude and power.

Ballet Manila as a Dance Company truly carries the values of love, passion, creativity, dedication, and discipline. As a dance company they have established a very strong reputation, the vision not to stay where they are but the thirst to explore, to do more and evolve. They know exactly how to teach their audiences what discipline means. As a dance company they are very generous to their audience and would not let you leave the theater disappointed, but truly satisfied. The satisfaction level that would satisfy your eyes, as well as your heart and soul. They know how catch the audience attention in a way that you would want to tune in and wanted to stay to see more. It is indeed a delightful and quite relaxing  experience. If you're thinking of rewarding yourself and you don't have enough time to go on a trip, Ballet Manila Performances could be your perfect and nearest get away from all the stress in the metro.

Once again, thank you Ballet Manila for giving us a truly stunning performance! Also acknowledging the Artistic, Management and Production Staff and everyone behind this magnificent performances. Congratulations and looking forward to see more of your performances.

Review : JC Salud
Photos : AXL Guinto

More photos of Ballet Manila "ICON 2.0" at Teatro Pinas facebook page.

About Star Powerhouse

Star Powerhouse started way back in 2011 as an entertainment blog that delivers anything and everything that is happening in the international and local entertainment scene. It also does in-depth reviews of theater plays, tv shows, and upcoming music..

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