Arts & Culture (09/28/22)

PICC building, artworks designated Nat’l Treasure

A PANEL of Experts convened by the National Museum of the Philippines has designated the Philippine International Convention Center (designed by National Artist Leandro V. Locsin) and several works of art originally and permanently installed in the building collectively as a National Cultural Treasure. The art works are: Anito, a sculpture by National Artist Arturo R. Luz, located at the Courtyard; Grid, a steel sculpture also by Arturo Luz, located at the Plenary Hall and Reception Hall lobby; Pagdiriwang, a paintingby National Artist Jose T. Joya, located at the Delegation Upper Lobby; and Carved-wooden furniture by National Artist Napoleon V. Abueva which are distributed in various lobbies and hallways in the building. The official Public Declaration and Unveiling of the Marker for the National Cultural Treasure was held yesterday, Sept. 27, at the PICC Main Lobby.

CCP Met Opera in HD returns

THE CULTURAL Center of the Philippines (CCP) relaunches the Met Opera in HD series in cooperation with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, Filipinas Opera Society Foundation Inc., and Ayala Cinemas. Season 7 of the series will feature one Met Opera in HD production every month until February 2023 at Greenbelt 3 in Makati. To be screened are: Carmen by Georges Bizet on Oct. 4, Sir Richard Eyre’s celebrated 2010 production with mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine opposite tenor Roberto Alagna; La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi on Nov. 15,  Michael Mayer’s richly textured new production, featuring soprano Diana Damrau and tenor Juan Diego Flórez; Dialogues des Carmélites by Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc on Dec. 6, The Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads an accomplished ensemble in Poulenc’s devastating modern masterpiece of faith and martyrdom featuring mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard opposite Karita Mattila; La Fille du Régiment by Gaetano Donizetti on Jan. 10, with bel canto stars Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena; and Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns on Feb. 7, 2023, with mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and tenor Roberto Alagna in the title roles. All screenning are at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph) and follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.

MSO holding preview concert

THE MANILA Symphony Orchestra (MSO) together with prodigy Dadomar Das Castillo will be performing live at the Asia Orchestra Week to a sold-out crowd in Tokyo, Japan on Oct. 5. Filipino audience can watch a preview performance on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ayala Museum. 

Ballet Manila presents double bill in return to live shows

BALLET Manila will present Rise!, a double bill featuring all the elements of performing arts such as opera, popular, OPM, and orchestral music, on Oct. 7 (8 p.m.) and Oct. 9 (5 p.m.), at the rebuilt Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex, Pasay City. Echoing a message of hope and light amid a time of uncertainty and fear, Ballet Manila’s new show captures the essence of rising through adversities and fulfilling prima ballerina and Ballet Manila artistic director and CEO Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s well-publicized “phoenix rising” pronouncement after their home theater was razed by a fire. Rise! is a double bill show that will begin with a pop program entitled Ballet & Ballads and a retelling in ballet of the opera La Traviata as choreographed by Ms. Macuja-Elizalde. With Gerard Salonga as musical director and orchestra conductor, the show features pop singer Bituin Escalante, opera singer Jade Riccio, and multi-talented singer Ivan Nery. The creative team, led by prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde as overall artistic director, includes theater artist Michael Williams as the stage director, playwright Luna Inocian as scriptwriter and Gerardo Francisco, Jr. and Martin Lawrance as choreographers. There is a 12-person opera ensemble and a 60-piece bespoke orchestra handpicked by Mr. Salonga. Tickets are available exclusively through Ticketworld, visit www.ticketworld.com.phor call Ticketworld hotline at 8891 -9999.

