Ballet and Art Combined Hearts For The Holidays

It was a meaningful collaboration for a once-in-a-lifetime show and experience that everyone loves, especially the kids.

Through the eyes of a child, the world is a place full of wonder. The young and uncorrupted mind can still conjure impressive stories and characters through their sheer imagination. Furthermore, the brilliance of a child’s mind is enriched with the stories that we all grew to love. From princesses to swans, all our beloved characters from our childhood came to life as Ballet Philippines gave an early Christmas present to children and ballet enthusiasts who are young and young at heart. Moreover, the show Christmas Fairytales was a treat for children and the child-like hearts of adults as bedtime story legends are told through the power of dance. 

Regina Magbitang and Ian Ocampo/ Photo by Larry Salgado courtesy of Ballet Philippines

READ ALSO: Backstage With Ballet Philippines: An Intimate Conversation With Principal Dancers Jemima Reyes And Ian Ocampo

Immortalized Movements 

Art from the Pintô Art Museum enthralled the show attendees hours before the dancers brought happiness to the audience. The show is in collaboration with Ballet Philippines and Pintô Art Museum—the Lobby at The Theatre at Solaire was set up for the Ballet In Pintô exhibition. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition honors the everlasting relationship between art and dance. Moreover, the audience had a feast for the eyes as they looked at paintings, photographs, sketches, and sculptures made by 30 Filipino contemporary artists. 

The artists of Pinto Art Museum with BP’s Maan Hontiveros, Dr Joven Cuanang, and BP President Kathleen Liechtenstein/ Photo courtesy of Ballet Philippines

The founder of Pintô Art Museum, Dr. Joven Cuanang, spearheaded the exhibit and the project. While artist Ferdie Montemayor curated the project. Moreover, combining art and ballet in one space made the art for the show possible. The artists were invited to the rehearsals and performances of the ballet dancers, where they took photographs, sketches, and paintings. “I see this [collaboration] as two hearts beating as one. Two art forms are coming together—the performing arts and the visual arts,” Montemayor said. 

An Ode To Childhood 

The show, Christmas Fairytales, revolved around the adventures of Tala during the holiday season. The audience was amazed as the dancers brought to life a unique holiday story. The story is about Tala awakened to a magical world in Christmas Ever where her imagination runs free and wild. In this world, Tala met a magical wizard who told her that her beloved fairytale characters were in disarray. Tala, using her charm, wits, and pure imagination helped all the characters find their rightful place and fixed everything before the clock struck at midnight. 

Mark Balucay and Ysabel Bernardo/ Photos by Larry Salgado

The story is a heartwarming original that reminds everyone of the beauty of childhood and kindness. The show wouldn’t be possible without the grace of every ballet dancer who danced to the harmony of each song. “I loved taking on the role of the Sugarplum Fairy because I feel that she’s the very essence of Christmas in Ballet. When I come out on stage, I feel like spreading the magic in the presence of her character,” one of the principal dancers, Jemima Reyes, said. 

Jemima Reyes/ Photos by Larry Salgado

In each plié, jump, and pointe, the dancers told the story of a wonderful Christmas story. “Christmas is a time for people to bond and appreciate each other,” Ian Ocampo, one of the principal dancers said. The show did not just embody the season of giving through a magical ballet experience, the event also helped the children of Kalinga through the BALLET BRIGADE OUTREACH program. 

Danielle Kleiner/ Photo by Larry Salgado

Creating Magic 

In an exclusive interview with Lifestyle Asia, the show’s artistic director, Mikhail Martynyuk, reflected on the process. There is a long process that involves coordinating the music, the lights, the wardrobe, and everything else that creates a show. “As a result, the author creates 5 sequences: a libretto, a score of light, a sequence of choreography, and a sequence of movement of scenery. And all this turns into a real-life performance on the stage that the audience sees,” he summarizes. 

Idelle Buhia/ Photo by Larry Salgado

The show is a treat for children. Plenty of kids dressed in beautiful princess costumes flocked around the lobby after the show. “Every child dreams of something, I think some of them want to be on stage, especially girls. Especially when they see children from our ballet school on stage. In beautiful suits, showing interesting characters and images, and dancing wonderfully” he says.

Banner photo by Larry Salgado courtesy of Ballet Philippines.

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