Ballads make for an easy introduction to ballet

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By Nickky F. P. de Guzman

Concert
Ballet & Ballads
Ballet Manila and Christian Bautista
Feb. 17, 6 p.m. and Feb. 18, 3 p.m.
Aliw Theater, CCP Complex,
Roxas Blvd., Pasay City

WHILE music and dance go hand in hand, it’s very rare to see a concert with equally good dancers and singers. Usually, one has to give the spotlight in favor of the other. But not in Ballet Manila’s Ballet & Ballads series, where the singing and dancing jive together seamlessly.

“Dancing creates a visual representation of music,” said Ballet Manila CEO and artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde of the shows.

“It combines a singer with ballet numbers — an interesting concept that we’ve been experimenting with for quite some time now. It’s an entertaining way to enjoy ballet, especially for first-time audiences,” she added.

Ballet & Ballads brings to the stage music and lyrics and let them come to life.

Singer Christian Bautista leads the roster of singers providing the titular “Ballads.” He will be singing some of his greatest theater hits as well as songs from his latest album, Kapit.

Joining Mr. Bautista are artists from the Klassikal Musical Foundation (KMF) including Andrew Fernando (baritone), Jade Riccio (soprano), Stephanie Aguilar (soprano), Krisann Manikan Tan (mezzo soprano), Leo Angelo Lanuza (tenor), with the special participation of Dr. George T. Yang (tenor).

The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra will provide the music, which will include a special teleserye suite featuring a selection of theme songs from the ABS-CBN prime-time repertoire.

To complement the music, is the dance. Ballet & Ballads marks the world premiere of Martin Lawrance’s “Aria,” which will feature five acts covering classical operas. Mr. Lawrance, a British choreographer, previously partnered with Ballet Manila for the shows Rebel and Amid Shadows.

“He really is a genius when it comes to weaving a ballet together and exploring movement with different kinds of music. The idea was first to combine musical theater and ballet, but when he proposed the classical arias instead, I told him to go for it,” said Ms. Elizalde, adding that it “complements Ballet Manila’s mastery of the Vaganova technique. It is really a concert like no other.”

For details about the show, including ticket prices and schedules, visit www.balletmanila.com.ph or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tickets are also available through TicketWorld (891-9999, www.ticketworld.com.ph).