Tales On Toes
If you find yourself getting subjected to a tongue-twisting challenge with the title of this Sunday’s column, my sincere apologies. Believe me, it was not intentional. However, I deliberately tickled your curiosity in line with my newly found love and appreciation for the performing arts and culture through Ballet Manila’s 20th Performance Season entitled “From Page to Stage.”
Just very recently, I received an invitation from The Society for Cultural Enrichment, Inc. (SCEI), an organization dedicated to the quest for conserving, promoting and developing culture and the arts headed by Angola Consul Helen Ong as president and chairman and Secretary Mimi Valerio. I courageously breezed through stormy weather to catch the wave (pun intended) at Aliw Theater and join the members to witness the season opener’s performance of “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” season opening.
Our gracious host, Ballet Manila’s Lisa Macuja Elizalde, treated us to a cocktail reception prior to the performance (to the delight of SCEI members). We thoroughly appreciated the kind hospitality bestowed on us. It was the beginning (just to whet our appetites) of a bigger spectacle that awaited us.
Ballet Manila through the leadership of its artistic director, Lisa Macuja Elizalde, presented three enchanting tales of love, fantasy, and adventure from one of the most beloved Filipino storytellers – Lola Basyang – which is actually the nom de plume of Severino Reyes.
Long before the advent of the so-called digital age, children gathered around the radio for the evening’s story telling session with Lola Basyang (yes, the old-school radio series). The stories were read straight out of Lola Basyang’s massive anthology of enchanting and enthralling tales. Back then, radio listeners were transported to the vast limits of their own imagination as they created vivid images of characters and fantasies without boundaries.
“I got a fill of fantasy worlds and magical adventures from the fictitious Lola Basyang. I don’t think there’s any child who grew up in the Philippines who has not been touched by her stories,” shared Lisa Macuja Elizalde.
She added, “Whether published in books, serialized in komiks, acted out on radio, television and film, or retold by parents and teachers, these tales will forever be part of our Filipino heritage.”
Most importantly, amidst all the magical twists, Lola Basyang’s stories abound with life lessons on good morals and values that engaged and captivated its audience.
Which leads me (on a side note) to this recurring question: I wonder, given such circumstances, what generation shaped the smartest, most productive and highly responsible citizens of this country then? (Hmmm…) But that’s another (an idea for a thesis, perhaps?) story.
Expect to be captivated, no less! A whole new generation will appreciate the splendid choreography and visual masterpiece of Ballet Manila as it tells the tales of Lola Basyang through the magic (with powerful toes on point!) of dance. The timeless tales of “Ang Prinsipe Ng Mga Ibon,” “Ang Kapatid ng Tatlong Marya,” and “Mahiwagang Biyulin” were visually stunning and beautifully choreographed with precision and enigmatic artistry accompanied by music that feeds the soul. Truly, I was in the moment of utter rapture as I was transported to another world!
“For this very special year filled with celebration and gratitude, we have chosen the theme ‘From Page to Stage’ – promising you a carefully selected repertoire of enchanting ballets based on timeless stories that first came to life on the pages of a book,” expressed Lisa Macuja Elizalde on the occasion that marked the beginning of their 20th performance season.
Join Ballet Manila on their (by far) most exciting season. In my book, they are fascinating storytellers on toes!
(Catch their 20th Performance Season from now until March 2016. For tickets, call 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. For inquiries, call (+63 2) 400 0292)
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