All-Original Filipino Christmas Ballet, PUSO NG PASKO Premieres This Christmas Season

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All-Original Filipino Christmas Ballet, PUSO NG PASKO Premieres This Christmas Season

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Celebrating its World Premiere this Christmas season, the first full-length, all-Filipino Christmas ballet, PUSO NG PASKO lights up the CCP Main Theater Stage. A ground-breaking work, PUSO NG PASKO is an expansion of 2020’s warmly received dance film production, TULOY ANG PASKO, which regaled us with the reminiscences of Lolo Val, who now lives in California. His memories, dating back to the ’70s, show how he and his barkada would celebrate Christmas in the most Filipino way. All these memories told in song and dance, are passed on by Lolo Val to his granddaughter, Angelita.

This production, conceptualized by Ronelson Yadao with musical arrangements by National Artist for Music, Ryan Cayabyab, still features beloved scenes of the Simbang Gabi, eating Bibingka and Puto Bumbong, plazas decorated with big parols, and beautiful Christmas decorations, but also develops the story as it brings us to different fiestas across the Philippine islands in celebration of Filipino regional festivities.

An All-Filipino Creative Team

Alice Reyes Dance Philippines’ Artistic Director, Ronelson Yadao, works with an amazingly talented array of collaborators to bring this Flipino Christmas story to life.

Joining Ronelson Yadao with the feat of choreographing this full-length Christmas dance celebration are Erl Sorilla, John Ababon, AL Abraham, Dan Dayo, Bonnie Guerrero, and Lester Reguindin.These creative staples in the company’s roster of young and acclaimed choreographers each have a beautifully distinct style of movement that somehow wonderfully compliments each moment in the story.

Erl is an accomplished dancer with the CCP’s resident dance company and has choreographed notable pieces including Langit Lupa and The Weight on Our Toes. His works have received recognition including the Trudl Dubsky Award in the first CCP Ballet Competition in 2014. In 2020, he danced and choreographed with the faculty of the CCP Dance Workshop, creating two pieces in the Christmas offering Tuloy Ang Pasko!

He became a grantee of the CCP’s 2021 Professional Dance Support Program where he choreographed Musa for its Culminating Program. Erl currently dances, teaches, and choreographs with Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. His recent works in the Visayan Suite of Dances were part of the company’s launch in Dapitan City last July 2022 and in the highly acclaimed Filipino-French dance concert Premieres and Encores.

John has been dancing with CCP companies since 2012 and has ventured into choreography. Among his works are Happy Thoughts, which won the Trudl Dubsky Zipper Award for outstanding choreography in the 2018 CCP Ballet Competition Junior Category. In 2020, John was part of the faculty of the CCP Dance Workshop and in 2021, he became a grantee of the CCP Professional Dance Support Program. He performed in several pieces of its culminating showcase, the Dance On! Online dance series, and choreographed a solo, Inlababo, and a pas de deux, In the Midst of Overcoming. Today, John focuses on choreographing. His Pasayawa Ko ‘Day is part of the Visayan Suite of Dances, which is in the repertoire of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines and was recently presented in the Premieres and Encores.

AL, after graduating with a Diploma in creative Performing Arts from UP, pursued his professional dance career at the CCP. AL has created many pieces like Kada Paningkamot, a solo choreographed for the Young Choreographer Showcase. In 2020, he was one of the dancers and choreographers for the CCP Christmas offering Tuloy Ang Pasko! which was featured in the 2021 live Christmas show, A Christmas Celebration. With Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, AL continues to dance and choreograph. His Kada Paningkamot was restaged and included in the Visayan Suite of Dances.

Danilo holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree with a major in Dance from the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. As a company member of CCP’s Resident Dance Company, he has been featured in many of its productions. A budding choreographer, he has created pieces for the junior company among his works are Torpe, Belle Donne and Malamanyika, and Danse Macabre. A member of the faculty of CCP Dance Workshop, he performed and created the dance piece Kumukutikutitap in CCP’s 2020 Christmas offering Tuloy ang Pasko. He is currently a grantee in the 2022 Professional Artist Support Program.

