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Ballet Philippines illuminates 44th season with 'Giselle'

Ballet Philippines' dancers are joined by (2nd from left) premier danseur Nonoy Froilan, (2nd from right) acclaimed choreographer Edna Vida-Froilan, and artistic director, dancer, and independent filmmaker Paul Morales. - (photo and video by Dexter Rodrigo Matilla)

MANILA, Philippines - If one would ask Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran, she'd say that kids who belong in the computer age can benefit further from having their imaginations inspired by the arts.

"Kids that are exposed to art in whatever form, they become more intelligent, they read more, they have more interest in studying because their horizons are wider," Moran says.

And as president of Ballet Philippines, Southeast Asia’s longest-running professional dance company, Moran is hopeful that they have just what is needed to do that as they open their 44th season with the classic Giselle.

One of ballet’s greatest romantic tragedies, Giselle is the story of a girl who falls for the wrong man. It will run from August 16-18 at the CCP Main Theater with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performing live music on August 16, 8PM and August 17, 6PM.

The following month will be Rock Supremo, which essays the life of Andres Bonifacio as a young man who went for his dreams of justice and democracy during a time of political repression.

A collaboration with Rock Ed and supported by the National Historic Commission of the Philippines, the production is unique in that it will feature original music from Filipino bands and artists including Gloc 9, Ebe Dancel, Pedicab, Peryodiko, Peso Movement, Sandwich, Radioactive Sago Project, Dong Abay, Diego Mapa, Kai Honasan, and Rico Blanco.

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The rock ballet will run from September 20-22 and 27-29 at the CCP Little Theater.

For the holidays, Ballet Philippines will stage A Christmas Carol, which also signals the return of acclaimed choreographer Edna Vida-Froilan to the company. A classic family story retold with a fresh approach, it revolves around the value of being responsible for one another. It will be shown on November 29, December 1, and from December 5-8 at the CCP Main Theater.

Closing the season in February 2014 will be The Art of Dance, a mixed bill of new and revived works from noted guest choreographers. It will feature international pieces showcasing the company’s master of both classical and contemporary ballet.

All productions fall under the company’s theme for the season, IllumiNATION or as Ballet Philippines’ Artistic Director Paul Morales puts it, “the light of love in all its form.”

“This season is about invoking its illuminating energy and channeling it through dance,” Morales says.

Morales added that it has become more important to strengthen the Philippines’ artistic and cultural identity with the country seeing progress as a nation.

“Through the years, Ballet Philippines has been known for nurturing world-class Filipino talent and excellence,” Morales continues. “It’s about going back to the company’s tradition of celebrating Filipino skill and talent by embracing our distinct artistry.”

Take a sneak peek at Ballet Philippines' 44th season offerings in the video below:

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