‘Ibalon’: powerful display of love in dance and music

Image from "Ïbalon" poster

The Philippine Ballet Theater (PBT), on a mission to create and perform stories reflecting Filipino culture, opens its 37th season with a brand-new, full-length ballet titled “Ibalon.” 

PBT artistic director and choreographer Ronilo Jaynario takes off from the Bicolano epic and reimagines the love story of Handyong (the warrior) and Oryol (the cursed creature) against the backdrop of Philippine mythology. He creates nuances and plot twists for a powerful display of love in movements, hoping to captivate his audience with colorful dances from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. 

This story is told with original music by Paulo Zarate, who explains that his approach is an exaggeration of what the music must have sounded like in ancient times. Taking into consideration that Filipino instruments then were more percussive and rhythmic, he has added bold and moving melodies, incorporating Filipino elements that he researched on, to produce truly epic music to sweep the audience into the love story of Handyong and Oryol. 

With PBT’s rising stars Matthew Davo as the warrior Handyong and Jessa Tangalin as the cursed princess Oryol, and with Jaynario and Zarate melding something new with something old, the telling of Philippine ancestral stories promises to come alive with music and dance.

PBT’s “Ibalon” runs on July 28 and 29, 2023, starting at 8 p.m., at the Samsung Performing Arts Theatre. All proceeds from the July 29 show will benefit the fundraising campaign for the 65th anniversary of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards.

For ticket inquiries and reservations, interested parties may contact 86711697 (landline) or 09688708887 (mobile), Ticketworld at 8891-9999 or ticketworld.com.ph, or message their social media platforms on Instagram and Facebook Page.

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