Choreography in Focus – Reve by Ernest Mandap
“I stand waiting for the time/ Within the cycle of Time/ For the healing of the brothers/ With their goals and dreams. Live in balance and harmony/ With each of the Other… like brothers.”
These are the words choreographer Ernest Mandap used to describe Reve, his choreography for Ballet Manila that made its premiere in 2007 in Halo Halo 2 Sayaw Pinoy Atbp.
Reve features two men in black tank tops and black pants, who, seeming like twins, execute the same movements with extreme precision. Later on, they break from the pattern, one leading the other or carrying each other, in an enduring show of support.
The number is about the journey of these two men as they reach for their goals together, like brothers. “Reve” is the French word for dream and Mandap wanted to portray how dreams are achieved – amid obstacles and doubts.
“One of them eventually will fall during their travel, but he will never be left alone. We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort,” Mandap notes.
He set his piece to music by Metallica. An admitted fan of metal music, he grew up listening to Metallica’s albums which he says helped him through difficult times. For Reve, he used Nothing Else Matters, a song that has been covered by over forty musical acts – among them Apocalyptica, a metal cello group from Helsinki, Finland.
Mandap chose the Apocalyptica rendition as he believes this more lyrical version suits the duo perfectly.
In all the choreographic pieces that he does, Mandap likes to put the dancers in challenging situtations and to make them do a variety of things in terms of movement quality, gestures and positions.
“There are sharp, thick, floating gestures and distorted positions. I specially demand a lot in terms of interpretation. Each movement has to have a meaning and sense to embrace the story. I like it from the beginning till the end, the sensuality and inseparable carnal bodies sending a message of hope.”
Since its debut in 2007, Reve has become a staple in Ballet Manila’s ever-expanding repertoire, particularly for tours and off-season shows including its popular Ballet & Ballads series.