Christian Bautista, Karylle headline Ballet Philippines’ “Rama Hari”
MANILA, Philippines—Christian Bautista and Karylle will sing the lead roles in the re-staging of Ballet Philippines’ hit pop ballet musical “Rama Hari” in November 2012.
Bautista and Karylle were chosen by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Rama Hari’s composer and musical director, to essay the role of Rama and Sita.
Bautista and Karylle are enjoying a wave of success after appearing on the Asian TV series, “The Kitchen Musical.” For her work in the series, Karylle was nominated Best Actress-Drama at the Monte Carlo TV Festival, where she was nominated alongside Hollywood stars Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Gretchen Mol and Kelly MacDonald (“Boardwalk Empire”), and Emilia Clarke and Lena Heady (“Game of Thrones”).
Bautista has just celebrated his 10th anniversary in showbiz with “The Way You Look At Me: 10th Anniversary Special.”
They will be joined in by a powerhouse cast that includes Robert Seña as the demon Ravana, OJ Mariano (alternating as Rama), Kalila Aguilos (alternating as Sita), Christian Rey Marbella, Noel Rayos, Lani Ligot, Amparo Sietereales and Brezhnev Larlar.
The ballet musical will also feature the stars of Ballet Philippines, lead by principal dancers Carissa Adea, Katherine Trofeo, Jean Marc Cordero and newly appointed principal dancer Richardson Yadao.
Like Christian and Karylle, BP’s dancers will essay the roles originally performed by this country’s legendary dance greats, including Nonoy Froilan, Effie Nañas, Ester Rimpos, Robert Medina, and Edna Vida-Froilan.
“This was a famous production that premiered in the ’80s at the CCP that is a collaboration by this country’s leading artists: choreography by Ballet Philippines’ founder Alice Reyes, music by Ryan Cayabyab, libretto by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, set design and costume by (National Artist for Theater Design) Salvador Bernal,” said Paul Alexander Morales.
“Rama Hari” premiered with Basil Valdez and Kuh Ledesma in the roles of Rama and Sita.
Many of the songs in the original “Rama Hari” became popular in the ’80s, including “Magbalik ka na Mahal”, “Luwalhati sa Kagubatan” and “Kung Ako May Lalayo” and “Tagistis ng Ulan” sung by Kuh and Basil; and “Awit ng Pagsinta” by Leo Valdez and the UP Concert Chorus.
The lyrics of “Rama Hari” are in Filipino, but there will be English subtitles during the performance, translated by National Artist Rolando Tinio.
“Rama Hari” is Ballet Philippines’ third offering for its 43rd season, which is a very significant year for the dance company, being a dragon year. The season’s theme itself is “Dragon Song,” which represents a new cycle and great endeavors.
“The sub-themes for this year are magic, power, resilience, and service, which were the same values that we aspire to achieve as a dance company,” Morales said.
The Indian epic Ramayana, where the story of “Rama Hari” was based, is itself an epic poem of magic, courage and resilience. The classic epic, viewed through the prism of Filipino culture, brings to the modern Filipino audience the same universal themes of human love, compassion, triumph and defeat, birth and rebirth.
Other singers who have performed in Rama Hari restagings are Jacqui Magno, Ric Segretto, Eugene Villaluz, Ayen Munji and Bimbo Cerrudo.
Thirty-two years after the first production, the baton has been passed. The new voices behind Rama and Sita are certainly something to watch out for.
“Rama Hari” has 10 performances from November 30 to December 9, 2012 at the CCP Main Theater with the Manila Symphony Orchestra performing live. For tickets and inquiries, call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003; 551-0221 or Ticketworld at 891-9999. Visit www.ballet.ph or www.facebook.com/balletphilippines.
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