National Artist Reyes ‘tweaks’ Cinderella for BP’s 50th season

By Ibarra C. Mateo

          Ballet Philippines, under the guidance of its current artistic director and choreographer, National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, brings back Cinderella for its 3rd production celebrating its 50th season.

Reyes first choreographed and directed Cinderella for BP in 1981, featuring lead dancers Maricar Drilon, Gina Mariano, Cecile Sicangco, Nonoy Froilan, Robert Medina, and Brando Miranda.

In the 1981 version, Reyes simply wanted “to mount the most enchanting show for her very own children and ballet audience.”

For its 2019 reincarnation which runs Dec. 6-15, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater, Reyes taps the deep bench of BP talents and has called on other Filipino artists, too, for added glamor.

For example, BP’s Victor Maguad and Eugene Obille, who both had just played Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake last August, now essay the roles of Griselda and Prunella, respectively.

Former BP stalwart but now Australia-based Novy Bereber plays the Widow Brunhilda.

“Originally, I stayed away from casting male dancers in these roles as that was done so successfully by Frederick Ashton for the Sadler Wells Ballet — and I wanted to feature the comedic talents of our company members then — Edna Vida, Malu Rivera, and Hazel Sabas,” Reyes said.

“Today, we have such a strong array of male and female dancers with incredible talent and tremendous technical skills,” Reyes said.

“Why not take this opportunity to challenge the dancers, both female and male, to take on roles that demand so much more than the usual roles they have already done, with a completely different set of acting skills that can only deepen their own artistry,” Reyes said.

BP’s Cinderella has three national artists “collaborating.” Choreography and direction by National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, musical score of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky specially arranged by National Artist for Music Francisco Feliciano, with set and costume design by National Artist Salvador Bernal.

The rags-to-riches narrative of Cinderella will enthrall the audience as pumpkins turn into an exquisite carriage and glass slippers find their way back to the rightful princess.

The December production will be mounted by Nonoy Froilan, BP’s premier danseur for three decades. Froilan had essayed leading roles in classical and contemporary ballet. He had partnered with world-renowned prima ballerinas such as Margot Fonteyn and Yoko Morishita.

Written in 1812 by the German Grimm brothers Jacob and Wilhel, Reyes tweaks the fairy tale and recreates it, while remaining true to the story’s essence: “that there is might and strength in kindness, great power in forgiveness, and that one must never give up on their dreams.”

Guest artists Liza de la Fuente, a trailblazer in dance for the last 25 years and founding member of the Association of Ballet Academies, Philippines and Bereber will both be playing the Widow Brunhilda role.

Another guest artist, Mario Esperanza, takes on the role of Prime Minister.

Bereber and Esperanza have graced the CCP Main Theater stage as former BP company members.

Two matinee shows will be narrated by Liliane “Tats” Rejante Manahan, a surface decorator-restorer for wall paintings involved in advocacy work for built heritage preservation.

Lead dancers Denise Parungao and Jemima Reyes who danced Odile-Odette in BPs’ 50th season opening production Swan Lake are showcased as the Ugly Stepsisters, roles which demand highly awkward dancing and comedic interpretations.

BP’s Cinderella runs Dec. 6 – 15, 2019 at the CCP Main Theater. Show dates and schedules are as follows:

Dec. 6, 2019 | 8 PM

Dec. 7, 2019 | 2 PM and 6 PM

Dec. 8, 2019 | 2 PM

Dec. 14, 2019 | 2 PM and 6 PM

Dec. 15, 2019 | 2 PM

          For inquiries, please call TicketWorld (891-9999), CCP Box Office (832-3704), or Ballet Philippines Box Office (551-1003). You may reserve online at as well as in all Ticketworld outlets.

For more information, connect to Ballet Philippines online:


Instagram: @balletphilippines

YouTube: balletph









Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s