Dancing to the sound of freedom at La Revolucion Filipina Ballet

Tha Good Life - by John Paul 'JP' Tanchanco

Posted at Aug 17 2014 12:59 AM | Updated as of Aug 17 2014 08:59 AM

Ballet Philippines staged an original full-length ballet production to celebrate its 45th opening season and the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini.

La Revolucion Filipina at the CCP

I graced the show and enjoyed their simple yet elegant artistic expression of Pinoy independence choreographed by Agnes Locsin, with libretto by Dennis N. Marasigan and music by one of my favorite OPM composers and arrangers, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab.

"Our season begins with 'La Revolucion Filipina' choreographed by former artistic director Agnes Locsin. Among her vast repertoire of works, this is the one she considers a doctoral dissertation in dance," said Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran Floirendo.

JP Tanchanco, Diana Ongpin-Recto, Marivic Rufino, Sonny Tanchanco, Margie Moran Floirendo
Cata Tibayan, Ryan Cayabyab, Anne Cabral

VIPs, socialites, art enthusiasts, expats and the business community were all happy to support the event.

Monica Ugarte, Lulette Monbiot, Dedes Zobel
Chris Millado, Martin Lawrence, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Diana Ongpin Recto

"La Revolucion Filipina" by Ballet Philippines was originally staged in the 1990s as part of the Philippine Centennial celebrations.

The show highlights what the motherland has experienced throughout history to achieve the independence that was suppressed by her colonizers. Popular heroes such as Emilio Aguinaldo, Andres Bonifacio and Apolinario Mabini were played out in this ballet..

I specifically enjoyed the music that Maestro Cayabyab composed. It brought out the raw tribal heritage and grassroots emotion of the dancers. I think the graceful movements of the Ballet Philippine dancers conveyed the poise, strength and beauty within the Filipino people.

The ballet moves from the triumphant declaration of Philippine Independence in 1898 to the foundation of the Philippine Republic in Malolos and the ensuing conflict with the new American colonizers.

The show ends with the statement that the Filipino must shed his second skin, which, I think, means the limitations created by colonialism, in order to rediscover his own.

La Revolucion Filipina has also been performed outside the country, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in various venues in the U.S. West Coast. It has been hailed for its riveting choreography and theatricality. It won Gawad Buhay awards for Best Original Dance Production and Choreography following its restaging in 2008.

Gemma Cruz-Araneta, Maggie Pedersen, Marivi Gibson, Gabriella Quimson

The next event lined up for Ballet Philippines is the Blue Moon Series, a two week mini-festival celebrating Ballet Philippines' sapphire milestone. The shows included in the series are Giselle (Sept 19-21), with a fundraising gala on the 19th at 8 p.m. featuring ABT guest artists Stella Abrera and James Whiteside), the Blue Moon Gala (Sept 26 & 27), and the Homecoming Gala (Sept 28).

Ballet Philippines sharing the gift of dance

Support the Filipino ballet and arts. Visit http://www.ballet.ph/.


John Paul C.Tanchanco is a travel, food, party, film and music aficionado. He is also an economist, businessman, MYX/Awit award-winning media producer and Kala guitarist.

"Tha Good Life" is a special feature for ABS-CBNnews.com about pop culture, travel, music, entertainment, business, food, clubbing, shopping and events.

For questions, features and comments, e-mail him at [email protected] or [email protected]