Few days ago, I was able to watch a full length ballet for the first time! I was grateful enough to be invited to watch Ballet Manila’s Rebel EDSA 30 which stars no other than the Philippines’ very own Prima ballerina Ms Liza Macuja-Elizalde. It was really an awesome experience for me and I was truly left in awe after watching this spectacular show! Rebel : EDSA 30 is just one of the classic offerings of Ballet Manila for their 21st Performance Season (Revenge Of The Classics) which also includes three other classic productions such as “The Swan, The Fairy and The Princess”, “Cinderella” and “Don Quixote”. Of all the four productions though, Rebel: EDSA 30 is relatively new. It was first staged last February in celebration of the 30th anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution, which we all know left a huge impact in Philippine history. The show was a big success and was highly acclaimed by critics and so they’re bringing this remarkable show back on stage.
Rebel: EDSA 30 is choreographed by Mr Martin Lawrence with music and story that is loosely inspired from Aram Khachaturian’s Spartacus. The show will be accompanied by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gerald Salonga and it also features the wonderful talent of internationally acclaimed musical theater artist Joanna Nakpil who will act as the voice of Inang Bayan. Story wise, Rebel : EDSA 30 will bring you back in time to the events that marked a huge historical impact in our country and inspired people worldwide, the EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986.
Rebel: EDSA 30 however has a different interpretation of the story. Unlike what we have seen from Philippine Stagers Foundation’s “Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero”, this is not a direct retelling of the actual events that occurred during the People Power Revolution but more like a symbolical retelling of the story. Again, the story is loosely based from Spartacus but derives its characters and events from the People power revolution. The characters includes Inang Bayan (a pivotal role played by Lisa Macuja while the voice interpreted by Joanna Ampil), Ferdinand the dictator, Imelda, Corazon and Benigno The Rebel.
The first Act features events prior to the revolution. A strong introduction was lead by Lisa Macuja accompanied by the powerful voice of Joanna Ampil with her rendition of “Pilipinas Kong Minumutya” This Act is merely about Ferdinand the Dictator and his wife Imelda and how they embrace and take advantage of their power and authority. It depicts how the first couple threw out extravagant parties for their loyalist. Ninoy and the rest of the rebels on the other hand showed off their strong protest towards administration which eventually leads to face off between two parties lead by Ferdinand and Ninoy respectively. Everything was executed with powerful dance , movements, and gestures where you can actually feel the strong emotion delivered by each character.
Ninoy’s Forces however is not strong enough at first to bring the Marcos down which also led to a very emotional separation of Ninoy to his wife Corazon after being detained. It also led to a forced fight between Ninoy and his friend Juan Dela Cruz which dramatically and emotionally conclude the first act when the fight ends up in a tragic death of Juan Dela Cruz.
The Second Act started very strong with Joanna Ampil’s rendition of “Magkaisa” with a long sequence performed by Lisa Macuja as Inang Bayan. Some of the music that are associated with the EDSA Revolution and the Marcoses including those iconic songs that are often wired with the Former First lady such as “Feelings” and “Dahil Sayo” but what really makes this act more intense is when Ninoy decided to go back to Inang Bayan which we all know will lead him in his tragic death. Contrary to the what we are being told, Benigno here was not assassinated by Marcos Administration but the spirit of his best friend Juan Dela Cruz, a symbolical representation. The emotional scene was accompanied by the song “Bayan Ko” led by Ampil. This ignited the revolution forcing Ferdinand and Imelda to walk away from the throne, the end of the Marcos regime. The act concluded with a powerful rendition of “Handog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo” which summarizes everything that Filipinos went through during the reign of the Marcoses and how we all managed to escape from such nightmare.
Rebel : EDSA 30 is such a timely play that everybody must watch especially now that the issue about Martial Law is starting to become more relevant to us. With all that issues like Marcos Hero’s burial and Martial Law implementation, I think we all need to look back to our history and be reminded of what it really looks like during the Marcos regime.
Ballet Manila’s Rebel: EDSA 30 will be shown in Aliw Theater on the following dates
August 27, 2016 : 8:00pm
August 28, 2016: 3:00 pm
You may avail the tickets at TicketWorld.comph
I also like to thank Star Powerhouse from giving me such an awesome experience to watch this spectacular ballet performance! Feel free to drop by at their site for more updates, reviews about theaters and other related events!