Bonnie Guerrero is a professional dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, and Pilates instructor. A former company member of CCP’s Resident Dance Company, Bonnie has choreographed many pieces his choreographies have been featured in the CCP Resident Dance Company shows such as Hugot sa Rosas and Bagong Sayaw. With Alice Reyes, National Artists for Dance, as his mentor for choreography, he created works such as his Magdalena presented in the 2018 Young Choreographers Showcase. His latest choreographic work was to the music arranged by Ryan Cayabyab, Anong Gagawin Mo Ngayon Pasko, for Tuloy Ang Pasko!, a 2020 Christmas dance film production of the Artists of the CCP Dance Workshop.

Lester participated in the CCP Resident Dance Company’s Young Choreographer’s Showcase in 2019 where he choreographed We Men, which was later performed in the production of Alice & Friends and more recently in the CCP Dance Series’ Pulso Pilipinas I. In 2020, Lester choreographed and danced for CCP’s online Christmas Offering, The Nutcracker and Tuloy Ang Pasko. As a creative grantee of the CCP’s 2021 Professional Artist Support Program, his piece NOW was featured in the CCP’s online dance series, Dance On!. With Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, Lester continues to choreograph, one of his recent works, GomBurZa, was a culminating choreographic study for the PASP in 2022. It was later commissioned by UP Arts and Culture Festival under the direction of Josefina Estrella.

Ronelson is a dance artist with 16 years of professional experience in dance theaters in Asia, the US, Canada, and Europe. Among his works as a choreographer are Sama-Sama, with the music of National Artist Ryan Cayabyab, as well as Ang Kabaligtaran ng Gunaw, a dance film produced by the CCP with music and film direction by Jerold Tarrog. In 2020, he became a grantee, choreographer, and Modern Dance ballet master of the CCP Professional Dance Support Program. Ronelson is currently the artistic director of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. His 2019 piece, Maupay is the latest addition to the collection of dances in Visayan Suite of Dances.

Behind this talented array of choreographers are collaborators whose significant contributions give life to the story and choreography. These include National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, as Mentor and Artistic Consultant and National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, for his musical arrangements of timeless Filipino Christmas Songs performed and recorded by the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Miguel Master Chorale.

Reyes’ extensive body of choreographic works is a powerful expression of the Philippines’ unique history, art, and heritage. Her classic works include Amada, Itim Asu, Tales of the Manuvu, Rama, Hari, and Bungkos Suite among many others.

Alice Reyes was declared a National Artist for Dance by President Benigno S. Aquino III through Proclamation No. 807 and was conferred at the Malacanang Palace on April 14, 2016.

Currently, Alice Reyes is the artistic consultant for the Professional Artist Support Program and the chairman emeritus of Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. She has collaborated with the CCP and its Arts Education Department in its educational thrusts, audience development, and regional outreach, as part of their Professional Artist Support Program. She actively works for continued support for new works by this generation of Filipino choreographers.

Ryan Cayabyab, a.k.a, Mr. C is the most accomplished composer, arranger, and musical director in the Philippine music industry since this bloomed beginning 1970s. His learned, skillful, and versatile musical style spans a wide range of genres: from conservatory or art compositions such as concert religious music, symphonic work, art song, opera, and concerto to mainstream popular idioms in the music industry and in live contemporary multimedia shows (musical theater, dance, and film). Being very visible in the national media (once a TV host of a long-running arts and culture series and recently a judge in reality TV singing competitions), Cayabyab is a household name. His compositions reflect a perspective of music that extols the exuberance of life and human happiness, thus capturing the very essence of our Filipino soul.

