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Rousing ovation for Ballet PHL's 'Crisostomo Ibarra' in Singapore

September 12, 2011 9:21pm
“Crisostomo Ibarra," the original contemporary ballet production by Ballet Philippines, got a rousing ovation in its international debut in Singapore, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

The production also received accolades from an audience of dance enthusiasts, the DFA said. “The performance is the highlight of the yearlong commemoration of Dr. Jose Rizal's sesquicentenary in the city-state spearheaded by the Philippine Embassy in Singapore," said the DFA in a news release.

Based on national hero Dr. Jose Rizal's novel “Noli Me Tangere," “Crisostomo Ibarra" portrays through dance a privileged young man's fall from grace and his struggle to avenge his father's memory, hold on to his beloved, and regain his self-respect.

Principal dancers Jean-Marc Cordero and Katherine Trofeo starred as Crisostomo Ibarra and as Maria Clara, respectively, the DFA said. The two dancers particularly shone in the scene titled “Halik," with their farewell scene leaving many in the audience teary-eyed.

On the other hand, Anna Margarita Reyes’ Doña Victorina and Cyril Aran Fallar's Don Tiburcio brought comic relief, along with a trio of comedians clad in chessboard pattern leotards, during Scene 6.

“Artistic director Paul Alexander Morales’ powerful and imaginative choreography showed off his dancers' versatility and fluid grace against Jed Balsamo's stirring music throughout the eight scenes that made up the 80-minute performance," the DFA noted.

"An inventive work"

Over 400 guests, including Filipinos, Singaporeans, and other nationalities from the diplomatic, business, corporate, academic, and cultural communities watched the one-time performance at the LASALLE College of the Arts’ Singapore Airlines Theatre.

Spanish Ambassador Federico Palomera Guez and his wife, Madam Asa Gim Choi, and former Philippine Finance Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho, now vice chairman of Credit Suisse Asia-Pacific, were among the prominent figures who attended the event.

Victoria Dance School Singapore honorary president Dr. Chua Soo Pong, who watched the performance with his daughter, called the production an “inventive work."

“Artistic director Paul Alexander Morales uses ballet steps innovatively and combines them with unusual jumps and leaps. Like the works of Alice Reyes, Edna Vida, Gener Caringal and Agnes Locsin, ‘Crisostomo Ibarra’ is full of indigenous movements," he said.

Dr. Kenneth Chan, a pulmonary medicine expert with Parkway Health, said he also enjoyed the program.

"The score was very emotive and even haunting at times and the dancing was beautiful. The Philippines is lucky to have such a talented dance company," he said. — PE/VS, GMA News
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