Beauty, Grace, Humor, Ballet Phil’s “Cinderella” Will Mesmerize Children Too

Brunhilda and the Stepsisters at Cinderella's wedding - photo by Chris YuhicoGraceful, Colorful, Funny are just some of the words to describe Ballet Philippines’ version of Cinderella.  For a person who is not so much into watching ballet, I was truly entertained by this performance.  Aside from the graceful dancing, where I admired the lines, forms, and fluidity of the choreography, I smiled at the added character renditions in dance.  Perhaps due to the irony of graceless characters being depicted in a graceful dance,  the performance of the wicked step sisters and mother stole the show.  Despite the bumbling presentation, you can tell these dancers were one of the best in the group who made ugly look funny and still beautiful.  Even the butler played his comedic role in a stand out, funny way.

The beautiful and graceful Cinderella was expected but nevertheless a joy to watch.  The animals in the forest and the palace guests were no less enchanting in their performance.  Who would have guessed that dance can tell a story as well and clearly understood without words.  Children would enjoy this performance intended for them.

Cinderella PosterALICE REYES’ CINDERELLA will be performed at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on the following dates and times: November 28 (3 pm & 8 pm), November 29 (2 pm & 6 pm), November 30 (2 pm & 6 pm), December 5 (3 pm & 8 pm), December 6 (10 am & 6 pm), and December 7 (2 pm & 6 pm).

The artistic and creative teams of CINDERELLA are led by Alice Reyes (Choreographer and Librettist), Salvador Bernal(+) (Set & Costume Designer), ), Monino Duque (Lighting Designer), Barbara Tan-Tiongco (Technical Director), and Victor Ursabia and Ramon Victoria (Restagers).

“I have always wanted to do a ballet for children – Cinderella was the perfect material. After all, I can’t think of childhood without Mother Goose and Cinderella. Working on a full-length ballet patterned after the traditional classic form presented many problems. The easiest way would have been to adhere to the Cinderella scenario already established by such noted choreographers as Petipa, Fokine, Sergeyev and Ashton, among others. What kept me on track in my version was the one thought that eventually became a guide: the ballet was for Chris and Sara and Marco and Carlo and little Alice and all my wonderful little friends who keep bringing “wonder” into my life. I would like to give them something back in return.”

“Thus, the garden divertissement with animals dancing for Cinderella; two talented girls playing the stepsisters rather than men; a warm fun-loving King who wanted grandchildren; two princely brothers of Prince Charming to lighten the palace scenes; and lots and lots of dancing.”

“I like Prokofiev and took immense pleasure in working with his ballet score for Romeo and Juliet. Although the ballet Cinderella is traditionally choreographed to Prokofiev, I found his Act II music too heavy and dark. So I turned to Tchaikovsky, the “ballet composer”, sure that we could find enough music for a full-length ballet from all his works. After months of listening to various symphonies, suites and concertos which were researched, unearthed and presented to me by my collaborator-cum-conspirator, Rudy Vidad, the music score developed. It was then handed to Frankie Feliciano who bravely translated the material into logical form for the orchestra to play.” says Alice Reyes, Ballet Philippines’ founder and Artistic Director Emeritus.

First staged in 1981, CINDERELLA continued to be produced and performed by Ballet Philippines in 1984, 1989 and 2002.

Now on its fifth re-staging and 33rd anniversary, the role of Cinderella will be played by Soloist Denise Parungao and Junior Company Member Monica Amanda Gana. This is Gana’s first lead role with Ballet Philippines, while Parungao was last seen in the title role of Ballet Philippines’ “Giselle” in 2013 and 2014. Playing opposite them as Prince Charming are Principal Dancer Richardson Yadao and Junior Principal Dancer Earl John Arisola.

To add even more magic to this production, Madame Isabelle Garachon, wife of the French Ambassador to the Philippines and former professional dancer, plays the role of Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, alternating with Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran Floirendo and former Ballet Philippines Company Member Butch Esperanza. Principal Dancers Katherine Trofeo (playing both an Ugly Stepsister and the Fairy Godmother in alternate casts) and Jean Marc Cordero (sidelined by an injury – he was meant to play Prince Charming) lead the company in the exuberant dancing of the ballet.

The company in Alice Reyes' Cinderella - photo by Chris YuhicoWith a joyful mixture of kings, princes, fairies, and animals, the three act ballet of Alice Reyes’ CINDERELLA is set to a collage of music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who composed some of the world’s greatest ballet music.

Alice Reyes is the visionary founder of Ballet Philippines who propelled the company into a national arts institution we can all be proud of. In the Philippines, she established regular season concerts, professionalized dance as a career, and played a major role in the phenomenal development of dance in the country.

For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit www.ballet.ph or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.

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