Ballet Philippines’ La Revolución Filipina

Ballet Philippines’ season programme

       Ballet Philippines (BP), the premier classical and contemporary dance company in the Philippines, opens its 45th Anniversary (Sapphire Season) with Agnes Locsin’s La Revolución Filipina. The fourth staging of La Revolución Filipina ran from July 25 to July 27, 2014 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The staging coincides with the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini (July 23 according to Mabini himself, July 22 according to Teodoro Agoncillo). Virg, John, Mario and I watch the 6pm show on July 27, Sunday.

La Revolución Filipina tickets
Outside CCP Main Theater minutes before the show starts

Inside CCP Main Theater

       La Revolución Filipina is a neo-ethnic two-act show with a 15-minute interval. One would think that it would be difficult to mount a ballet performance based on Mabini’s character because of his paralysis, but an imaginative mind can hurdle that obstacle with ease. The choreography for the Mabini character revolves around the use of hammock, Aguinaldo and the ensemble, a stool, the mini-stage inclined at an angle, and one really long strip of cloth designed with the colors of Philippine flag.

       Based on what I learned from Ambeth Ocampo, the show is consistent with Apolinario Mabini’s role in the course of Philippine history. He was virtually absent in the First Philippine Revolution but he made his impact during Emilio Aguinaldo’s first year of presidency as Aguinaldo’s presidential adviser, author of the El Verdadero Decálogo, editor of Malolos Constitution and the first Prime Minister of the Philippines. He was an outstanding and selfless statesman who wanted to fight for freedom at all costs. The interaction between Aguinaldo and Mabini and the cameo of Andres Bonifacio give the audience some insight into the relationships of the leaders of the Philippine Revolution.

       It is a commendable performance, and so worth the awards it has received which include Outstanding Dance Production and Outstanding Choreography (2008 GawadBuhay! Awards). I have not seen so many taut bodies that can move with such fluidity and grace.

       The cast and crew led by Agnes Locsin appear at the end of the show where they receive a much-deserved standing ovation.

John and I flank the very fit Richardson Yadao who played the role of Emilio Aguinaldo

Just because

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