Ballet Philippines kicks off 38th season with "Rizal Revisited/Double Takes"

by Repertory Philippines
Jul 22, 2007
In Rizal Revisited, Bonnie Pickard (left) plays Josephine Bracken while Biag Gaongen (right) enacts Jose Rizal/Crisostomo Ibarra and Simoun.

Ballet Philippines whips up an artistic storm as it presents two spectacular dance productions—Rizal RevisitedandDouble Takes—at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines, on August 10, 11, and 12.

Rizal Revisited choreography by Alden Lugnasin, accompanied by Floy Quintos's libretto, create a dream-vision of the national hero's life through a dance interpretation of his literary masterpieces.

The dance opus begins with a young boy (Cyril Fallar) cramming for his book report on Jose Rizal. He rides the Metro Rail Transit a dream-like sequence, where the commuters render lines from Rizal's novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, his Letter to the Women of Malolos, andhis famous poem Mi Ultimo Adios. The MRT transforms into the Bapor Tabo (ferryboat described in El Filibusterismo, which represents the Philippines) as Mi Ultimo Adios concludes.

The characters in Noli and Fili come alive with pathos and passion: Crisostomo Ibarra who became Simoun, the jeweler (Biag Gaongen); Maria Clara, Salome (both played by Carissa Adea); Elias (Ronelson Yadao); Sisa (Cadice Adea); Padre Damaso (PJ Rebullida), and others.

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The dance extravaganza ends with Rizal's exile to Dapitan, depicting the last moments of the hero's death by firing squad. All the characters in his novels appear, with old and young Filipinos solemnly viewing his body.

Double Takes, on the other hand, is inspired by a piece created by Geminal Casado, artistic director and choreographer of Karlsruhe Ballet of Germany. Casado interprets a whole set of Baroque music with the simultaneous performance of various dance genres. Contemporary choreography is done on stage while classical pieces are played in the orchestra pit.

Ballet Philippines' takes this idea a notch further. Choreographers Bam Damian and Jeffrey Espejo stage two sets of dance movement that happen simultaneously, with dramatic blocking on and off-stage.

The result of this choreographic feat is a dizzying and dynamic display of the Ballet Philippines' brawn and bravura, discipline and dedication to the dance arts.

Rizal Revisited and Double Take performances are on August 10 (2pm & 8pm), August 11 (3pm & 8pm) and August 12 (10am & 3pm).

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Essenses Foundation supports this latest artistic endeavor of Ballet Philippines.

For tickets and other information, please call Ticket World (891-9999), B.P. Office (551-1003, 551-0221, 551-7919 or 832-6011) and look for Mavic or email

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In Rizal Revisited, Bonnie Pickard (left) plays Josephine Bracken while Biag Gaongen (right) enacts Jose Rizal/Crisostomo Ibarra and Simoun.
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