TFM Review: Dancing in One Voice by Pia de Ungria
It was complete. Whole. And just like the number, you can’t help but place it at the top.
Dancing in One Voice marks a first for Philippine Ballet Theater – a first time to collaborate on a concert-style production; and watching their technical rehearsal was an experience to be treasured. To say that it was moving would be an understatement. It was a series of songs, flawless choreography and execution similar to reading a well-written and timeless poetry. And they were just that. Poetry in motion.
The show started with the featured artists from The Voice Philippines (Rachelle Gerodias, Byeong-In Park, Leah Patricio, Tanya Diaz and Timmy Pavino) singing the classic “Let it be.” The stage was almost bare save for the moving piece of stairs that served as the platform for the singers. The singers were talented in themselves, but they have taken the backseat in favor of the brilliant performance of the Philippine Ballet Theater.
Among the notable performances were The Prayer, Summertime, You’re Still You, How do you Keep the Music Playing and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Each piece featured spectacular choreography that was expertly executed by the company.
Joni Galeste was a dream in both “The Prayer,” and “You’re Still You.” In themselves, the songs bring out the goosebumps – coupled with ballet, they become a different entity together. Galeste moved like silk drapes blowing against the staunch prayers of devotees. She was light, she was airy, and she flitted like a graceful butterfly against the notes of the music.
Lobreza Pimentel was a playful coquette in “Summertime.” She flirted against the tempo of the music, and with her partner, Matthew Davo. Her movements give off a cabaret dancer with an attitude vibe that she slips into the role easily while highlighting her ballet background.
Kim Abrogena and Kaiser were perfect lovers at the brink of loss in “How do you Keep the Music Playing.” They were heartbreaking to watch, and moved with the elegance of two separate pieces of leaves flowing in and out of each other against swirling wind – they were fluidly passionate and heartbreakingly conflicted in the love they represented in the dance.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” was a perfect ensemble piece that brought a fun, whimsical air amidst the seriousness that people generally associate with ballet. It was a celebratory piece where the movements were springy, like graceful grasshoppers with their legs barely grazing the tips of the blades of grass they dance on.
Dancing in One Voice is surely something one shouldn’t miss. It won’t fail Ballet Enthusiasts as the choreography and execution were flawless as ever. Ballet Neophytes will definitely find its combination with familiar songs relatable. Each movement, each extension, flexion, jump and spin were the perfect series of embodiment of music and emotions.
Were you able to catch this production? What did you think?