Monday, April 22, 2024

Be Entranced Once More with ENCANTADA—With Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad!

Be Entranced Once More with ENCANTADA—With Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad!

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March 2023 – To celebrate Earth Month, ENCANTADA goes on stage once again! A collaboration with Joey Ayala for music, Al Santos for the libretto, and National Artist Salvador Bernal for production design, ENCANTADA features the artists of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Professional Artist Support Program and Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP). It is a showcase of Locsin’s Neo-Ethnic Dance Style as she masterfully utilizes it to explore Filipino folklore, history, and culture, while at the same time bringing awareness to the consequences of man’s destruction of nature.

“Agnes Locsin’s ‘ENCANTADA’ is not just dance for the sake of dancing, but in truth it stands on solid research where Philippine history, folk religion, traditions, and practices are painted into the creation of the whole. Adding to that, this showcases the uniqueness of her movements which she herself conceived in creating her own dance genre – the neo-ethnic style. Thematically, she touches on many themes but most especially, the destruction of the environment; an issue that is still relevant to this day, 31 years after she conceived this masterpiece. It’s well worth a re-staging as well as a re-watching. It’s a learning curve for the younger generation”, shares Tats Manahan, President of ARDP.

Recognized as the pioneer of the neo-ethnic style of dance, Agnes Locsin is a brilliant force in the Philippine dance scene which garnered her the title of National Artist for Dance. Together with contemporary Filipino music composer, Joey Ayala, and award-winning playwright, Al Santos, they premiered ENCANTADA in February of 1992.

Agnes explains, “Encantada was the brainchild of Al Santos. Our threesome, Al Santos, Joey Ayala, and myself (Agnes Locsin), was a given prior to the conception of Encantada. We had first collaborated in a rock opera back in 1977 at the Ateneo De Davao. In 1991, we decided to come up with another major project. It was also a given that the new work will tackle environmental issues. Al came up with Encantada. Joey and I agreed and Al, being the writer, started with making the libretto and the lyrics. Thereafter, Joey composed, then I choreographed.” 

Drawing inspira­tion from Philippine tribal dances, practices, beliefs, and stories, Locsin reworked and reinterpreted these into the frame­work of existing classical ballet and modern dance techniques, resulting in a unique dance form suited for the Filipino’s physical frame, temperament, and culture. This Neo-Ethnic dance style coupled with Joey Ayala’s rhythmic contemporary Filipino music, Al Santos’ riveting Libretto, and National Artist Salvador Bernal’s remarkable Production Design, brought the story of ENCANTADA to life.

Presented by the Metropolitan Theater, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and Carmen D. Locsin Foundation, the production was last staged in 2011 to critical acclaim, garnering 10 Gawad Buhay Awards, including Best Modern Dance Production, Best Choreography, Best Musical Composition, Best Production Design, and Best Lighting Design by John Neil Batalla who returns to light the 2023 Production. 

Other citations include Georgette Sanchez-Vargas for Female Lead Performance and Carissa Adea for Female Featured Performance. Both of them will reprise their award-winning roles for the current 2023 production.

Also joining the cast is Kris-Belle Paclibar-Mamangun, a highly acclaimed Filipino Dancer and former member of Cirque du Soleil, who will be alternating the role of Babaylan with Carissa Adea.

ENCANTADA featuring artists of CCP’s Professional Artist Support Program and Alice Reyes Dance Philippines runs from April 14-15, 2023 at the Samsung Theater and April 21-22 at the Metropolitan Theater, with evening shows at 7:30 PM and matinees at 2:00 PM. All evening shows will have live music performed by Joey Ayala and Ang Bagong Lumad with the Philippines’ World Music Siren, Bayang Barrios.

Show Schedule:

April 14, 2023 | Friday | 7:30 PM | Samsung Performing Arts Theater*

April 15, 2023 | Saturday | 2:00 PM | Samsung Performing Arts Theater

April 15, 2023 | Saturday | 7:30 PM | Samsung Performing Arts Theater*

April 21, 2023 | Friday | 7:30 PM | Metropolitan Theater*

April 22, 2023 | Saturday | 2:00 PM | Metropolitan Theater

April 22, 2023 | Saturday | 7:30 PM | Metropolitan Theater*

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

Future Shows: 

  • Alice Reyes’ RAMAHARI
    • Sept. 15-16, 22-23, 2023
  • CARMEN AND OTHER SPIRITS, a mixed bill featuring Alice Reyes’ CARMEN and new works by young Filipino choreographers
    • Oct. 20-21, 27-28, 2023
  • PUSO NG PASKO, the celebration of Paskong Pinoy
    • Dec. 1-2, 22, 2023

Subscribe to ARDP’s 2023 Dance Season and celebrate the best of Filipino artistry and talent! For season subscriptions and ticket reservations, email ardancephilippinesinc@gmail.com. For more information, check @ARDancePh on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

About ARDP

Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP) is the newest and most exciting addition to the Filipino dance scene. Its goal is to inspire and transform lives through dance. Born out of the need to give displaced artists a home during the pandemic. Founded by National Artist for Dance, Alice Reyes, the company features an astounding breadth of Filipino Works by National Artists and the top Filipino choreographers. It showcases the best in Filipino dancers and talents for the local and world stages.