Also on the list of brilliant collaborators are Eric Cruz, for production designs, and Barbara Tan-Tiongco, for lighting design, both of which transport us across space and time; Eljay Castro Deldoc, who worked with Yadao on the script and story as co-librettist with inputs from Film Director Carlos Siguion-Reyna to match his masterful cinematography for the filmed scenes.

Opportunities for Multiple Generations of Dance Artists

Along with professional artists of PASP and ARDP, the PUSO NG PASKO also feature dancers and students across multiple generations, giving them the unique opportunity to experience work in a professional environment and to perform on the CCP Main Theater Stage. This includes students from the school of ARDP and Philippine High School for the Arts, artists from the CCP PASP’s Regional Dance Training Program, as well as former veteran dance artists.

To meet the challenges of the pandemic, ARDP’s School, with its masterful faculty of dance professionals and teachers, crafted dance classes specifically for stay-at-home learning bringing a creative, interactive, and fun dance experience online.

Dance classes ranging from classical ballet to modern and contemporary dance, are being made accessible to students from all over the country and beyond with The School of Alice Reyes Dance Philippines.

They have successfully and safely integrated students’ performances online with bi-annual student showcases that began in December 2020.

Through the CCP Arts Education Department, Regional Participants were given the opportunity to train online as well under the PASP and ARDPs roster of professional dance artists under the PASP Regional Dance Training Program. The chosen Regional Participants had access to classes in Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary Dance taught by the country’s best dance professionals culminating in an online performance of a piece created and conceptualized by professional choreographers.

The Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) is a public, secular, and non-profit institution established to provide and implement a general secondary-level program, combined with a special curriculum oriented to the arts and geared to the early recognition and development of highly talented children exceptionally gifted in the arts, thus providing a continuing source of artists of excellence and leaders in the preservation and promotion of the Filipino artistic and cultural heritage.

A Joyous Final Curtain Call

As the Cultural Center of the Philippines prepares to shut its doors for renovation, these performances will be one of the last to be staged in the CCP Main Theater. Amidst the looming closure of the Theater, we celebrate home, love, and family. We close a chapter and look forward to the beginning of a new one.

PUSO NG PASKO featuring artists of CCP’s Professional Artist Support Program and Alice Reyes Dance Philippines runs from December 2 to 4 at the CCP Main Theater. Tickets are available through the contacts below.

Experience the CCP Dance Series (Live!)

PUSO NG PASKO
DECEMBER 2 | 8:00 PM
DECEMBER 3 | 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM*
DECEMBER 4 | 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM

*Sponsored by Rotary Club and UP Delta Lambda Sigma

Reserve your Seats Now!

Bonnie Guerrero
ARDP Ticketing Officer
Viber: 09154122152

TicketWorld
https://premier.ticketworld.com.ph/shows/Show.aspx?sh=PUSOPAS22
+63.917.550.6997
+63.999.954.5922

CCP Box Office
8832-3704

PUSO NG PASKO

Choreographers

Ronelson Yadao

Ronelson is a dance artist with 16 years of professional experience in dance theaters in Asia, the US, Canada, and Europe. Among his works as a choreographer are Sama-Sama, with the music of National Artist Ryan Cayabyab, as well as Ang Kabaligtaran ng Gunaw, a dance film produced by the CCP with music and film direction by Jerold Tarrog. In 2020, he became a grantee, choreographer, and Modern Dance ballet master of the CCP Professional Dance Support Program. Ronelson is currently the artistic director of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. His 2019 piece, Maupay is the latest addition to the collection of dances in Visayan Suite of Dances.

Erl Sorilla

Erl is an accomplished dancer with the CCP’s resident dance company and has choreographed notable pieces including Langit Lupa and The Weight on Our Toes. His works have received recognition including the Trudl Dubsky Award in the first CCP Ballet Competition in 2014. In 2020, he danced and choreographed with the faculty of the CCP Dance Workshop, creating two pieces in the Christmas offering Tuloy Ang Pasko!

