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Alice Reyes Dance Philippines Opens Its 2023 Season with a Fresh Staging of Encantada

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Encantada (Enchantress) makes its comeback this coming April 14 and 15 at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater and on April 21 and 22 at the Metropolitan Theater.

The award-winning dance production is the brainchild of National Artist for Dance Agnes Locsin, who collaborates this time with Joey Ayala (music) and Palanca award winner Al Santos (libretto), utilizing the production design of the late fellow National Artist Salvador Bernal.

This staging will be produced and performed by the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP), a new contemporary ballet company helmed by none other than the National Artist for Dance herself, Alice Reyes. All gala shows will have live accompaniment courtesy of Joey Ayala and Ang Bagong Lumad together with the Philippines’ World Music Siren Bayang Barrios.

“We appreciate that so many aspects of our Philippine heritage are at the core of this dance. There’s a babaylan, there’s a setting in our history…there, the characters are mythology of the encantada, the diwata (fairy), and the central theme…the endangerment of kalikasan,” said Tina Paterno, one of the panelists from the Cultural Heritage Preservation organization.

“I remember my wife and I visited Agnes [Locsin] in Davao and we watched her show. It was my first time kasi hindi po ako masyadong mahilig sa ballet. It was my wife’s influence that got me interested. And, when I read about Encantada, that it spoke about environmental conservation, it hit me directly because of very recent problems that we are facing,” said Dr. Natahaniel “Dinky” Von Einsiedel, former president of the Philippine Society for Environmental Matters.

Tats Manahan, ARDP president, emphasize that the conception of the dance piece involved comprehensive research on Philippine folk religion, traditions, practices, and history.

Encantada first premiered in February 1992, with Wendy Panganiban (Babaylan) and Joey Ayala (Estranghero) leading the show. Locsin explained that their first collaboration was a 1977 rock opera performed at the Ateneo de Davao and they both agreed on doing another one, this time centering on environmental concerns.

Darrell Sicam

The last staging of Encantada in 2011 took home 10 Gawad Buhay Awards, including Best Modern Dance Production, Best Choreography, Best Musical Composition, Best Production Design, and Best Lighting Design. 

This 2023 production will also be lit by John Ilao Batalla, a celebrated artist in his field whose exemplary work spans over two decades. It is presented by the Metropolitan Theater of Manila, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Carmen D. Locsin Foundation.

The media launch was held at Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Newport Mall.  Guest artist Georgette Sanchez-Vargas, who got a Gawad Buhay citation in the Female Lead Performance Category in 2011, will reprise her role as the Baybaylan. She performed a short excerpt of Encantada together with the ARDP dancers including Carissa Adea, who got a citation for Female Featured Performance. Adea will also reprise her role. Kris Belle Paclibar-Manangun alternates as the Babaylan.

Other shows included in ARDP’s 2023 season are Rama Hari, Carmen and Other Spirits, and Puso ng Pasko.

Show Schedule:

April 14, 2023 | Friday | 7:30 p.m. | Samsung Performing Arts Theater*

April 15, 2023 | Saturday | 2:00 p.m. | Samsung Performing Arts Theater

April 15, 2023 | Saturday | 7:30 p.m. | Samsung Performing Arts Theater*

April 21, 2023 | Friday | 7:30 p.m. | Metropolitan Theater*

April 22, 2023 | Saturday | 2:00 p.m. | Metropolitan Theater

April 22, 2023 | Saturday | 7:30 p.m. | Metropolitan Theater*

*With live music performed by Joey Ayala and Ang Bagong Lumad with Bayang Barrios.

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Darrell Sicam

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