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Poetess Virginia Moreno's 'The Onyx Wolf,' Plus A Mix Of Other Progressive Works Comprise Of Ballet Philippines' 'Itim Asu'

For its penultimate offering this 50th season, Ballet Philippines offers a mixed bill that’s headed by Itim Asu

With the newfound resurgence that Ballet Philippines has enjoyed this landmark 50th season, it’s good to know that as the season slowly comes to a close, we have Itim Asu and Rama Hari to still look forward to. The weekend of February 21st is Itim Asu & Other Dances time, and it’s a mixed bill that offers something modern and relevant.

Board of Trustees President MayMay Liechtenstein held a small media event to announce the upcoming Itim Asu production. And the big surprise of the day was having authoress Virginia Moreno, now in her mid-90s, join us for the occasion. Moreno wrote the award-winning play The Onyx Wolf, with music by Antonino Buenaventura, upon which the ballet piece choreographed by National Artist and current BP Artistic Director Alice Reyes was based on.


The story, as interpreted through dance, revolves around a Philippine Governor-General’s wife in 1719 seeking revenge for the murder of her husband by a hooded mob. The Governor-General was attempting to stop the corrupt practices of the then Galleon Trade, and paid for it with his life. As a modern ballet, it’s one of Alice Reyes’ most important works, and was first performed in 1970, a year after the CCP was inaugurated.

The other ballets to be performed on the Itim Asu night are the following: 


Glinda’s Valse, choreography by Adam Sage,
The Weight on Our Toes, choreography by Erl Sorilla,
Pas de Deux, choreography by Augustus Damian,
We Men, choreography by Lester Reguindin,
and Ne Neh Le Dej, choreography by David Campos.


This creates a magical night when new pieces and young choreographers with fresh ideas will be given a chance to shine.


Of particular note to BP President MayMay was how this February 21 program was also a way for BP to reach out to, and celebrate with, the LGBTQIA community. Regardless of gender orientation, Itim Asu and Other Dances honors and brings to the fore talents, ideas, inspirations, and works that are emblematic of gender diversity. On the night, dance will be a social and historical barometer of this diverse view of humanity.


See you on the 21st of February.

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Lead photos from @balletphilippines