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Showing posts from September, 2004

Asian Youth Orchestra in Manila

Asian Youth Orchestra in Manila 
By Walter Ang
Sept. 8, 2004
Philippine Daily Inquirer

I'm one of the very few people I know who can mess up singing the Alphabet Song. This is probably why, after announcing to friends that I would be watching the Asian Youth Orchestra, I was met with a multitude of eyebrows rising to the heavens.

I smiled, asked them to tug their eyebrows back into place and defended myself.

"Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I can't appreciate music," I said. So on a muggy Wednesday evening, I made a beeline to the Manuel Conde Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines to catch the orchestra's second day performance in Manila.

Coming together
The Asian Youth Orchestra is an annual six-week undertaking. Musicians from all over the region (namely China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) audition to win spots in the orchestra. Those who are chosen go throug…

Women and war onstage: Lysistrata and Trojan Women

Women and War Onstage 
By Walter Ang
September 2004

THOSE born in the first half of September fall under Virgo, a zodiac sign associated with deities such as the Egyptian goddess Isis or the Greek goddess Demeter. Perhaps it is Virgo's cosmic influence this month that has spurred two theater companies to stage productions that feature quite opposite renderings of the same theme from ancient Greek drama: women and war.

First is Aristophanes' comedy "Lysistrata," revived by the University of the Philippines' Dulaang U.P. For a company that thinks nothing of full frontal nudity, director Ameil Lenoardia has staged a surprisingly restrained and straightforward version of this sex satire.

In the English run, Missy Maramara injects Lysistrata (whose name means "breaker of the army") with an almost masculine authority as she leads the Athenian women to hold a sex strike to force their husbands to end the Peloponnesian war. The energetic cast attempt to stick to…