Alice Reyes' CARMEN, Other Choreographic Works, On Stage This Weekend

‘Carmen and Other Spirits’ plays at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater, Makati City, from Oct. 20-21, 2023.

By: Oct. 18, 2023
Alice Reyes' CARMEN, Other Choreographic Works, On Stage This Weekend

Manila, Philippines--After recently staging Alice Reyes’ classic “Rama, Hari,” the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines presents “Carmen and Other Spirits,” a mixed bill featuring four choreographic works tackling the themes of codependency, environmental degradation, love, obsession, and jealousy.

Inspired by Prosper Merimee’s 1845 novella “Carmen,” ARDP’s “Carmen,” which premiered in 1984, takes on the perspective of Don Jose (Richardson Yadao), who relates to Marimee the series of events that led to his imprisonment and execution. His story is a tale of a man who has lost everything because of his obsession over a woman, Carmen (Macel Dofitas), a gypsy.

Restaged by Ejay Arisola, “Carmen” features a dance libretto and choreography by Reyes, National Artist for Dance; music by Georges Bizet, with additional music by Antonio Solera and Paco de Lucia, and music collage by Reyes; and set and costume design by Salvador Bernal, National Artist for Theater Design.

The other featured choreographic works are “Swimming the Ilog Pasig,” “Two,” and “Now.”

“Swimming the Ilog Pasig,” choreographed by Alden Lugnasin, features music by Des’ree and Tim Attack and costume design by Speedo. It has also been inspired by water ballet or synchronized swimming, which merges well with Lugnasin’s unique movements and storytelling.

First performed in 1998, “Swimming the Ilog Pasig” is a social commentary about Filipinos’ relationship with the once-revered Pasig River, which is still being rehabilitated today.

“Two,” choreographed by Ronelson Yadao, ARDP’s artistic director, features music by Antonio Vivaldi, a classical composer known for his Baroque compositions. Here, Yadao creates a pas de deux, emphasizing codependency.

Lastly, “Now” makes its world premiere in this production. It features the choreography by Lester Reguindin, mentored by Reyes; music by Olafur Arnalds and Luke Howard; and excerpts from environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in 2019.

“Carmen and Other Spirits” is presented by ARDP, the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Professional Artist Support Program, Samsung Performing Arts Theater, and Birch Tree Adult Boost.

Other featured dancers include dance trainees from Guang Ming College, Philippine High School for the Arts, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, and other independent performers.

Photo: Jojo Mamangun

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