Lessons on love, forgiveness, and the triumph of good over evil once again take center stage as Gerardo Francisco re-stages his award-winning Ibong Adarna on August 19 and 20, 2023 at the Aliw Theater to conclude Ballet Manila’s 25th performance season, “Of Hope and Homecoming”.
“After a three-year hiatus, we’re so excited to let Ibong Adarna take flight once again and show Filipino audiences its captivating beauty as well as bring to fore valuable Filipino traits such as love for family, forgiveness, kindness, and good over evil,” said Lisa Macuja Elizalde, Ballet Manila’s founder, artistic director, and chief executive officer.
A classic 16th-century Filipino epic poem, Ibong Adarna centers around the mythical bird whose magical voice can heal illnesses. Upon hearing of its powers, three princes embark on a perilous journey, where they encounter different challenges to catch the elusive bird that can cure their ailing father. In the end, only the prince with the purest heart can catch the legendary Adarna bird.
Premiered in August 2017, Ballet Manila’s re-telling of this Filipino classic, choreographed by Gerardo Francisco Jr., has already garnered many accolades over the years, including Best Outstanding Production at the 2017 30th Aliw Awards; and at the Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards which honored it with multiple recognitions, including Outstanding Modern Dance Production, Outstanding Choreography for Modern Dance, Outstanding Ensemble for Modern Dance, Outstanding Music Composition, Outstanding Male Lead and Outstanding Female Lead.
With all the awards the show has earned, Francisco is all the more driven to live up to its standards to give audiences the best show. He shared, “The pressure is there. I need to stand by my standards, especially to those who were able to watch the ballet during our world premiere. I need to exceed their expectations.”
The production was all set to go on a national tour in 2020, but the plan was halted due to the pandemic. According to Macuja Elizalde, the Ibong Adarna that will be staged in August will be the touring version where some dancers perform double or triple roles, and the production more streamlined.
Ibong Adarna will be staged at Aliw Theater, Pasay City on August 19 at 8:00 p.m. and August 20 at 5:00 p.m. For tickets, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph or call 8891 9999. To know more about Ballet Manila and its shows, visit www.balletmanila.com.ph.