event of the day: ballet + bands

by christinady

If you want something, ask for it.

I tweeted that I wanted to design a set for a ballet. And my friend Kissa forwarded it to Ballet Philippines, which resulted in today’s event, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

230pm I get to the CCP and as a fun surprise, my college friend Rhea Dumdum-Bautista hands me the ticket– she  is now the media relations officer of BP, and she is also the person in charge of BP’s twitter. She got my forwarded tweet and invited me to watch today, and hopefully we can get things rolling.

She and Kissa met because Kissa is now the lifestyle editor of Preview magazine. I met Kissa when she shot me for Preview magazine’s very first ‘Creative It List’  in 2006. Now, 5 years later, things are just coming together. I love it when that happens.

The show starts with Rhea introducing the ballet to the audience. She explains a little about mime, and a little about the story. I think that was a great intro, especially since there were so many kids in the audience (it was a matinee show).

The curtain opens and I breathe a sigh of relief. The set was actually pretty.  I always have apprehensions about stage sets–if the curtains open and the set is ugly then I can’t concentrate on the rest of the show.

The dancers come out, and the costumes were ok. A bit too pastel and pale for my taste, but it wasn’t bad.

The ballet started, and I was really getting into the story. The dancers were good! I don’t know much about ballet, but I do know they had great lines and extensions, and everyone was precise and the whole cast moved well together.


The King and Queen have arranged a christening for their new daughter Aurora. They’ve invited fairies to bestow gifts (in this one there are 4 fairies). The wicked fairy Carabosse is mad that she wasn’t invited, and thus bestows a curse– Aurora will prick her finger on her 16th birthday and die. Thankfully, the Lilac fairy hasn’t given her gift yet– she alters the curse and instead of dying, Aurora will just fall asleep for 100 years until a prince’s kiss awakens her.

The fairies were good, but my favorite part was Carabosse. She was accompanied by rats— I love them! I loved the costumes and the choreography, even the black chariot Carabosse rode.

Act I

It ist Aurora’s 16th birthday. She pricks her finger on a spindle hidden in a bouquet of flowers given by Carabosse in disguise. The Lilac fairy appears to remind everyone about her gift of sleep. The whole castle falls into sleep. The set is then covered in vines– it was quite an effective set.

Act II

The Prince is out hunting and encounters the Lilac fairy who shows him a vision of Aurora. He is enchanted by her beauty, and so he asks to be taken to the castle. He then defeats Carabosse and awakens Aurora with a kiss.


It’s the wedding of Aurora to the Prince, and other characters from fairy tales are guests. There’s Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, etc. There are also fairies to bless the wedding.

Rhea explains afterward that this is the formula for a classical ballet– that at the end, characters make an appearance before the grand pas de deux.

It was a fun ballet to watch– not boring at all. Some colors in the costumes could be improved, but aside from that, it was a good show. Good job to set designer Eric Cruz. I only wish I had seen this with Tchaikovsky’s music played live by the Manila Symphony Orchestra!

They introduce me to BP Artistic Director Paul Morales after the show. He and I were classmates years ago (1998!) for an experimental film workshop at the Mowelfund Film Institute.  He says, you’re the one that does pole dancing. Ah, yes.

Rhea talks about their shows for next year- season ender in Feb, Pusong Wagas, an original Filipino ballet with music by Cynthia Alexander. It’s about the legend of Mandaluyong. I wanna watch that!

Also, for their next season they’ll be doing another Filipino ballet, Anting-Anting by Tony Perez, composed of 4 short stories. I volunteer my services for that. I hope I hope I hope I get to do it! I’ll do the set, Kissa will do styling. Let’s go Kissa, make it happen 2012!


6pm I run to the MRT Shaw Station to try and catch Silent Sanctuary. It’s Rock da Riles, the yearly offering of Rock Ed  at the MRT stations. Too late, but I get to catch my friends from Duster. Since I was at the train station, I might as well take a trip out of it.

I went to the Ayala Station, and Radioactive Sago Project was just finishing their set with ‘Astro’. Radioactive Sago is one of my favorite bands, I also think their frontman Lourd De Veyra is extremely funny. Read his column over at spot.ph!

Here’s RSP’s video ‘Astro’ directed by RA Rivera. (Wouldn’t you know it, RA was my classmate too at that Mowelfund workshop with Paul Morales. And, he also directed the Polecats anniversary show Polarity’. )

Before going home, I run into Gang Badoy-Capati, founder of Rock Ed. She says, pole dancing in next year’s event? YES!