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Showing posts from 2012

The Arctic and Antarctic in Ocean Park Hong Kong

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The Arctic and Antarctic in Hong Kong 
By Walter Ang
Dec. 29, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Guests visiting Ocean Park Hong Kong now have a new attraction to enjoy: Polar Adventure, whose exhibits simulate the natural environments of both the North and South Polar regions.

In other words, guests can now get to see a small slice of the Arctic and the Antarctic and the animals that live there.

Cantopop superstar Andy Lau (yes, the same Andy Lau that comedienne Eugene Domingo "demanded" a kiss from at this year's Asian Film Awards when she won the people's choice favorite actress award) graced the grand opening ceremonies led by Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, with Allan Zeman, Chairman of OPHK.

Polar Adventure's North Pole Encounter section is home to a variety of arctic species, including spotted seals, Northern sea lions, Pacific walruses, snowy owls, and arctic foxes. The entire area is maintained at a cool 15°C.

Jay Españo Does Movement for 'At The Flash'

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Jay Españo Does Movement for 'At The Flash,' Runs Through Dec. 16
By Walter Ang
Dec. 6, 2012
Broadwayworld.com
http://chicago.broadwayworld.com/article/Jay-Espao-Does-Movement-for-AT-THE-FLASH-Runs-Thru-1216-20121206#ixzz2ENjIzCna

CHICAGO — Former Tanghalang Pilipino actor Jay Españo has taken assistant director and movement coordinator responsibilities in the recently opened "At the Flash," a one-actor, five-character play that condenses LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) history from the 1960s to the 2000s.

Written by Sean Chandler and David Leeper, this comedy features a closeted man in the 1960s, a black drag queen in the 1970s, a club kid in the 1980s, a budding lesbian activist in the 1990s, and a family man/entrepreneur in the 2000s as they relate their stories in the gay club The Flash.

For its world premiere, presented by Pride Films and Plays (PFP), co-playwright Leeper stars under the direction of David Zak, PFP's executive director.

'Nutcracker' ballet gets modern treatment

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'Nutcracker' ballet gets modern treatment
By Walter Ang
November 22, 2012
ABS-CBNNews.com
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/11/22/12/nutcracker-ballet-gets-modern-treatment

Ballet audiences are familiar with "The Nutcracker" as it is usually staged during the year-end holidays.

Set to Peter Tchaikovsky's music and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, the ballet's libretto is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King."

The story is about a girl who receives a nutcracker carved in the shape of a soldier on Christmas Eve. After she goes to bed, the Nutcracker comes to life and battles the evil Mouse King. The Nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and takes the girl to the Land of Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and different sweets from around the world.

Tchaikovsky's score has been given other ballet choreographies, such as by George Balanchine in the US and Noordin Jumalon (after Petipa and …

UP performing groups win at int’l fests

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UP performing groups win at int’l fests
By Walter Ang
November 5, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

University of the Philippines Concert Chorus has won three awards on the international scene: 1st Prize in the Folk category of the Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros in Vic, Spain; and the gold diploma and the Audience Prize (People’s Choice Award) at the 9th Cantemus International Choir Festival at Nyíregyháza, Hungary.

In Spain, the group sang “Kruhay” (Beny Castilon); “Pasigin” (arranged by Eudenice Palaruan); and “Ilay Gandangan” (Rodolfo Delarmente) for the Folk category.

The contingent had 28 singers and one pianist. The chorus, celebrating its 50th anniversary, was led by director Jai Sabas-Aracama.

In Hungary, under the baton of president and assistant conductor Emmanuel de Leon Jr., the group sang “Ama Namin” (John August Pamintuan); “Jezus es a Kufarok” (Zoltán Kodály); and “Ilay Gandangan.”

For the Folk concert, the basis for the Audience Prize, Sabas-Aracama led th…

British dance company does outreach in the Philippines

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British dance company does outreach in the Philippines
By Walter Ang
October 15, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Big Dance Company (BDC), based in Cornwall, England, sent a delegation to Manila for outreach and interaction activities with three charity groups that assist street children.

The group spent a day visiting the Philippine Community Fund (PCF) School in Tondo; Childhope Asia Philippines in Paco; and Pangarap Shelter for Street Children in Pasay.

