First, a disclosure: this is the first ballet show I've watched.
We were in grade school when the first Rama Sita was staged by Ballet Philippines in 1980 with Basil Valdez as Rama, Kuh Ledesma as Sita, and Leo Valdez as the evil demon Ravana.
I've watched the adaptations of the Hindu epic Ramayana twice in Indonesia: first in the Pramayana Ramayana Ballet in Yogyakarta, and the Kecak Dance version in Uluwatu in Bali. I wonder how different Rama Hari would be.
I thought that Rama Hari is another one of those hyped up star-studded musicals but I was wrong.
We were literally blown away by the beautiful ballet dance choreography and the powerful tagalog musical score.
Each of the main roles in the musical is played by a Ballet Dancer and a Theater Actor who acts and sings. This dual interpretation gave an interesting texture and depth into the emotions of the characters.
We watched the awesome performance of OJ Mariano as Rama and we are fans of OJ ever since his Rent debut. If you are looking for star power, make sure to watch the Christian Bautista and Karylle version who play as Rama and Sita every Friday Night and Saturday show.
Here's a sample of the Music in Rama Sita Ballet Musical: Tagistis ng Ulan by Christian Bautista.
- Alice Reyes (Direction and Choreography), the visionary founder of Ballet Philippines who propelled the company into a national arts institution we can all be proud of.
- Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature (Libretto), a prizewinning poet, critic and dramatist. He is a National Artist of the Philippines and a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communications.
- Ryan Cayabyab (Music Composer), one of the most prolific composers and recognizable names in music in the Philippines. His works range from commissioned full-‐length ballets (Rama, Hari), theater musicals, choral pieces, a Mass set to unaccompanied chorus, and orchestral pieces, to commercial recordings of popular music, film scores and television specials.
Bravo! You deserve the raves and standing ovation in every single show :) Galing! Must Watch!
Overall, this is one of the top shows I watched this 2012 together with Rock of Ages. I love the Ballet choreography, the musical score and the powerful performances from the dancers, singers and theater actors. It's a good introduction for people into the world of Ballet in Manila.
Don't miss the last remaining shows this weekend!
RAMA HARI: Pop ballet musical based on the Indian epic Ramayana
About the Show:
This year's staging of “Rama, Hari” will star Christian Bautista and Karylle in the lead roles Rama and Sita, backed by an equally powerhouse cast of the country's leading theater actors and singers: Robert Seña as the demon Ravana, OJ Mariano (alternating as Rama), Kalila Aguilos (alternating as Sita), Christian Rey Marbella, Noel Rayos, Lani Ligot, Amparo Sietereales, and Brezhnev Larlar.
Ballet Philippines' principal dancers Jean Marc Cordero and Richardson Yadao will essay the role of Rama and Carissa Adea and Katherine Trofeo as Sita.
Show Dates: 10 performances from November 30 to December 9
Venue: CCP Main Theater, with the Manila Symphony Orchestra playing live.
For tickets and inquiries, call Ticketworld +632 891-9999.
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Full Disclosure: We watched Rama Hari courtesy of our friends from Ballet Philippines. I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions.
P.S. I can't believe that they are only showing this for two weekends, and you have to catch the last shows this weekend! I'm hoping for a rerun in 2013 :)