In ‘Limang Daan,’ Ballet Philippines casts the spotlight on the Filipina

The serial production, written by librettist and award-winning filmmaker Moira Lang, illuminates the struggles of Filipino women through the lives of cross-generational heroines.

Ballet Philippines concludes its 54th season with Limang Daan, an original, full-length ballet that tells the story of our country’s 500-year journey through the lives of Filipina women across centuries. Premiering on March 8, 2024, which is also International Women’s Day, Limang Daan is a tribute to the beauty, wisdom, and fortitude of the Filipina.

Written by librettist and award-winning filmmaker Moira Lang, Limang Daan illuminates the struggles of women through the lives of cross-generational heroines:

Photos from Facebook/Ballet Philippines.

From the present day, Ana, a nurse working in New York, contends with the punishing workload as a health provider. Moreover, she must also deal with the unwanted advances of a superior at work. 

From 450 years ago in the Visayas region, Amihan, a non-binary babaylan (Filipino shaman), faces the consequences of refusing the salvation promised by “men of God.”

From the year 1969, three Cordilleran woman from Chico River—Petra, Edena, and Leticia—defy guns, goons, and gold to protect the motherland from despots deigning to dictate their future.

In a convent from the late 19th century, Maria Clara leaps from the pages of Jose Rizal’s Noli me Tangere to embody a repressed nun who comes to her senses and sensuousness—much to her Mother Superior’s disapproval. 

And in 1904 at St. Louis, Missouri, Gawani, an Igorot woman recruited to be part of the “human zoo” of the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, finds strength in the women who have preceded her and those that are still to follow.

The dancers of Limang Daan with Ballet Philippines’ Artistic Director Mikhail Martynyuk (fifth from left) and librettist Moira Lang (sixth from left)

“Limang Daan is an invitation for [Filipinos] to cast a more critical eye on our history, the role that some of the vestiges of colonialism have left behind on the Philippines—religion and patriarchy—and what this means for women up to this day. It is time to ask ourselves if we are still holding onto things that are better left in the past. But that’s ultimately up to the audience to weigh, from a more critical view of our history,” says Lang.

Bringing poignant vignettes of a woman’s life through dance, “Limang Daan” is choreographed by Ballet Philippines’ Artistic Director Mikhail Martynyuk, with music by multi-titled creative director Erwin Romulo and costume design by renowned designer JC Buendia.

For more information on Ballet Philippines’ productions, visit their Facebook page, Instagram account, or official website.

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