He became a grantee of the CCP’s 2021 Professional Dance Support Program where he choreographed Musa for its Culminating Program. Erl currently dances, teaches, and choreographs with Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. His recent works in the Visayan Suite of Dances were part of the company’s launch in Dapitan City last July 2022 and in the highly acclaimed Filipino-French dance concert Premieres and Encores.

John Ababon

John has been dancing with CCP companies since 2012 and has ventured into choreography. Among his works are Happy Thoughts, which won the Trudl Dubsky Zipper Award for outstanding choreography in the 2018 CCP Ballet Competition Junior Category. In 2020, John was part of the faculty of the CCP Dance Workshop and in 2021, he became a grantee of the CCP Professional Dance Support Program. He performed in several pieces of its culminating showcase, the Dance On! Online dance series, and choreographed a solo, Inlababo, and a pas de deux, In the Midst of Overcoming. Today, John focuses on choreographing. His Pasayawa Ko ‘Day is part of the Visayan Suite of Dances, which is in the repertoire of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines and was recently presented in the Premieres and Encores.

Al Abraham

AL, after graduating with a Diploma in creative Performing Arts from UP, pursued his professional dance career at the CCP. AL has created many pieces like Kada Paningkamot, a solo choreographed for the Young Choreographer Showcase. In 2020, he was one of the dancers and choreographers for the CCP Christmas offering Tuloy Ang Pasko! which was featured in the 2021 live Christmas show, A Christmas Celebration. With Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, AL continues to dance and choreograph. His Kada Paningkamot was restaged and included in the Visayan Suite of Dances.

Dan Dayo

Danilo holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree with a major in Dance from the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. As a company member of CCP’s Resident Dance Company, he has been featured in many of its productions. A budding choreographer, he has created pieces for the junior company among his works are Torpe, Belle Donne and Malamanyika, and Danse Macabre. A member of the faculty of CCP Dance Workshop, he performed and created the dance piece Kumukutikutitap in CCP’s 2020 Christmas offering Tuloy ang Pasko. He is currently a grantee in the 2022 Professional Artist Support Program.

Bonnie Guerrero

Bonnie Guerrero is a professional dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, and Pilates instructor. A former company member of CCP’s Resident Dance Company, Bonnie has choreographed many pieces his choreographies have been featured in the CCP Resident Dance Company shows such as Hugot sa Rosas and Bagong Sayaw. With Alice Reyes, National Artists for Dance, as his mentor for choreography, he created works such as his Magdalena presented in the 2018 Young Choreographers Showcase. His latest choreographic work was to the music arranged by Ryan Cayabyab, Anong Gagawin Mo Ngayon Pasko, for Tuloy Ang Pasko!, a 2020 Christmas dance film production of the Artists of the CCP Dance Workshop. 

Lester Reguindin

Lester participated in the CCP Resident Dance Company’s Young Choreographer’s Showcase in 2019 where he choreographed We Men, which was later performed in the production of Alice & Friends and more recently in the CCP Dance Series’ Pulso Pilipinas I. In 2020, Lester choreographed and danced for CCP’s online Christmas Offering, The Nutcracker and Tuloy Ang Pasko. As a creative grantee of the CCP’s 2021 Professional Artist Support Program, his piece NOW was featured in the CCP’s online dance series, Dance On!. With Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, Lester continues to choreograph, one of his recent works, GomBurZa, was a culminating choreographic study for the PASP in 2022. It was later commissioned by UP Arts and Culture Festival under the direction of Josefina Estrella.

Collaborators

Alice Reyes

National Artist for Dance

Artistic Consultant/Mentor

A beautiful dancer, an innovative choreographer, a nurturing teacher, and a director, Alice Reyes is a name that is revered in the Philippine dance scene.

Having a background in classical ballet and Philippine folk dance, she was one of the youngest members of the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company. She continued her dance training in the US, earning an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

Reyes introduced Modern Dance in the country and professionalized dance as a career. Returning to the Philippines after studies in the US, Reyes started workshops and dance recitals at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, forming the CCP Dance Workshop together with Eddie Elejar. The group became the CCP’s first resident company, known as the CCP Dance Company, producing dancers, teachers, and choreographers who would be at the forefront of the development of dance in the country.

