Ibong Adarna's ensemble cast

REVIEW: Ballet Manila’s Ibong Adarna

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Ibong Adarna is a staple reading requirement among high school students. It is about the hunt for the elusive bird with magical healing properties. Truly, a classic. To push for Ballet Manila’s advocacy to ‘bring ballet to the people and bring people to ballet,’ they adapted the lore to kick off the 22nd performance season of the dance company. Entitled Flights of Fantasy, the season will feature familiar narratives on stage.

Ibong Adarna redefined

Ibong Adarna established an energetic and fantastical vibe from the get-go. The choreography created by Gerardo Francisco, Principal Choreographer, boasted a certain sense of bravado yet familiarity. Part of it lies in the fact that he took inspiration from different cultures in the country. All which cultural identity blended perfectly thus, the success of the smooth and graceful movements of the performers.

A choreography is as good as its music. Diwa De Leon produced an all-original musical composition for the play. Like the technique used by Francisco, it integrated cultural flavors from all over the country. The sounds created charm and strength at the same time and complemented the performance on stage. The script by Angela Blardony Ureta weaved these elements together resulting to a magical show. Completing the spectacular value of the production are the sets and costumes made by Make It Happen Workshop.

Cultural Inspirations

Each costume looked authentically Filipino. Elements of wood and native cloth adorned the dancers. Even Ibong Adarna, herself, looked natural while retaining her golden hue and colorful feathers. The powerful choreography magically narrated an amazing storytelling. The supporting ensemble enhanced the already spectacular performance of the main cast.

Ibong Adarna is a refreshing take on the myth. It should cast away doubts and surprises about its translation into flowy movements. Ballet Manila proves with this performance that they are still one of the top ballet companies in the country. With this show in mind, it is safe to say that Flights of Fantasy is off to soar into places!




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