Monday, November 17, 2008

Ballet Manila's Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang

Found this through Mr. Joey Ayala's Facebook status and it got me very excited over Ballet Manila's newest show.

I got first-hand experience watching and working with Ballet Manila when Hired did the company's search for a ballerina. (Fifteen-year old Kim Mendoza won and is now one of Ballet Manila's company scholars.)

I worked very closely with the Philippines' prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, and principal danseur and BM's Artistic Associate, Osias "Shaz" Barroso throughout the filming of the search.

I tell you, it was quite an eye-opener. It was very inspiring to watch real, professional ballerinas and danseurs rehearsing and performing on stage. These are artists in the truest sense of the word. It made me wonder how and why I could have missed out on this classic art form!

At the shoot, I was able to watch the company's Hi-Skul Musikahan at the Star Theatre, which was the setting for the final task of our Top 2 applicants.

I was also able to catch the Dress-Technical Rehearsal (DTR) of the show they were performing in Korea. It was spectacular! It is no wonder that Ballet Manila has grown so much in reputation not just in the Philippines but worldwide. It is truly a world class dance company.

As you would see in the video, there is much to expect, especially since the show involves the aristry of some very established names in the fields of dance and music, including Tony Fabella, Mon Faustino, Joey Ayala, and Ryan Cayabyab.

(Incidentally, it was Joey Ayala who read my poem, Alay sa Choc-Nut, at the book launch of Bubot at Tatlong Dosenang Sundot ng Damdamin some time in 2000, and it was through him that I found the video and learned more about BM's Lola Basyang.)

Catch the world premiere of Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang on December 5, 6, 7, 13, and 14 at the Aliw Theatre. For ticket reservations and schedule of tours and performances, visit Ballet Manila's website,

(Photos courtesy of Hired segment producer, Redge Estrada.)

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The Chronicler's Creed

Where there's water and sun, where there are friends to see or new people to meet, where there's something new to learn, experience, or do, where there's life, there I will be.


Y fue a esa edad... Llegó la poesía
a buscarme. No sé, no sé de dónde
salió, de invierno o río.
No sé cómo ni cuándo,
no, no eran voces, no eran
palabras, ni silencio,
pero desde una calle me llamaba,
desde las ramas de la noche,
de pronto entre los otros,
entre fuegos violentos
o regresando solo,
allí estaba sin rostro
y me tocaba.

And it was at that age... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I do not know, I do not know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I do not know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

- An excerpt from LA POESÍA (Poetry) by Pablo Neruda