The group gave workshops, performances, and danced with the children.

BDC founder Fiona Richardson said: “We can’t save the world with our dance outreach, but we can help get rid of a lot of ignorance, we can help build compassion.”

Reaching out
BDC first visited the country in 2010 upon the invitation of Shirley Halili Cruz, whom the group met at the Dance Excellence festival for young dancers in Los Angeles in 2009, to participate in the annual Dance Xchange Philippine International Dance Festival.

BDC brought over its most popular dan…

Tanghalang Pilipino’s silver anniversary coffee-table book now available

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Tanghalang Pilipino’s silver anniversary coffee-table book now available
By Walter Ang
October 8, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tanghalang Pilipino has produced a coffee-table book, “Tanghalang Pilipino: Celebrating 25 Years of Philippine Theater,” to commemorate its recently concluded silver anniversary.

Spearheaded by  artistic director Fernando “Nanding” Josef and written by Inquirer contributing writer Amadis Ma. Guerrero, the 171-page hardcover features a jacket with the image of actress Noemi Manikan-Gomez in costume as the character Angelita from “Dalagang Bukid,” the company’s inaugural production in June 1987.

Her photo is stylized with sketches of the production’s set design in a manner that recalls the style of TP founding artistic director Felix “Nonon” Padilla’s woodprint designs for many of the company’s early souvenir-program covers.

The book is divided into chapters which “deal with material that provided the company with its unique identity.”

It begins with the group’…

Tony-winner David Gallo designs set of "Nine"

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Tony-winner David Gallo designs set of "Nine," closes Oct. 7
By Walter Ang
October 3, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Atlantis Productions' staging of the musical "Nine" features a set designed by Tony Award winning set designer David Gallo.

"Nine," based on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical film "8½," focuses on Italian filmmaker Guido Contini, who, dreading his imminent 40th birthday, gets entangled in a web of romantic difficulties in early-1960s Venice.

With book by Arthur Kopit and music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, the musical was made into a movie in 2009, directed by Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Contini.

Directed by Bobby Garcia, Atlantis’ “Nine” features Jett Pangan as Contini with an ensemble of popular theater actresses, recording artists, and TV/film actresses: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo plays Contini’s wife, Cherie Gil plays his film producer, Eula Valdez plays his muse, Carla Guevara-Laforteza pl…

Tanghalang Pilipino's suspense thriller 'Walang Kukurap' runs until Oct. 7

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Tanghalang Pilipino's suspense thriller 'Walang Kukurap' runs until Oct. 7 
By Walter Ang
September 24, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tanghalang Pilipino is staging "Walang Kukurap," a suspense thriller about the pervasive shady politics and unethical business practices in the Philippines today.

Suzette Ranillo plays Cristina, a first-time vice mayor candidate who is sucked into corruption, deceit and murder.

"We always connect corruption with the big fish, like the case of former Chief Justice [Renato] Corona as an example, but what's more frightening are the corruption done by the `small fish'—the towns and barangay, the grass roots," says TP associate artistic director Tuxqs Rutaquio, who is directing the production.

Written by Layeta Bucoy, the title is a play on words, with kurap homophonous to "corrupt," explains Rutaquio, as well as a play on notions of vigilance.

The material started off as a devised performance piece by TP'…

Ballet Philippines explores magical talismans in "Anting"

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Ballet Philippines explores magical talismans in "Anting" 
By Walter Ang
September 10, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Ballet Philippines stages "Anting" for its "Neo-Filipino" series this September. The series features new works by Filipino choreographers and allows them a venue to tackle issues and experiment with form and choreography.

"'Anting' explores the world of talismans and amulets of Filipino magical traditions," says BP artistic director Paul Morales. "It's made up for four separate movements, each depicting a specific kind of amulet and its powers."

The libretto is by playwright Tony Perez, also known as the author of a series of books on how to cast spells and perform Wiccan rituals. He is also popularly known as the founder of Spirit Questors, a group of psychics who "communicate with earthbound human spirits and elementals."

