PUSO NG PASKO, All-Filipino Christmas Ballet, Kicks Off Holiday Season

‘Puso ng Pasko’ ballet plays at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on December 1-2.

By: Nov. 29, 2023
PUSO NG PASKO, All-Filipino Christmas Ballet, Kicks Off Holiday Season
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Manila, Philippines--An alternative to Tchaikovsky’s Christmas-themed ballet “The Nutcracker” is the homegrown “Puso ng Pasko,” the first full-length, all-Filipino creatives Christmas ballet by the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP).

Premiered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2022, “Puso ng Pasko” features traditional Christmas songs, such as “Pasko Na Naman,” “Sa Paskong Dadating,” and “Kumukutikutitap,” rearranged by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, and choreography by National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, ARDP Artistic Director Ronelson Yadao, Erl Sorilla, John Abadon, AL Abraham, Dan Dayo, Bonnie Guerrero, and Lester Reguindin.

Yadao also directs this production, featuring his story and libretto, co-written with Eljay Castro Deldoc and Carlos Siguion-Reyna, with film segments by Siguion-Reyna, production design by Ricardo Eric Cruz, and lighting and technical direction by Barbara Tan-Tiongco.

“This year, as times have changed [after the COVID-19 pandemic] and things start up again, we envision the piece to evolve into a holiday tradition for the Filipino family similar to  ‘The Nutcracker,’ but with themes and a story that’s reflective of the Filipino and our celebration and love for family during the holiday season,” said Yadao.

“Puso ng Pasko” introduces the audience to Lolo Val, now living abroad, as he recalls his young granddaughter Angelita and the Christmas memories he shared with his childhood friends and family in the Philippines, such as the traditional dawn masses, star-shaped lanterns, and seasonal desserts bibingka and puto bumbong.

Interestingly, the production also pays homage to various fiesta celebrations year-round, such as the Belenisimo in Tarlac, Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon, Higantes Festival in Rizal, Sayaw sa Bangko in Pangasinan, and Pandang Gitab in Oriental Mindoro.

“Puso Ng Pasko” at the Manila MET is presented by ARDP, CCP, CCP’s Professional Artist Support Program, with sponsor Birch Tree Adult Boost.

After the performances at the Manila MET, “Puso ng Pasko” will also tour Angeles City, Pampanga, Munoz City, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac City, Tarlac, Makati City, and Malacanang Palace.

The performances feature ARDP dancers and trainees from the School of Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, the Philippine High School for the Arts, and other independent performers.

Photo: Erica Jacinto


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