Thursday, October 28, 2010

NINE and a bit of the September Gala

It was supposed to be a lazy Sunday afternoon that should've been spent hanging out and jamming with a few friends but I got invited at the last minute to watch a matinee performance of the Ballet Philippines' September Gala at the CCP Main Theater. Since it was so sudden, I didn't arrive on time and was only able to see the latter part of the second act of the show which was Bungangsakit. This particular piece had a clear storyline but since I wasn't able to see it from the start, I wasn't able to get it at all. All I knew was that there was this ballerina who had a blond wig on that made her look like Rapunzel. And also, there was a guy wearing just fiery red trousers and he was accompanied by the corps wearing blue. I tried to get clues as to what was happening through their costumes but to no avail. This piece ended on a sad note but I wasn't that moved since I wasn't able to get emotionally attached to any of the characters since I arrived late.

Fortunately, I was able to watch the entire third section of the performance which was set to George Bizet's Symphony in C. I admit that I wasn't able to concentrate much on the dancing this time since I was more focused on the music. And I regret not seeing the gala performance of this September Gala since during that time, the Manila Symphony Orchestra provided the live music. It would've been wonderful if I heard this Bizet piece played live!

After this ballet, it was decision time for me if I should drop by the Philamlife Auditorium to watch a piano trio perform or if I should accept another invitation to watch the Airdance Company's ninth anniversary presentation simply called "NINE". This was held at the other side of the metro area so I had to think quick. Well, it seemed that I didn't think at all since I decided to try out the unusual path and went instead to the contemporary dance performance.

The venue wasn't the best, no airconditioning, and uncushioned seats. But the atmosphere of the event, the programme that was prepared and the nature of the contemporary dances all came together and the venue really added to the appeal. It was amazing on how the not so ideal elements added up to something quite exceptional. Something intangible was added to the equation which made the event more than just the sum of its parts.

The programme for the night included pieces that were performed during the 5th WiFi Contemporary Dance Festival. And since I was able to watch 2 nights of it, some of the pieces were already familiar to me and it was a different experience watching them once again. Gone was the strangeness I initially felt and I was able to see it from a different perspective. But I do admit that it was still not easy for me to grasp the concept of movement of contemporary dance

I noticed that it was difficult for the performers to have the lights on them considering that the venue had no airconditioning. The lights give off heat and since this was a contemporary dance performance, there was a lot of movement that demanded a lot from the bodies of the performers. And being in a very intimate venue, I could really see the dancers sweating a lot and it just made me appreciate their dedication and passion to their craft despite me not really being able to understand most of what they were doing or trying to achieve.

I admit that being in this tight community of contemporary dancers was still uncomfortable for me and I was thinking if I made the right decision coming here instead of the piano trio performance which was what most people expect for me. I was also surprised on how this day turned out but the decision was made, the shows were seen and new horizons were explored. Overall, it was a learning experience for me and I am glad that I was able to be immersed in a new crowd and meet new people and explore new possibilities.


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