CCP presents ballet Pulso Pilipinas II

THE CULTURAL Center of the Philippines (CCP) presents Pulso Pilipinas II: Alay Nina Alice at Agnes as the second part of the CCP Dance Series (LIVE!) 2022, happening on Sept. 30, 8 p.m. (Gala Night), Oct. 1, 3 and 8 p.m., and Oct. 2, 3 p.m., at the CCP Main Theater. The mixed program presents selected iconic works of two living National Artists for Dance — Alice Reyes and Agnes Locsin. This production will feature Locsin’s Igorot, Moriones,” and Elias at Salome, as well as Alice Reyes’ Carmina Burana. Ms. Reyes was one of the founders of the CCP Dance Company which produced many dancers, teachers and choreographers. Her choreographic works are powerful expressions of the country’s unique history and cultural heritage. She is now the artistic consultant to the newly formed Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP) mentoring and nurturing the current generation of artists and young choreographers. Recognized as the pioneer of neo-ethnic style of dance, Ms. Locsin is a former Artistic Director and chief choreographer of Ballet Philippines, a teacher, mentor, storyteller, and trailblazer. Participating artists are the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, Guang Ming College Hiraya, and UE Silangan Dance Troupe, and Teatro Baile de Cavite. For tickets, contact ARDP ticketing officer Bonnie Guerrero on Viber at 0915-412-2152, or TicketWorld athttps://premier.ticketworld.com.ph/shows/show.aspx…, and the CCP Box Office at 8832-3704. For more information, visitwww.facebook.com/ARDancePH.

CCP partners with Arthaland for exhibit

GIVEN the closure of the Main Theater Building of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for rehabilitation beginning next year, off-site exhibitions are now lined up to be able to continue showcasing the CCP 21AM collection to the public. As a kick-off to the exhibition roadshow, and in celebration of Museum and Galleries Month, the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division has partnered with Arthaland for an exhibition in October at the ground floor lobby of Arthaland Century Pacific Tower (ACPT) at 5th Ave. corner 30th St., Bonifacio Global City. The CCP’s inaugural off-site exhibition is titled “Details & Abstractions: Selections from the Cultural Center of the Philippines 21AM Collection”.  Arthaland Century Pacific Tower is the first building in the world to be certified by the International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group, as zero carbon under its EDGE program, the acronym standing for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency.

Security Bank Hall reopens at National Museum

THE SECURITY Bank Corp. formally turned over 14 sculptures by 1973 National Artist for Sculpture, Guillermo Tolentino, to the National Museum of the Philippines as it re-introduced the newly renovated Security Bank Hall at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila City during a cocktail celebration on Sept. 24. These 14 sculptures were previously loaned by the Bank as part of “Gallery XII — Eskultor ng Lahing Filipino: Honoring the Life and Work of Guillermo Tolentino,” a permanent exhibition, which opened in July 2013. Guillermo Tolentino was born in 1890 and was named as the National Artist of the Philippines for Sculpture in 1973, three years before his death. Mr. Tolentino along with fellow National Artist and painter Fernando Amorsolo, dominated the Philippine art scene from the 1930s to the 1950s. He followed the classical style and mainly used plaster and metal to create his art pieces. The 14 sculptures donated by the Bank to the National Museum are: a model of the Commonwealth Triumphal, busts of President Manuel Roxas, Lapu-Lapu, President Manuel L. Quezon, Gat. Andres Bonifacio, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Bibiano Meer, Luisa Marasigan, Don Jacobo Lim Chitco, a Matriarch, Dr. Jose Rizal and a Boy Scout, the head of a Filipina Lady, and a miniature bust of Dr. Jose Rizal. Security Bank remains to be one of the financial institutions in the Philippines that actively supports the preservation of the country’s culture and heritage. The Bank continues to partner with institutions to commemorate landmark events such as the National Heritage Month and works with various organizations to celebrate the country’s artistic and cultural legacy. The newly renovated Security Bank Hall is located on the second floor of the National Museum of Fine Arts and was opened to the public yesterday. Visitors will be able to see new additions to the exhibit, including memorabilia such as the medal given to Mr. Tolentino during his confirmation as a National Artist and his tools of tradecraft.

