“(The concept of Encantada traces back to the Spanish era) of how the destruction of the environment happened and how the Encantada got so angry. It tells a story about tribes, religion and the destruction of the environment” — Margie Moran-Floirendo, President of Ballet Philippines
By JOHN RIZLE L. SALIGUMBA
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — For ballet fanatics, the long wait is over.
‘Encantada,’ a modern ballet show will be showcased in Davao City this month of August. It’s the first full-length display that’s proudly Filipino-made, and has already won distinctions here and abroad.
“(The concept of Encantada traces back to the Spanish era) of how the destruction of the environment happened and how the Encantada got so angry. It tells a story about tribes, religion and the destruction of the environment,” said Margie Moran-Floirendo, President of Ballet Philippines, during the show’s recent promotion.
The show which premiered in 1992, is about an enchantress who got angry with man’s massive destruction of the environment. It tells about how man suffers from such crime, and then how life begins after paying for it. The characters are based on Philippine mythology and literature.
Encantada is a creation of both native-born and adopted Davaoeños. One of the country’s premier choreographers, Agnes Locsin, choreographs this neo-ethnic ballet show while contemporary music artists Joey Ayala and Bayang Barrios provide the live accompaniment. Paul Morales provides the artistic directorship.
“It is very fitting that we bring this world-class ballet to Davao,” said Floirendo, adding that, they come to Davao almost every year. “ You’ll be surprised how hungry people are outside Manila to watch performances,” she said.
Ballet is a type of skilled and artistic dancing with carefully planned movements. It traces its origins in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries before it spread to the French court where it was further developed.
“Classical ballet is an elite form of dance which the masses cannot relate,” said Eugene Laurente, a dance choreographer and physical education teacher.
However, the former student of Agnes Locsin said, contemporary ballet has changed this and “has made it possible to tell a story about the lives of the ordinary folks.”
Yes, the language of ballet can be quite incomprehensible, it being a relatively new art form for ordinary citizens.
But Floirendo said, the ballet dancer tells the story using his (or her) body and movements, a thing that would help the audience understand the message.
“Ideas did not come from thin air. What is important is that your piece reflects the real situation of the people so you must also see and witness for yourselves these situations. Through body movements, you can show hunger, suffering and struggle,” Laurente said.
Laurente who has performed in political rallies and has given training to young cultural artists said he has seen Encantada last year, and was amazed with contemporary ballet and how his former teacher was able to choreograph the show.
“Ballet is effective because it was something new back then. We need to get creative and not be contented with the current forms of art to deliver our message to the people effectively. We must always think of ways on how to sustain the development of the many forms of art,” Laurente said.
Encantada’s matinee screening is on August 9, 7 PM at the RSM Events Center of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao. (John Rizle L. Saligumba/davaotoday.com)