Helsinki toast Candice Adea to open Ballet Philippines' 43rd season

Helsinki toast Candice Adea to open 
Ballet Philippines' 43rd season
By Walter Ang
June 18, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Adea and Cordero
Ballet Philippines opens its 43rd season with "Songs," a gala of masterworks featuring the work of international and Philippine choreographers on July 6-8 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.

The season is dubbed "Dragon Song," inspired by this year being the Chinese year of the dragon.  "Dragon years are always significant with their great energy and sense of renewal, the beginning of a new cycle," says BP artistic director Paul Morales.

In "Songs," fresh from winning first place in the women's category of the 2012 Helsinki International Ballet Competition, one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, principal dancer Candice Adea will perform in the world premiere of a new grand pas de deux choreographed by former BP artistic director Bam Damian.

The piece was specifically choreographed for Adea and her partner Jean Marc Cordero, who won a Special Jury Award for Best in Pas de Deux Technique at Helsinki.

The pair had performed another Damian piece, "Evacuation," winner of 2009 Philstage Gawad Buhay! Outstanding Choreography for Dance Production, at Helsinki as part of their competition repertoire.

Other works in "Songs" include a new piece by Morales and "Les Petit Mots d'Amour" by French choreographer Redha Beintefour, a piece that "embodies man's innermost desires."

Also included is "Moriones" by Agnes Locsin, inspired by the Moriones Festival of Marinduque and originally choreographed for BP2 (BP's junior corps)'s participation at Recontres Festival Du Danse in La Baule, France.

Alden Lugnasin choreopraphs "This is My Life," a solo contemporary piece highlighting the independence and elegance of women.

Candice Adea
The rest of the season includes a reshuffling of BP's Neo-Filipino series from its usual February slot to September.  This year's Neo-Filipino is "Anting," where four noted Filipino choreographers will choreograph dramatist Tony Perez's libretto exploring the world of talismans and amulets of Filipino magical traditions.

In December, BP restages its pop ballet musical "Rama Hari," choreographed by BP founder Alice Reyes, with music by Ryan Cayabyab, and libretto by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera.

Based on the Indian epic "Ramayana," the show premiered in 1980 with Basil Valdez as the prince Rama, Kuh Ledesma as Rama's wife Sita, and Leo Valdez as the villain Ravana.  The lead characters are dually portrayed by singers and BP dancers.

The season concludes in February 2013 with "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a new production of William Shakespeare's romantic comedy by award-winning Hong Kong-based choreographer Carlo Pacis.

Four BP touring productions are also available for booking.

Former BP artistic director Agnes Locsin's neo-ethnic ballet "Encantada," showcasing the mixture of paganism and Christianity set during the Spanish colonial era.

A one-hour version of former CCP Dance School principal Noordin Jumalon's "Nutcracker" featuring BP2 and BP Kidz (BP's children corps).

Paul Morales' "Crisostomo Ibarra," a contemporary ballet based on National Hero Jose Rizal's novel "Noli Me Tangere," focusing on vignettes of the novel that focus on Ibarra.

"Body Politix," a mixed bill of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works including "Shifting Wait" by Carlo Pacis, winner of 2010 Philstage Gawad Buhay! Outstanding Choreography for a Dance Production.

Season subscribers get preferred seating, a 20% discount on all tickets, a complimentary souvenir program per show.  Donations and sponsorships to BP are tax-deductible.

"Proceeds support our Philippine dance artists such as professional wages and training," says BP president and former Binibining Pilipnas and Miss Universe Margie Moran-Floirendo. "Let's all rally behind and embrace Ballet Philippines, which has brought much pride to the country-after all, it is truly our own,"

Contact 551-1003, 551-7919, 624-5701; Ticketworld (891-9999); or CCP Box Office (832-3704).

*Adea also won a prize last year in the Boston International Ballet Competition. You can read about it here.