Dance and contemporary art collide in ‘Opera’

Ballet philippines presents Gabriel Barredo’s acclaimed installation

French choreographer Redha Benteifour transforms Filipino artist Gabriel Barredo’s groundbreaking and thought-provoking multi-sensory art installation into contemporary ballet presented by Ballet Philippines for its season ender.  

Earl John Arisola
Photo by: Chris Yuhico
 Opera – which was originally mounted at Silverlens Galleries in January last year and recently toured to Singapore last November for the opening of the National Gallery Singapore, will provide viewers an altogether new experience with Redha’s choreography with Barredo creating a staggering array of new sculptures that serve as the production’s set design. 

Envisioning his dancers on bare feet, pointe shoes, and stilettos, the choreographer presents a stimulating, sensual, and groundbreaking production. “Being part of this production is a great thrill for me,” shares Redha. “Meeting Gabby [Barredo] and seeing his work up close was very inspiring.”

Redha Benteifour
Ballet Philippines artistic director Paul Alexander Morales shares that “Opera is shaping up to be one of the most innovative productions that Ballet Philippines has produced in a long time.” 

Described as “dark” and “macabre” by some, Barredo’s installation intrigues, challenging one to confront mortality and contemplate upon life’s passing and empathize, if not make sense, of its beauty. The libretto explores a man’s journey of self-discovery, acceptance, and rebirth. 

Denise Parungao
Earl John Arisola and Jean Marc Cordero Photo by Chris Yuhico
Gabriel Barredo, who studied Advertising at the University of Santo Tomas, has received numerous awards and recognitions that include the gold medal at the Art Association of the Philippines Annual Competition in 1981 and 1982; the gold medal at the Metrobank Foundation Annual Art Competition in 1985; the 1st Grand Prize at the Philippine Art Awards (1994); and, the Juror’s Choice at the ASEAN Art Awards held in Singapore in 1994. In 2013, his 30-foot installation entitled “Asphalt” was one of the highlights of the inaugural Art Fair Philippines that year.  

Earl John Arisola and Jean Marc Cordero with Denise Parungao
Erl Sorilla and Victor Maguad
French Redha Benteifour has choreographed for several of the world’s leading dance companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The National Ballet of Cuba, Le Jeune Ballet de France, The Het Nationale Ballet, and the San Francisco Ballet. Having had his own dance company since 1981, he now literally works all over the world – from Africa and Europe to the Americas and Asia – and has created choreographies for the feature films of Costa-Gavras, Roman Polanski, Alain Delon and Francis Ford Coppola, among others. 

Opera features a libretto by Yvette Tan and Erwin Romulo, with original music by Malek Lopez, lighting design by John Batalla, and costumes by James Reyes. This production is presented by Ballet Philippines and Silverlens in cooperation with the Embassy of France. Major sponsors of Ballet Philippines’ 46th Season include Globe Platinum, San Miguel Corporation, and Belle Corporation.

Catch the fundraising gala of Opera tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). For inquiries, visit, send an email to [email protected], or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets and reservations, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999. Connect to Ballet Philippines online through Facebook; Twitter @balletph; Instagram @balletphilippines; and YouTube balletph. To join in the Ballet Philippines conversation, use the official hashtags: #balletph, #dancespring, #operaballetph.


Topics: Opera , Ballet philippines
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