Monday, December 10, 2012

RamaHari by Ballet Philippines

CCP. It's been a long time since I've been in that place. The last time was the centennial celebration of UP in 2008.

Fast forward to 2012, my colleagues and I saw Ballet Philippines' Rama Hari last Thursday. We got the best seats of the house but we did not get to see Karylle and Christian Bautista sing. Nevertheless, OJ Mariano was pretty good too. And he kinda looked like Jackson Avery from Grey's Anatomy. :)

Truthfully, the first act was a bit of a bore. The Tagalog was so complicated that I had a little bit of difficulty understanding the story (I had to rely on my memory on what I remember about Rama Sita). And the english translation was a bit funny as some of it conveys a different meaning.

Act two was much more interesting. There were jazzy parts where the two black figures did great dancing. The black girl had a really expressive face. And her character made me think of a court jester. The funny monkeys were also in this act. The singers did an amazing job doing the monkey sounds. I can't help but smile as I watched them.

The stage was very simple. They just conveyed the change of scene with the use of sheets of cloth and handheld props. It reminded me very much of a scene from the movie 'The King and I'. And of course, there was the shadow dance. I noticed that it was always present in Rama Sita plays and movies. Is it really a part of the story?

And yes, about Rama and Sita: the dancers first. The dancers were good. Sita's facial expressions showed her beauty beyond the initial impression. As for the singers, they were actually pretty good. It's just a pity that Karylle and Christian were not there but they were good alternates. And for the other singers, the one singing as the mother of Bharata was awesome. She may have looked a little bit on the heavy side but it looked like it was just the clothing. And her voice was just amazing.

By the end of the show, most of the audience gave them a standing ovation.  I guess they did a good job. Dancing for hours is a feat and their steps, if that's what you call them, are not all that easy. But it just didn't give me that "wow, they're extremely good" feel that I would want to tell all my friends that they HAVE TO watch the show. And it was not something that left me with a "hangover".

Since Rama Hari is already over, the next time I watch a ballet show of Ballet Philippines, I'll just probably get a Balcony ticket. After all, CCP is not as big as I remembered it. 

Note: That's just my experience. I'm no art and dance critique. :)

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