Reyes’ extensive body of choreographic works is a powerful expression of the Philippines’ unique history, art, and heritage. Her classic works include “Amada,” “Itim Asu,” “Tales of the Manuvu,” “Rama Hari,” and “Bungkos Suite” among many others.

Alice Reyes was declared a National Artist for Dance by President Benigno S. Aquino III through Proclamation No. 807 and was conferred at the Malacanang Palace on April 14, 2016.

Currently, Alice Reyes is the artistic consultant for the Professional Artist Support Program and the chairman emeritus of Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. She has collaborated with the CCP and its Arts Education Department in its educational thrusts, audience development, and regional outreach, as part of their Professional Artist Support Program. She actively works for continued support for new works by this generation of Filipino choreographers.

Ryan Cayabyab 

National Artist for Music

Musical Arrangements

Ryan Cayabyab, a.k.a, Mr. C is the most accomplished composer, arranger, and musical director in the Philippine music industry since this bloomed beginning 1970s. His learned, skillful, and versatile musical style spans a wide range of genres: from conservatory or art compositions such as concert religious music, symphonic work, art song, opera, and concerto to mainstream popular idioms in the music industry and in live contemporary multimedia shows (musical theater, dance, and film). Being very visible in the national media (once a TV host of a long-running arts and culture series and recently a judge in reality TV singing competitions), Cayabyab is a household name. His compositions reflect a perspective of music that extols the exuberance of life and human happiness, thus capturing the very essence of our Filipino soul.

Eric Cruz

Production Design

A communication Arts graduate, Eric was a production design student and apprentice of the late Salvador Bernal, National Artist for Theater Design. When Bernal headed the Production Design Center of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 1987, he asked Eric to be part of his team. It was also Bernal who encouraged Eric to pursue a career in design. In 1994 when Bernal left the CCP to  focus ib the Academe, Eric took over the remind in managing the design unit along with the task of designing various productions in theater at the CCP. Since then, Eric has been designing various productions in theater, music, dance, and events, including the 2020 production of Tuloy Ang Pasko that was created, performed, shot and streamed online amidst a global pandemic.

Eric has had the opportunity to work with the country’s finest directors in numerous events and dinner presentations during the various activities and ministerial meetings of the 2014-2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation held in the country. At the recently concluded 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila, he designed the Welcome Dinner at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza for the Heads of State in April, the stage for the 50th Anniversary ASEAN Finance Ministers and Founding Anniversary in August at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the site enhancement for the 31st  ASEAN Summit Welcome Fanfare at the Clark International Airport,  the CCP Lobby Styling for the Opening Ceremonies and the stage for the 31st ASEAN Summit Closing and Handover Ceremonies at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Barbara Tan-Tiongco 

Lighting Designer and Technical Director

Tan-Tiongco is an acclaimed technical and lighting director. Some of her exceptional lighting works include “Himala: Isang Musikal,” “The Dresser,” “Swan Lake,” and “Hari Ng Wala!”. A graduate of B.A. in Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Barbara received her MFA in Technical Design and Production at Yale University School of Drama with support from the André Pierre Salim Fellowship in 2013.

Tan-Tiongco was a recipient of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Grants for the ACC New York Fellowship in 2002. In 2008, she received the Fukuoka International Exchange Grant for Stage Designers and Technicians in Fukuoka, Japan. In 2009, she was a recipient of ACC Philippines’ Fellowship Grant for a five-month apprenticeship with Yale School of Drama Adjunct Professor and renowned lighting designer Jennifer Tipton.

She has worked as a production, stage manager, technical director, and lighting designer for various arts programs of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. She has also created and designed technical theater syllabi for the Cultural Center of the Philippines Arts Education Programmes and in private and public institutions in Manila and the regions. She is currently the

University Extension Specialist for the University of the Philippines-Diliman Theater Complex.