#HappeningPH #ENCANTADA #AliceReyesDancePhilippines #PhilippineDance #Dance #PhilippineTheater #DanceTheater #NationalArtistforDanceAliceReyes #JoeyAyala #BagongLumad

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ENCANTADA SYNOPSIS

OVERTURE

The play begins with the entrance of the sovereign spirit, Encantada, who proceeds to awaken the mountain.

ACT I

Up in the mountain, the Babaylan, who acts as a medium for the Encantada, goes into a trance together with the Kababaihan as they execute a dance of worship.

Down in the lowlands, the Indio rebel, Estranghero, becomes disgusted with the continued oppression of the Taongbayan by the Frailes.

Consequently, he steals the imagen, a Christian icon of the Virgin Mary with its jeweled crown from the cathedral.

Angered by the theft of their precious icon, the Frailes order the Guardias Civil to recover the imagen and capture the rebel thief. They catch up with the Estranghero in the mountain and wound him but before they can capture him, the Encantada and the Kababaihan come to his rescue and send the soldiers scampering off the mountain in fear.

The Babaylan then proceeds to heal the Estranghero’s wound while he sleeps. Upon waking, the Estranghero is initially frightened by these supernatural beings but when he realizes that his wounds have been magically healed, he gratefully offers them the icon. The Encantada strips the icon of its elaborate trapping and recognizes the wooden statue as one of her anitos. Meanwhile, the Estranghero is baptized by the Babaylan and his tormented soul is cleansed. A celebration ensues with the Estranghero joining the Encantada and the Kababaihan in the festivities.

ACT II

In Act lI, the Frailes go on a headhunting orgy, ordering the beheading of suspected rebels and thieves. Finally, the Guardias Civil discover the Estranghero’s sanctuary in the mountains and triumphantly bring his decapitated head back to the Frailes.

The Encantada is heartbroken and pleads for sobriety but the angry Kababaihan gird for war in spite of her entreaties. A violent confrontation takes place between the Kababaihan and the Guardias Civil which ends in the rape of the Kababaihan and Kalikasan or Nature by the Guardias Civil. The Frailes order the burning of forests and the destruction of the pagan altars, after which they reclaim the imagen.

Grief-stricken, the Encantada sheds waves of tears flowing endlessly in devastating torrents. The huge flood cleanses the mountains and engulfs the lowlands, sweeping away the terrified Frailes during the Misa Solemne in the cathedral.

EPILOGUE

As the deluge dies down, the waves deliver the imagen back to the Encantada. In a ritual of prayer and thanksgiving the Encantada appeals to the spirits of nature and life springs forth once more.

***

ENCANTADA: BRINGING ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS TO THE FOREFRONT

Encantada’s theme on environmental protection is both very timely and relevant, especially at this time when our natural environment is under siege from rapid and uncontrolled urban expansion. Our towns and cities are growing too fast and this growth is not being managed well by the government, thus resulting in the increasing encroachment and destruction of ecosystems which human life depends on. Encantada’s message to preserve our natural environment must reach as wide an audience as possible, not only as an artistic expression, but as a reminder of our dependence on nature.

—Nathaniel Von Einsiedel, Consultants for Comprehensive Environmental Planning, Inc.

The message behind Encantada is clearly one that emphasizes the sanctity of our natural resources and the importance of environmental preservation in the Philippines. This advocacy is what we intend to uphold and strengthen in the public’s consciousness, especially through the organizations I am affiliated with: the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines, the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), and the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI). Agnes Locsin’s work truly highlights the devastating losses we would experience if our environment’s conditions continue to degrade and suffer because of external threats, and we see this portrayed in such a visceral way. It is an apt metaphor for what is at stake. Our natural resources serve as an inspiration for numerous cultural phenomena and art forms – this ranges from the visual arts, performance arts, music, architecture, culinary arts, and More.

Our natural and cultural heritage ties closely to these resources we see in our environment, and informs the way we should build and progress around this. It is our organizations’ mission to contribute in various ways to sustainable development goals. This entails the protection of both our built heritage and natural sites. The way we progress in architectural design, construction, urban design, environmental planning, and many other practices we are involved in, must be in service of this initiative. We hope that we could successfully communicate the importance of projects that cater to the sustained improvement of our environmental conditions, and continue to spread this advocacy to more stakeholders in our community. We look forward to seeing this manifest in various platforms, especially through impactful mediums such as this presentation of Encantada, among many others in the future.”

—Gio Abcede, Vice President, Heritage Conservation Society; Member, Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI)

“Agnes Locsin’s Encantada makes our work in environmental advocacy easier using dance as a medium to communicate on a level which can be  appreciated by more people.“

—Chit Juan, Co-founder, Echostore