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You Can Still Catch Ballet Philippines' "Romeo And Juliet"

If you’re into the Arts, the local cultural scene, love dance in whatever form or shape, can appreciate both classical and modern interpretations of ballet, then head to the Cultural Center of the Philippines to catch the last weekend of Ballet Philippines’ production of "Romeo & Juliet." The last show is on the 24th of February, and take this rare opportunity to watch a classical ballet production that reminds us of the scope, grandeur, and substance of this form of art, and how it remains relevant as spectacle and a showcase of skill to this day.


READ: What To Expect From Ballet Manila's 23rd Performance Season




Celebrate the season of love with Shakespeare’s greatest love story, Romeo and Juliet. Choreographed by Alice Reyes to the music of Prokofiev and sets of National Artist Salvador Bernal, made possible by a generous grant by L.V. Locsin Partners, Romeo and Juliet is the tale of star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of the crossfire of their powerful warring families. Romeo and Juliet runs from February 15 – 24, 2019 at the CCP Main Theater. Show dates and schedules are as follows: February 15, 2019 | 8:00 PM February 16, 2019 | 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM February 17, 2019 | 2:00 PM February 23, 2019 |7:00 PM February 24, 2019 | 2:00 PM Get your tickets in the bio link. #BPRomeoAndJuliet #balletphilippines #experienceballetph #BP49 #turninggold #goldstandard #dance #ballet #philippineculture #performingarts #manilaartscene

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With National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes choreographing this penultimate show of their 49th season, and the late National Artist Salvador Bernal handling the Set Design, the production pulls out all the stops in giving us a wondrous night that bewitches, surprises, and in a rarity for a romance tragedy, makes us laugh and smile. Despite the somber subject matter, Alice is still as slyly playful as ever, gifting us with shafts of humor and whimsy. And yet, knowing when to allow the dancers to preen and astound with their sheer physical power, dexterity, and grace. And mind you, the choreography doesn’t stop with the two principal leads—on the opening night, it was Denise Parungao and guest danseur, Joseph Gatti, but involves the whole company. 



Margie Moran-Floirendo, Alice Reyes, and Amanda Luym


When watching this Shakespeare tale of forbidden and doomed young love, I’ve often bewailed how when declaimed improperly, one just doesn’t get the sense of the attraction between the two, and we're left with a "limping horse" as we gallop towards the last Act. So it was amazing to watch this ballet, where without the benefit of words but only through movement, looks, gestures, and dance, one clearly understood this was true love at first sight, suspended disbelief, and was ready to follow this pair of star-crossed lovers to the end we already know so well. 



Mercutio, Tybalt, Juliet’s Nurse, and Lady Capulet—these were just some of the characters I knew from the play who were immediately recognizable in this ballet, and left strong impressions. And I loved the little touches and flourishes Alice’s choreography provided. The false mirror in Juliet’s bedchamber being just one example of the inventive and playful mind at  work, constantly springing little surprises. 



The Prokofiev musical score was performed by a full orchestra, and the three suites moved from lively and energetic, to somber and tragic, but always with a grandness that turned the night into one magnificent celebration. If this production can be considered a sneak peek of what the company will be up to when they usher in their 50th season, bring it on, because Ballet Philippines is creating some wonderful magic and I’m ready to fall under its spell.


Photos via @BalletPhilippines