In 2022, she received “The University of the Philippines Gawad Tsanselor” (Chancellor’s Award) for her outstanding contributions to the Research, Extensions, and Professional Staff (REPS), specifically the Extensions Division.

Carlos Siguion-Reyna

Director for Film

Carlos Siguion-Reyna is a well-known and multi-awarded film director.  After graduating from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, he took his masters in Film Production in New York University where his thesis film, entitled “Patas Lang”, was awarded in the narrative category of the 1989 Nissan FOCUS (Student Film) Awards.  He has received many awards in international festivals including the Singapore International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Newport Beach International Film Festival and the San Diego Asian Film Festival.  

Siguion-Reyna has been the director for many TV shows and films including “Aawitan Kita”, “Hari ng Tondo” and the 2012 revival of “Walang Sugat”.  He has also been part of the jury of many film festivals such as CINEMALAYA.  A recognized and established film director, he has been part of many organizations such as the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines and the Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Pelikulang Pilipino.  He also played a major role in writing the law creating the Film Development Council of the Philippines. Siguion-Reyna teaches film in universities such as the University of the Philippines Film Institute, the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the Mowelfund Film Institute.  He is the assistant arts professor in the New York University Tisch School of Arts Asia in Singapore.  He is also the president and director of Reynafilms Inc. which has directed 13 feature films and one movie for television.  Several have been screened and awarded in major international film festivals in countries such as Berlin, Toronto, Chicago, Tokyo, Singapore.  These films have also been sold in Asia, North and South America, and the Middle East.     

Eljay Castro Deldoc

Co-librettist

A native of Hagonoy, Bulacan, Eljay Castro Deldoc is a writer, translator, actor, director, and educator. He earned his degree in Communication Arts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He has been a fellow of the Cordillera Creative Writing Workshop, the 14th Iyas National Writers Workshop, the 1st PUP Multi-Genre National Writers Workshop, the 15th Ricky Lee Scriptwriting Workshop, and the 57th UP National Writers Workshop.

He started writing plays in UPLB back in 2009. He wrote a translation of Jose Rizal’s “Junto al Pasig”, a stage adaptation of Ricky Lee’s “Para Kay B”, and an original play entitled “Articulo Mortis”.

Eljay is one of the founders and the present Artistic Director of Tabsing Kolektib , a Manila- and UPLB-based theater company that was established in 2012. For the past six years, he has written four plays for the company: “Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me The Musical”, “Ang Favorite Book ni Jude”, “Ramon Bautistar and His Tales From D Frienzone”, and “Kasaray Duma: Mga Supling ng Sigwa”.

For six consecutive years since 2013, Eljay has also been part of The Virgin Labfest. His most notable plays are first staged in this festival: “Owel”,  “Ang Goldfish ni Prof. Dimaandal”, “Si Maria Isabella at ang Guryon ng mga Tala”, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award-winning “Pilipinas Kong Mahal With All the Overcoat”.  In 2016, “Si Maria Isabella…” was mounted by Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco, California.

Eljay also penned Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Lukot-Lukot, Bilog-Bilog”, Dulaang Laboratoryo’s “Sylvia Q.”and “Ang Muling Pamumukadkad ng Vanda sanderiana”, Teatro de Ateneo de Zambangoa’s “Ganito ang Pinangarap Kong Kasal”, UPLB Department of Humanities’ “Alindanaw”, and CopeWithLand’s “Nawa’y Muli Tayong Makauwi”.

Recently, Eljay ventured in producing teleplays as a part-time writer for GMA 7. He’s part of the writing team of “Juan Tamad”, “Naku Boss Ko”, “Conan My Beautician”, and “I Heart Davao”.

#PusongPasko #RonelsonYadao #ChristmasBallet #HappeningPH #TuloyangPasko #CCP

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