'Magick' 
Perez explains that anting is the street term for anting-ant…

"The King and I": Pageant to enthrall Manila

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'The King and I': Pageant to enthrall Manila
By Walter Ang
September 10, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Resorts World Manila is staging the musical “The King and I,” with Leo Valdes and Bo Cerrudo as King Mongkut and Monique Wilson and Sheila Valderrama as Anna, starting this September.

Based on the experiences of Anna Leonowens, the musical is set in the late 1860s and is about how the King of Siam (now Thailand) hires an English governess to tutor his children in ways of the Western world.

With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics and book by Oscar Hammerstein, the Broadway musical was adapted into a movie in 1956 starring Yul Brynner as the king.
Directed by concert director Freddie Santos, the production will have close to 200 costumes designed by Rajo Laurel and Aksana Sidarava.

Full circle
“I am actually very familiar with the musical!” Laurel says. He was cast as one of the children in the 1978 staging by Repertory Philippines, where he shared the stage with Lea Salonga and…

Eugene Domingo: From 'Kimmy Dora' to 'Bona'

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Peta's "Bona" opens Aug. 24
Eugene Domingo: From 'Kimmy Dora' to 'Bona'
By Walter Ang
August 20, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

TV and film comedy actress Eugene Domingo ("Kimmy Dora") will portray Bona, a role performed by Nora Aunor in the film version, in Philippine Education Theater Association's stage adaptation "Bona."

Bona is a diehard fan of Gino Sanchez, played by Edgar Allan Guzman ("Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me"), a contestant on a television talent search show.

Originally written as a teleplay by Cenen Ramones featuring Laurice Guillen (Bona) and Ruel Vernal (Gardo), National Artist for Film and Peta founding member Lino Brocka directed the film version in 1980 starring Aunor as a high school girl smitten by macho bit-player actor Gardo (played by Philip Salvador).

Movies headlined by Aunor have been adapted for the stage before.  Peta staged the 1976 film "Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo" in 1991 with Aunor hers…

Repertory's "Wizard of Oz" opens Aug. 18

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Repertory's "Wizard of Oz" opens Aug. 18
By Walter Ang
August 13, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Repertory Philippines's Children's Theater, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is staging the musical "The Wizard of Oz," based on the book by L. Frank Baum.

Dorothy Gale is swept away from her home in Kansas by a tornado and ends up in the Land of Oz where she meets a Tin Woodsman without a heart, a Scarecrow without a brain, and a Lion who's cowardly.

The three of them set off to find the Wizard of Oz to ask for his help to get Dorothy back home and for him to grant her three new friends' wishes-all while fending off the evil Wicked Witch of the West.

For this staging, actor Rem Zamora will be alternating with Pinky Marquez in the role of the Wicked Witch of the West.

A role is a role
"I don't treat it so much as playing a female role but more of playing another character," he says.  "Being male does make it more challenging but on…

Getting jiggy with juice

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Getting jiggy with juice
By Walter Ang
Aug. 8, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The buzzword these days is "feasting" as a replacement for "fasting," in that you can feast on all the juices that you want during your fasting period.

Fasting has never really been out of vogue. For thousands of years now, whether for religious, spiritual or medical reasons, the premise for fasting is to allow the body to rest from ingesting all sorts of unhealthy foods and to allow it to "detox."

While some people forego all food during their fasts, some ease into it or do it with liquid diets. I wanted to do a one-day juice fast with other liquids thrown in, like soy milk and yogurt (a no-no for some vegan fasting regimens since yogurt is a dairy product).

But I wanted to do the fast and I thought, it's my fast and what the heck, I'll do it my way. In any case, since I'd eaten that morning (the unfortunate result of hemming and hawing before I decided to push throu…

REVIEW: Theaterbatoring two awit-based productions: Tanghalang Ateneo's "Sintang Dalisay" and Gantimpala Theater's "Florante at Laura"

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thoughts on two awit-based productions:
tanghalang ateneo's "sintang dalisay" and gantimpala theater's "florante at laura"
by walter ang
aug. 7, 2012
theaterbator.blogspot.com
http://theaterbator.blogspot.com/2012/08/theaterbatoring-two-awit-based.html

i recently caught two productions that were based on awit. awit is a form of filipino narrative poetry with dodecasyllabic (12 syllables per line) quatrains (4 lines per stanza).

