'Ballet & Ballads' returns

'Ballet & Ballads' returns

Ballet Manila's long-running Ballet & Ballads series – presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company – is back.

Combining ballet pieces and song numbers, the popular production kicked off a new round of performances with engagements in Bangkal, Makati (July 22), Gen. Trias, Cavite (July 29) and Molino, Cavite (August 12).

The dance repertoire consists of classics, namely Le Corsaire adagio and Swan Lake adagio, and modern choreography by Filipino choreographers. The latter includes Sayaw sa Pamlang and Arachnida by Agnes Locsin, Lune by Ernest Mandap, and OFW and a medley of Mamang Sorbetero/ Tayo'y Magsayawan/ Hahabol-habol by Gerardo Francisco.

Principal dancers Rudy De Dios and Katherine Barkman perform Agnes Locsin’s spider-inspired Arachnida in a basketball court.

Ballet & Ballads also features pop singer Luke Mejares.

Osias Barroso, Ballet Manila co-artistic director, says the unique Ballet & Ballads showcase of dance and song is always warmly welcomed in the communities it is brought to.

“It's popular because the show is very accessible. This formula also makes it easy for us to introduce ballet to an audience that hasn't seen it before. It helps fulfill our mission of bringing ballet to the people,” he says.

It’s popular because the show is very accessible. It helps fulfill our mission of bringing ballet to the people
— Osias Barroso

Barroso points out that the audience reaction is generally consistent. “The singer gets screams from the audience, while ballet leaves them in awe.”

Ballet Manila artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde adds that the variety offered in Ballet & Ballads works for both the viewers and the dancers. “It establishes a connection with the young audience, but it also helps develop our talents.”

The series likewise doubles as performance opportunities, particularly for dancers who are participating in festivals abroad.

Ballet fare such as Sayaw sa Pamlang, a suite of dances inspired by the singkil and the pang-alay, becomes accessible through Ballet & Ballads

Gerardo Francisco and Anselmo Dictado, for example, who are featured in OFW, performed the same piece when they participated in the 2016 Shanghai Contemporary Dance Festival in Shanghai, China from July 30 to August 2.

Katherine Barkman and Rudy De Dios who are doing Le Corsaire adagio and Arachnida presented these two numbers as well at the 17th Jurmala International Ballet Festival in Latvia last August 6.

In previous editions of Ballet & Ballads, Ballet Manila has shared top billing with such pop stars as Ariel Rivera, Lani Misalucha, Jaya, Nyoy Volante, Karylle, Kyla and Freestyle.

The series has toured key cities like Dagupan, Cotabato, Iloilo, Cebu, Bacolod, Naga, Legazpi, Davao, Cagayan De Oro and Baguio, and has been brought to school campuses and stages all over Metro Manila.

Ballet & Ballads – featuring Ballet Manila dancers and pop singer Luke Mejares – makes its first stop this year at the Bangkal Elementary School and High School. The show will be brought to other parts of Metro Manila and key provincial cities.

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