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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More Than Delighted by Giselle

Last Saturday, my dearest and I watched the ballet Giselle, performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) by Ballet Philippines (BP). This is the third BP performance that I've seen--the first two are Encantanda and Inamorata in 2011. Both are contemporary pieces.

My dearest and I were seated at the front row, and little did I know that I would be seated next to the lead dancer's family. Yep, that's right. I was seated next to the family of Katherine Trofeo, who played Giselle. Beside her father-in-law to be exact. He was recording the whole performance. At first, I thought he was tasked by the CCP to do that. Only during the 15-minute intermission did I learn that the group beside my was Katherine's family.

Her father-in-law might have noticed me clapping enthusiastically (along with the other members of the audience) at jaw-dropping moments during Act I. When the lights were turned on during the break, he asked me:

Father-in-law: How did you find it?
Me: The dancers were all so great and beautiful. And the last part was so.... awwww.... (gesturing to mean "heartbreaking". I was so stunned by the performance that I couldn't find the right words to describe how I felt at that moment!)
Father-in-law: This one is starred by my daughter-in-law.
Me (didn't quite understand at first but then, it dawned on me): Oooohhhh...

In Act II, Giselle was already dead and she was already with the Wilis, the spirits of women who have died with broken hearts. And boy, how they portrayed being the Wilis so well! They were really like spirits floating on stage; they freaked the audience out! My dearest kept whispering to me, "Nakakatakot..." (scary). How they danced on their toes, the graceful movement of their arms, and the flutter of their white dresses all worked to create a ghost-like effect on stage.

Giselle is all about love and forgiveness, and at the end of the show, I was able to see those. I was able to feel those, and I think that's the most important part. I felt every emotion that was felt by the characters, especially because I was seated in front and I could see all their expressions (but perhaps even if I was seated at the back, I would still be as moved as I was sitting in front). Despite the rainy weather last Saturday, Giselle was worth going to the CCP for.

After the show, I congratulated Katherine Trofeo's father-in-law. He and the rest of the family must be so proud of her. When the dancers went out to the lobby, I approached some of them (Katherine included!) and personally congratulated them. And of course, I turned my fangirl mode on, and had my dearest take photos of me together with some of the dancers.

     With Monica, one of those who
     played the Wilis                           

     With Emmanuel, one of those who         With Earl John, who played Hilarion, 
       played the peasants                               the peasant who is in love with Giselle

    And of course, with Katherine Trofeo, 
    who played Giselle, and her son

I just wasn't able to get hold of Jean Marc Cordero, who played Albrecht, the lead male role. Maybe next time, because I'll definitely watch BP's next show in September, and for sure, I'll approach them again to personally congratulate them for a fantastic performance.