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Old gods meet contemporary dance in Ballet Philippines’ ‘Diyosa’

Old gods meet contemporary dance in Ballet Philippines’ ‘Diyosa’

  • Ballet Philippines latest production “Diyosa” is a five-act ballet that juxtaposes a modern, imagined universe with the gods of old

Contemporary dance connoisseurs and Philippine mythology enthusiasts, Ballet Philippines has a treat for you. “Diyosa” is an original contemporary ballet written by architect Carlo Calma and choreographed by Ballet Philippines artistic director Mikhail Martynyuk. 

The ballet takes place in the realm of our mythical pre-Hispanic gods and goddesses (dubbed the “Diyosa Universe”), where they come to life through distinctive elements of daily life in the modern world. 

It’s a world where “the gods and goddess are reinterpreted as elements in architecture—creating these metaphysical worlds,” says librettist Carlo Calma. The ballet explores the presence of the gods of old through a sensory journey of mankind’s awakening through dance, electronic music, architecture, and fashion—just to name a few. 

In the production, the gods are represented through elements of daily life we wouldn’t necessarily take a second look at. For example, sunrise in the countryside, crowded alleys, and the chorus of tricycles and jeepneys are how the gods reveal themselves in modern times. 

The choreography for the five-act production was a practice in accuracy and care, says Martynyuk.  “The concept of gods and goddesses in this piece is very abstract. Our aim was to create a modern experience of the deities through a combination of classic, neo classic and modern dance styles,” he said. 

At the crossroads of the fusion between contemporary dance, myth, and technology, lies the heart of the production and its underlying message: the global environmental crisis and sustainability. 

And while renovations are ongoing at the CCP, the ballet company’s home theater, the production will be staged at their newest home: The Theatre at Solaire. 

Carlo Calma’s “Diyosa” by Ballet Philippines will make its debut on Friday, April 14 at 8 p.m. The production will run on April 15 and 16, with 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. performances.

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