PETA restages Batang Rizal 

AFTER Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) staged a string of successful online show streams and virtual workshops during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the pioneering Filipino theater company is making a big live theater comeback for its 55th Theater Season with Christine Bellen’s Batang Rizal. It will first relaunch online via streaming on ktx.ph from Oct. 14 to 16 and will open PETA’s theater stage on Nov. 25 and Dec. 2. The musical is co-written, directed for stage, and choreographed by Dudz Teraña, with musical direction, arrangement, and composition by Vincent de Jesus. Fifteen years since its original run, the 2022 staging features a new cast, new set, and new animations. The cast includes Tim Mabalot, Yhuan Gatbunton, Gold Villar-Lim, Norbs Portales, Carlon Matobato, John Moran, Teetin Villanueva, Jovy Vieja, Raven Relavo, and Marynor Madamesila. For ticket inquiries and touring packages, contact Mitch Go at 0917-539-1112. For streaming tickets, visitwww.ktx.ph/category/batang-rizal.

PHSA thesis exhibit at the CCP

THE CULTURAL Center of the Philippines (CCP) is known to be a venue for exhibitions of up-and-coming artists. For many years now, it has also presented the thesis exhibitions of the graduating students in the visual arts from the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA). This year it presents “Homecoming Queens,” a PHSA Grade 12 Thesis Exhibition featuring works by Moon Caharop, Luce Melegrito, and Lei Ortega. The exhibition is ongoing until Oct. 16 at the CCP’s Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby). Their batch is the first who finished the entirety of their senior high school program online. “Homecoming Queens” explores the collective growth of the three artists from the provinces of Bulacan, Ilocos Sur, and Leyte, as they found themselves contained within the boundaries of their homes during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. An Artist Talk and Workshop will be held on Oct. 8, 1 p.m., at the CCP Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby). Admission is free, but visitors must present their vaccination cards upon entry. Exhibition viewing hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Book of martial law poems wins NY book prize

THE NEW York-based press Singapore Unbound has awarded the 2022 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize to Jim Pascual Agustin, Filipino poet living in South Africa. The winning manuscript, entitled Waking Up to the Pattern Left by a Snail Overnight, was chosen by judge Yeow Kai Chai, a poet, journalist and editor and the director of the Singapore Writers Festival. In a videoconference with the five shortlisted candidates, Mr. Agustin read seven of his poems from the manuscript, noting that some of them are about Martial Law in the Philippines. He said that Martial Law-themed poems are his response to the proliferation of disinformation about the dark chapter in Philippine history. Chai noted that Agustin’s latest manuscript has what he described as an “exquisite sensitivity” that is both specific and universal. In the prize citation, he noted, “Such perspicacity of mind and heart illuminates Mr. Jim Pascual Agustin’s crystalline poems. Masterfully observed, shone through with Zen penetration, these songs of innocence and experience divine a universe of complex lives lived, torn asunder, celebrated, and mended.” The Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize is awarded annually to an unpublished manuscript of original Anglophone poetry by an author of Asian heritage residing anywhere in the world. The winner receives $1,500 and book publication in the US and Singapore. Gaudy Boy titles are distributed globally by Ingram. The prize comes at the heels of the release of Bloodred Dragonflies, Augustine’s first book published in South Africa. The book is available in the Philippines via San Anselmo Press FB and Shopee pages. Waking Up to the Pattern Left by a Snail Overnight is set for release in Spring 2023.

Cinema ‘76 to move to Tomas Morato

THE MICROCINEMA Cinema ’76 Film Society and Cinema ’76 Café will be moving to Tomas Morato Ave. in Quezon City, its official Facebook page announced on Monday. In the meanwhile, they are still operational at their current location at Anonas LRT City Center, Aurora Blvd. in Quezon City until Oct. 4. For updates and movie screening schedules, visit www.facebook.com/cinema76fs.

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