The matinee show on opening day was packed with students from all over Metro Manila. There was random cheering and excited applause as the house lights dim and the curtains open. You do not see the stage, instead it’s a flat white screen; like watching a movie opening billboard. As the lights on stage come up, a beautiful set and dancers in colorful costumes were revealed through the screen. At this point, it’s like a 3D experience.
The choreography was done by Carlo Pacis who is a Filipino based in Hong Kong. He also played Puck - the King’s mischievous servant that puts a spell on the lovers. This was his first full length ballet and he puts his own unique, creative and clever take on Shakespeare’s classic comedy and timeless love story.
“the biggest challenge for Pacis was to be so clear with the mime and dancing that even a child who has never seen ballet, or doesn’t easily understand classical ballet mime, will make sense of the complicated plot” – Inquirer.net on Carlos Pacis
It was very evident on how well and effective he was able to do this. An audience of students whose ages ranged from 10 to 17 years old reacted well to the diverse style of his choreography. It was very relatable as to what emotion he wanted his dancers to portray. The students very much enjoyed and felt kilig when the lovers would end a dance with a kiss. Most of them caught a gangnam move during the comic antics of the actors. He did very well in showcasing a new generation of dancers from Ballet Philippines.
It was such a magical experience. The integration of the multimedia screen gave a different feel about the whole ballet production. Upfront in the orchestra, you feel the intensity of the performer’s emotions. There were portions where Puck was an arms-length from the orchestra first row and they entered through the side orchestra doors. However, if you’re up at the balconies – it’s not half as bad, you’ll definitely enjoy the integration of the animation on screen.