Bal­let Philip­pines’ Nutcracker treats kids to tea and sweets

Business World - - ARTS & LEISURE - Nickky Faus­tine P. de Guz­man

SIS­TERS Edna Vida and National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes have teamed up for Bal­let Philip­pines’ 48th sea­son end­ing pro­duc­tion, The

Nutcracker, which will have per­for­mances at the Cul­tural Cen­ter of the Philip­pines from Dec. 1 to 10.

“Ev­ery chore­og­ra­pher has his or her points of view. It’s the way you present it in your chore­og­ra­phy. In Europe and in the US, there are peo­ple who see each ver­sion [of The Nutcracker] just to see the dif­fer­ences [in the chore­og­ra­phy]. Edna has a dif­fer­ent way of telling a story than I would. But to­gether, it will be a sis­ter act,” said Ms. Reyes at the me­dia launch on Nov. 11.

She said this year’s Nutcracker will show­case the best of each of their ver­sions.

Bal­let Philip­pines first pro­duced the clas­sic Christ­mas show in 1976, when it was first chore­ographed by Al­fred Ro­drigues. The sis­ters did their own ver­sions after­wards, with Ms. Reyes’s ver­sions per­formed in 1982 and 1991, and her sis­ter’s in 1987 and 2003. But for this year, Ms. Vida will headline the pro­duc­tion, while her sis­ter will help her with additional chore­og­ra­phy.

Ever since Bal­let Philip­pines’ started per­form­ing The Nutcracker in the 1970s, it has high­lighted the Filipino fam­ily and tra­di­tions. “There’s so much to show off in our de­sign, [and in our clothes like] in our saya (skirt),” said Ms. Reyes of the cos­tumes, while call­ing the set de­sign “ex­pen­sive.” This year’s pro­duc­tion will use a clas­sic set-de­sign de­sign by the late National Artist for The­ater De­sign Sal­vador Ber­nal which high­lights Filipino de­sign el­e­ments like ana­haw leaves and

capiz shells. The set will also fea­ture trim­mings cour­tesy of Chrysara, a man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany of dec­o­ra­tive ware, ac­ces­sories, and gifts es­tab­lished by Ms. Reyes.

The 2017 ver­sion is set in the Philip­pines in the 1920s and tells the tale of Clara (played by Chanel Rivera) and her jour­ney of courage and em­pa­thy. Dur­ing the fam­ily’s noche buena (Christ­mas Eve feast), she re­ceives as a gift from her toy­maker grand­fa­ther a nutcracker doll while her sis­ter gets a Sugar Plum Fairy doll, and her brother a Rat King doll. When mid­night strikes, the toys come to life, with a fight be­tween the Rats and the Toy Sol­diers, with the Nutcracker lead­ing the sol­diers. The Rat is sup­posed to win, but Clara comes to the res­cue. Soon, Clara learns that her doll, the Nutcracker, and the Sugar Plum Fairy are trapped by a spell and only a per­son with a pure heart can break it. Clara’s jour­ney ends with a beau­ti­ful feast of danc­ing flow­ers and dolls to cel­e­brate her brav­ery.

Edna Vida’s The Nutcracker is a treat for peo­ple of any age, but Bal­let Philip­pines is mak­ing a point of invit­ing chil­dren and their par­ents to af­ter­noons of tea par­ties and art ac­tiv­i­ties on Dec. 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 4 p.m. be­fore the evening’s show.

Chil­dren can cel­e­brate an early Christ­mas with danc­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and bal­le­rina shoe-paint­ing ses­sions, plus a meet-and-greet with the char­ac­ters: Clara (Chanel Rivera), Sugar Plum Fairy (al­ter­na­tively played by Denise Parun­gao, Jemima Reyes, and guest artist Candice Adea), and the Nutcracker Prince (al­ter­na­tively played by Vic­tor Maguad, Lester Reguindin, and guest artist Nobuo Fu­jino).

With the co­op­er­a­tion of ABSCBN Events, the pro­duc­tion will have a live orchestra — the Phil­har­monic Orchestra con­ducted by Ger­ard Sa­longa — at the gala per­for­mance. For tick­ets, check www.tick­et­world. or call Bal­let Philip­pines at 551-1003. —

DENISE PARUN­GAO dances the part of The Sugar Plum Fairy dur­ing a press pre­sen­ta­tion launch­ing Bal­let Philip­pines’ The Nutcracker.

A MOCK-UP of National Artist for The­ater De­sign Sal­vador Ber­nal’s set de­sign for The Nutcracker.

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