ta's "sintang dalisay" is based on the awit "ang sintang dalisay ni julieta at romeo" (the pure love of julieta and romeo) by g.d. roke (1901). this awit is, in turn, based on william shakespeare's "romeo and juliet" (circa 1590s), among other versions of the story. ricky abad and guelan luarca have devised a staging script using national artist for theater rolando tinio's tagalog translation to supplement the plotline of roke's awit.

while shakespeare's play is set in verona, director a…

REVIEW: Theaterbatoring "God of Carnage"

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thoughts on atlantis productions' "god of carnage"
by walter ang
july 24, 2012
theaterbator.blogspot.com
http://theaterbator.blogspot.com/2012/07/theaterbatoring-god-of-carnage.html 

morag cook's set design for "god of carnage" (for state theatre company of south australia's 2010 production) features a swath of red floor-to-ceiling wall treatment that merges with a swath of wall-to-wall red carpet, evoking a waterfall of blood flowing continuously into a river.

for the 2012 manila production by atlantis productions, lawyn cruz's set design shows a slight reconfiguration of the wall treatment into a framed large-scale red wall installation comprised of tightly packed blocks in varying degrees of thickness.  things do not flow so easily here, it seems to say.  instead, it's now choppy waters in a pool. the carpet is also now a square in the middle of the room. blood trapped in a boxing ring.

and that's how the evening's assaults are foreshad…

Campus theater groups bare 2012-2013 lineup

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Campus theater groups bare 2012-2013 lineup
By Walter Ang
July 23, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

For its 37th season, Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas opens with a restaging of last season’s “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera,” a retelling of José Rizal’s novel with music composed by National Artist for Music Felipe Padilla de Leon and libretto by National Artist for Visual Arts Guillermo Tolentino.

Directed by DUP artistic director Alexander Cortez with music direction by Camille Lopez Molina, “Noli” opened July 18 and runs until Aug. 12. It serves as DUP’s tribute to Padilla de Leon’s birth centennial.

This is followed by Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull/Ang Tagak,” Sept. 19-Oct. 7. “The play is an intimate study of unrequited love and human folly,” says Cortez.

Directed by Tony Mabesa, the play will have English performances using David Mamet’s translation and Filipino performances using National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio’s translation.

Meanwhile, UP Playwright’s Theater, DUP’s series …

DLSU concludes centennial with performances

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DLSU concludes centennial with performances
By Walter Ang
June 11, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

De La Salle University concludes its centennial school year (2011-2012) with the inauguration of a new eco-friendly building and with the staging of two productions.

On June 15, the Henry Sy Sr. Centennial Hall will have its blessing. That same day, there will be a performance of "Cultura Verde" at the building's lobby, a showcase featuring different student and faculty dance, chorale and orchestra groups from all 17 Lasallian schools.

The day ends with a concert, "Lasallianation," directed by alumnus singer and TV personality Randy Santiago. Theater actors Gian Magdangal and Carlo Orosa are just two of several guest alumni performers.

Designed by Leandro Locsin Partners with interiors by Ascuncion-Berenguer, the building is named for retail magnate Henry Sy Sr., whose donation jumpstarted its construction.

Symbolizing the university's "continuous and growi…

July kicks off Ateneo theater groups' 2012-2013 line-up

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July kicks off Ateneo theater groups' 2012-2013 line-up
‘Romeo and Juliet’ in Tagalog by Rolando Tinio goes on stage
By Walter Ang
July 16, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Two student theater groups of Ateneo de Manila University announce their season line-ups for schoolyear 2012-2013.

Tanghalang Ateneo opens its 34th season in August with a restaging of "Sintang Dalisay," an awit (metrical romance poetry using dodesyllabic or 12-syllable verse) version of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" using translations by G.D. Roke and National Artist for Literature Rolando Tinio.

Romeo and Juliet are now Rashiddin and Jamila, star-crossed lovers living in Sempurna, a fictional Islamic community, and fleeing from family and the law to keep their love alive.

Directed by TA artistic director Ricky Abad, the production uses igal, a traditional dance of the indigenous Sama-Bajau people of Mindanao, as its movement and choreography motif.

Sets and costumes designed by Na…