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Posted by : Pinoy Screen and Stage Sunday, October 9, 2016

In Ballet Philippines' "Crisostomo Ibarra" and "Simoun", the protagonists of Jose Rizal's "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo" leap off the page and onto the CCP Main Theater stage for one weekend only. Both shows feature original music by Jed Balsamo, choreography by Paul Alexander Morales, and the live performance of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra - a quintet for "Cristomo Ibarra" and the full orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gerard Salonga for "Simoun". The set design is by Toym Leon Imao, who has collaborated with Balsamo for Mabining Mandirigma and other previous TP productions. The latter has collaborated with Morales for Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s “Kanser@30: the Musical” last year.

Told through the language of dance, the narration takes the audience into the psychological worlds of the novels’ protagonists and strips bare the epic story that underscores the continuing relevance of Rizal’s work. The year 2016 marks the 120th death anniversary of the national hero, and the 125th anniversary of the publication of “El Filibusterismo”. This production is supported by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Premiered in 2010, “Crisostomo Ibarra” highlights the life of an idealist reformer, a man striving to make a change in a society living under corruption and oppression. It takes an introspective look at the life of a hero sacrificing his personal happiness for the love of his country. The ballet was awarded the distinction of Outstanding Dance Production at the 2010 Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards.

“Simoun” is a world premiere, presenting a fresh take on the motivations, dreams, and fears of the cynical and vengeful lead character described as a saboteur, giving insight and depth to his actions. The ballet highlights themes that are still palpable and relevant to today’s audience – cynicism versus hope and the constant challenge of stagnation or change and revolution.

Top-billing “Simoun” are Ballet Philippines’ dancers Jean Marc Cordero, Denise Parungao, Rita Angela Winder, Erl Sorilla, Garry Corpuz, and Jemima Reyes. “Crisostomo Ibarra” features Victor Maguad, Monica Amanda Gana, Jessa Tangalin, Eugene Obille, Ramon Victoria, and Ballet Philippines II.

"Crisostomo Ibarra" will be performed on October 21 at 3:00PM, October 22 at 2:00PM, and October 23 at 10:00AM, and "Simoun" on October 21 at 8:00PM, October 22 at 6:00PM, and October 23 at 3:00PM at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). Ticket price ranges from PhP300 to PhP2,000 with discounts for students, senior citizens, and government employees.

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