A breath of refreshing and inspiring air

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By Fe San Juan Hidalgo

Citizen Fe

Monday, March 30, 2015


AFTER the harrowing events of the political turmoils and the Fallen44, we needed a respite from the bickerings, yes endless quarrels and wrangles from the politicians, the citizens, and netizens. The welcome relief happened when I was invited by my family to watch the Summer Culminating Ballet Recital of the students of my daughter-in-law, Cecile Dioquino Hidalgo in her Isayaw Dance Center located at McPod Bldg. in Matina near the Ateneo Grade School. The recital was held at the Activity Center of NCCC Mall on March 30, starting at 5 p.m.

The program was a one-of-its-kind presentation of two parts. It started with a solemn ballet dance, Ave Maria by Caccini. As "appetizer," teacher Cecile proudly presented her participant in the First CCP Ballet Competition in Manila. She danced the modern contemporary dance, "Tangay." The first part of the main program was a series of Tagalog Klasiks and the second part was the authentic world reknown Ballet Classics. I got so curious of the first part, Tagalog Klasiks. What is this? What a revelation!

The spectators had an inspiring, nostalgic show of Filipino folkloric songs set to ballet dance movements. No Filipino will not sway, clap and bodily be one with these songs. Parents, as well as their kids, will surely appreciate these numbers. Paro-parung Bukid had nice young dancers prancing around with wing-like attires swaying their hips and everyone is carried away with the mood. Leron-Leron Sinta is a folk song of a man named Leron. He sings this while working in the fields. If you do not know this catchy humorous song, you are not a Filipino. Sampaguita was next with an inspiring interpretation of beautiful young dancers personifying the fragrant white flowers set up as strings in leis. May is harvest time for sampaguita blooms. They are made as strings of the tiny white fragrant sampaguitas with a bunch balled as a locket. All churchyards have vendors selling these. Images inside the church are decorated by these as well as the altars in homes. Sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines.

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The last part of the Klassics is the very romantic popular Ilokano song, Pamulinawen. It is a courtship song. Pamulinawen is the name of a lady being courted by a swain "harana style." The man strumming his guitar and singing this song to his loved one is very romantic. This is a unique Filipino tradition. The ballet interpretation was perfomed by a pretty young lady and his handsome admirer.

The second part of the program was the presentation of world famous Classic Ballet renditions by advanced students. Anyone who is a verified ballet enthusiast will understand the nuances of ballet classical movements. They will enjoy fully this part. For us who do not belong to this group, reading the synopsis of each number will help us understand each number. The first was on enchainment presenting Adagio, Petit Allegro, and Allegro used for honing the advanced students on the beauty, grace, and techniques of ballet dance routines. The next was the Champagne Polka by Strauss II.

This is a round dance of Bohemian origin, very lively and rhythmic performed by the intermediate students. The next number was Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms presented by two gentlemen. This has been one of the prime favorites among the spectators with its passionate changes of tempo and its swirling melodies. More of these exciting numbers glued us to our seats. Air on the G String by Bach was about famous concertos and orchestra suites with ballet dance interpretations by intermediate students.

These next numbers would carry us to dreamland with fantastic stories told and retold on every ballet dance stage presentations. One is the Coppelia Spanish Dance by Delibes. It is a comic ballet that concerns Dr. Coppelius who makes life-size dancing dolls. One of these dancing dolls betrayed Dr. Coppelius by being wound up by his enemies who wanted to escape from the doctor. Dancing the role of the doll is my beloved grandaughter Noelle Dominique Dioquino Hidalgo.

The next number was the Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Marius Petipa with music byTchaikovsky. It revolves around Princess Aurora. There are three scenes here presented by a dance of the male blue bird with jumping steps; the female blue bird scene is presented by Princess Florine, one of the wedding guests. The final scene is Princess Aurora's wedding. The dance steps demands a balancing act between strength and delicacy, speed and control.

Paquita is choreographed by Petipa with music by Ludwig. She is a gypsy girl who saves the life of an officer, Lucian. He falls in love with Paquita but there are so many obstacles because he is a noble man while Paquita is a commoner. The problem is solved because it is discovered that Paquita is really of noble birth. They were married and live happily ever after. The classical ballet presentation ends with the fairy tale story of "Har lequinade." The ballet shows how the Good Fairy provides Harlequin with enough gold to impress the rich merchant, Pantaleon. This merchant has his beloved daughter, Columbine. Harlequin is in love with Columbine. In the end true, love triumphs.

The Finale presentation was a ballet number with the student body from the beginner, intermediate, advanced ballet classes. As I said, this was a refreshing and inspiring experience for me. Such activities will keep us relaxed and sane. Davao has enough offerings of events with this purpose. Just read your newspapers to know about them. For more information, regarding I-sayaw and its summer program, please contact teacher Cecile Hidalgo at 09228493966 or go to I-sayaw at the 2nd floor Mcpod bldg. Matina, Davao City.

For comments, text cellphone number 09202112534.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 31, 2015.

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