art + music by Ica Rivera

Ballet Philippines’ The Nutcracker retells the classic Christmas tale with a Filipino twist

This rendition features Noche Buena and a Japanese star

When The Nutcracker first premiered in 1982, it was a critical flop. But the Christmas story, scored by Tchaikovsky, known for Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, endured through the years. Over a hundred years later, it has become a staple in the repertoires of dance companies all over the world. And of course, the country’s flagship dance company, Ballet Philippines, will not be outdone, as it stages the classic once again.

The Nutcracker follows the journey of Clara. She and her siblings receive enchanted dolls for Christmas—the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Rat King. What they don’t know is that these toys come to life at the stroke of midnight, and Clara soon learns about the Kingdom of Dolls.

The cast will be led by Nobuo Fujino (formerly a Senior Artist at the Australian Ballet and Principal Dancer with Hong Kong Ballet), who plays the Nutcracker Prince. At the same time, Tchaikovsky’s iconic score will be performed by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra on select performances.

What makes Edna Vida and Alice Reyes’ rendition unique is how they Filipinized the story. Set in 1920’s Philippines, the ballet begins in a family Noche Buena. To bring this to life, National Artist Salvador Bernal incorporated Filipino elements, like anahaw leaves and framed capiz shells, into the set design. Through this, BP shows that they can do more than duplicate the classic—they can revive it, and bring it closer to home.

THE NUTCRACKER RUNS FROM DECEMBER 1 THROUGH 10 AT THE CCP MAIN THEATER. FOR TICKETS, CALL BALLET PHILIPPINES AT 55-1003, THE CCP BOX OFFICE AT 832-3704, OR TICKETWORLD AT 891-9999 OR VISIT TICKETWORLD.COM.PH. BALLET PHILIPPINES IS ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, AND YOUTUBE.
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Ica Rivera
Ica thinks acc**nt*ng and f*n*nc* are bad words. She'd rather talk about music, films, or literally anything else.
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