By: Rhea Gulin
A Student Ambassador's Review
I find it cold to admit that history dictates racism. There are lots of stories in our past that built what had been the greatest discrimination man had ever thought of. What is amazing though is that millions of people are on the move in changing the present and molding the future. As how I see it, the fight against racism is gradually being encompassing; from the field of sports to the world of politics, and now even on stage with the performing arts.
Last May 4, TicketWorld Incorporated was generous enough to let me witness Ballet Manila and South Korea’s Choi So Bin Ballet’s Carmen International Friendship Gala, a spectacular collision of cultures on stage.
Photo credits to Ticketworld
The two groups had performed several acts which were all not less than excellent. Ballet Manila had the stories of Fairy Doll, Black Swan Variation, Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene, Sotto Voice and Reconfigured, while Choi So Bin Ballet showed their own rendition of while South Korea's Choi So Bin Ballet Le Corsaire Pas de Deux and Don Quixote Basilio Variation.
Photo credits to The Philippine Star
The main performances led by the Philippines' Prima Ballerina, Lisa Macuja, and Choi So Bin Ballet's artistic director Dr. Choi So Bin, sort of encapsulated the very heart of the production. On the story The Last Poem, Lisa Macuja played the role a dying, passionate woman while on Carmen, Dr. choi So Bin showed herself as a beguiling gypsy. As how it went, their two characters were really contrasting, yet nevertheless complementary with each other. Even if the stories were two separate plays, it gave the idea of the entire gamut of life women might go through. Still, regardless of the skin color you have.
It was amazing to see two nations pirouetting on the same stage, as if they had known each other since time immemorial. I was guessing that more than half of them could not understand each other's language, but it did not matter anyway. They let their feet and body do the talking to each other, perhaps attaining that level of understanding words can never give. They did what they do best, dancing, and they pretty much danced all their cultural differences away.
Photo credits to The Philippine Daily Inquirer
There were not any showdowns or overpowering performances from both groups that could have led the audiences on making any sort of comparisons. I had seen Ballet Manila a year ago and I was very certain that they were as amazing as how they were before, no pretensions or unnecessary efforts at all. I would have to admit though, that I came inside the Star Theater whispering to myself that Ballet Manila should make me proud, but I ended up clapping my hearts out for both of the groups without any favoritism or whatnots.
Ballet Manila and South Korea's Choi So Bin Ballet's Carmen International Friendship Gala only proved that racial difference is but a dime compared to all the stuff that can get us all united. They have gracefully exacerbated that we should focus on our similarities, not on the differences. In their case, it was the splendor of ballet that bound them together.
To know more about the upcoming projects of Ballet Manila, you can contact them at 525-5967 or 400-0292.
Interested to watch Ballet?
Witness Filipino superstars of the world and local stage come together for a special gala performance with the young upcoming stars of Ballet Manila and Philippine Ballet Theater featuring international guest artists. Catch THE STARS OF PHILIPPINE BALLET on June 1 at Aliw Theater!