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Ballet Manila retells Lola Basyang's tales in dance |

Arts and Culture

Ballet Manila retells Lola Basyang's tales in dance


This holiday season, Ballet Manila unveils an all-Filipino, all-original and all-star creative collaboration that will bring back timeless tales from our all-time favorite granny in “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang.”

Featuring dance and music artistry at its finest, combined with a visual display of colorful sets and costumes, “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” will have its world premiere on Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., at the Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City. Other shows will be staged on Dec. 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14.

“This is one of our most ambitious projects to date and one we’re so proud of,” enthuses Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, artistic director and principal ballerina of Ballet Manila. “It’s the first ballet production inspired by the stories of one of the most beloved characters in Philippine literature, Lola Basyang, and highlights all-new choreography, and original music by leading contemporary composers as well as by some of our National Artists.”

Of the volumes of tales originally written by Severino M. Reyes, three modern versions were selected to go onstage: “Ang Prinsipe ng Mga Ibon,” a love story about the search and sacrifice for true love, choreographed by Osias Barroso with music arranged by Mon Faustino from selected National Artists; “Ang Kapatid ng Tatlong Marya,” a fantasy set to contemporary neo-ethnic music which follows a hero’s journey to different kingdoms in search of his bewitched sisters, choreographed by Lisa Macuja-Elizalde to the music of Joey Ayala; and “Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin,” a local Pied Piper tale with the hero, through his enchanted violin, showing how good ultimately triumphs over evil, choreographed by Tony Fabella with music by Ryan Cayabyab. Stage direction is by Roxanne Lapus.

Pulling the stories together will be the familiar narrative delivered by special guest artist, veteran actress Luz Fernandez, who will reprise her role as Lola Basyang, the same character she has popularized on radio and television over the last two decades.

The stories in “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” are based on the Anvil Publishing editions of Severino Reyes’ classics, as retold by author Christine Bellen and illustrated by Frances Alcaraz. Lighting design is by Jimmy Villanueva (PATDAT) with costume design by Jonathan Janolo and Michael Angelo Albay. Janolo and scenographer Rollie de Leon (PATDAT) also execute the set designs.

“Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” is a groundbreaking collaboration between Manila Broadcasting Company and Ballet Manila, with the cooperation of National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Aliw Theatre and Anvil Publishing. Major sponsors include Yakult, Joy Bathroom Tissue, Mother’s Best, Ladies Choice, Honda, National Book Store, PAGCOR, and Star City. Other sponsors are ING Private Banking, and Caltrate. With the support of Chowking, Island Rose, Peninsula Manila, Manila Hotel, Crowne Plaza Galleria and Renaissance Makati City Hotel.

For inquiries and ticket reservations, call Ballet Manila at 400-0292, 525-5967 or visit Tickets are now also available through Ticketworld at 891-9999 or via

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