Ballet Philippines opens 55th season with debut performance of romantic ‘La Sylphide’

One of the oldest surviving romantic ballets in history, it was the first to be performed entirely en pointe.

Ballet Philippines, the nation’s foremost dance company, proudly announces the launch of its 55th season with the romantic ballet La Sylphide, scheduled to run at The Theatre at Solaire from August 9 to 11.

Under the visionary guidance of Ballet Philippines artistic director Mikhail “Misha” Martynyuk, the production promises a distinctive Filipino twist on the classic, which marks its debut performance in the Philippines.

During the Romantic Movement of the early 19th century, La Sylphide became a seminal work, embodying the era’s fascination with the supernatural and ethereal.

“The company is very excited to bring La Sylphide to the Philippine stage for the very first time,” shared Ballet Philippines president Kathleen Liechtenstein. “It is a relatable ballet about love, emotion, magic, and ethereal feelings. It’s also incredibly lyrical, and easy to fall in love with. La Sylphide will stay in your heart like a beautiful dream.”

A 192-year-old ballet

La Sylphide is one of the oldest surviving romantic ballets in history. Originally choreographed by Filippo Taglioni, with a libretto by Adolphe Nourrit and music by Jean-Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer, La Sylphide premiered in Paris in 1832.

Created to showcase the extraordinary talent of Taglioni’s daughter, the legendary ballerina Marie Taglioni, the ballet revolutionized the art form by being the first to be performed entirely en pointe.

The sylph enchants with her delicate presence in Ballet Philippines La Sylphide.

During the Romantic Movement of the early 19th century, La Sylphide became a seminal work, embodying the era’s fascination with the supernatural and ethereal. This period also saw the introduction of the romantic tutu, a diaphanous, calf-length skirt that became iconic staple in ballet.

An enigmatic and enchanting story

The story unfolds in Scotland, where James Ruben, a humble farmer, is enchanted by a forest fairy (otherwise known as a sylph). Despite being engaged to Effie, James is enthralled by the sylph’s otherworldly beauty. The sylph confesses her love for James, leading him to forsake Effie and follow the fairy into the forest.

In the second act, a witch called Madge gives James a bewitched scarf. When James presents the scarf to the sylph, events spiral out of control, profoundly affecting everyone involved. As he navigates the fallout, Madge watches with a knowing gaze. James’ choices lead to a dramatic conclusion that will leave the audience contemplating the true consequences of this enchantment.

The sylph and James share a moment of delicate connection in Ballet Philippines’ ‘La Sylphide’

Ballet Philippines’ rendition of La Sylphide intertwines the ballet’s original charm with Filipino romanticism and mysticism. The sylph, symbolizing otherworldly beauty and yearning, resonates with the Filipino spirit’s quest for ideals, blending enchantment with everyday life.

This adaptation invites audiences on a mesmerizing journey where passion and magic are seamlessly woven into the familiar rhythms of Filipino culture, creating an immersive experience that stirs the soul.

A season of reimagined stories

La Sylphide serves as Ballet Philippines’ season opener paving the way for other breathtaking productions. Bound by the theme relevé, which in ballet means to rise onto the tips of the toes, three classic productions are reimagined through a Filipino lens, with Ballet Philippines inviting you to rise with the company as it soars to new heights.

Following La Sylphide is Peter Pan, a holiday show that transports viewers to a reimagined Neverland which transcends cultural boundaries. The season culminates with ‘Ang Panaginip,’ an unconventional fairytale that celebrates the multifaceted Filipina and the beauty of Philippine culture. The season ender pays tribute to women who value their worth and boldly redefine their own happy endings.

Join Ballet Philippines as it celebrates timeless stories that reflect the narratives of countless Filipinos. For tickets, visit its official website or purchase through Ticket World

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