After ‘Rama, Hari’, ARDP presents ‘Carmen  and Other Spirits’

Running from 20 to 21 October at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater, Alice Reyes Dance Philippines’ latest production following its acclaimed restaging of the classic rock opera-ballet Rama, Hari is Carmen and Other Spirits, another masterpiece by National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes.

Reyes describes her version of Carmen as “a woman fully aware of her feminine nature. She is not a prostitute but is an ideal type of the genuinely emancipated woman — free, sovereign and mistress of all her decisions. She would rather die than live with a man she no longer loves and respects.”

Shifting from their comedic turn as the evil duo Ravana and Soorpanakha in Rama, Hari, Richardson Yadao will play the conflicted Don Jose and Macel Dofitas as the fiery Carmen.

Edna Vida, who originated the titular role in Reyes’ Carmen, commented on the pair: “All through the years I’ve been hoping that Alice herself would restage Carmen, but I kept telling her that the lead must be Macel Dofitas. It’s her that I see as Carmen in talent, presence and physique… and, Richardson Yadao must be her Don Jose, because he can certainly work the muscle of deep pathos. They are a fantastic pair on stage.”

The “other spirits” are comprised of three choreographic works by the country’s top Filipino choreographers.


‘CARMEN and Other Spirits’


Alden Lugnasin echoes synchronized swimming movements in his piece “Swimming the Ilog Pasig.” It is a provocative social and environmental commentary recalling the relationship between the people and the once rippling clear waters of the Pasig River which has now become a dumping site for trash. Lugnasin’s piece utilizes his unique style of movement and storytelling, the dancers costumed in Speedos.

Ronelson Yadao, artistic director of ARDP, tackles interdependency of two individuals in his work Two, while Lester Reguindin’s Now draws inspiration from young environment activist Greta Thurnberg and her bold speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, where she challenged the powers-that-be to make a change for the sake of her generation. The piece, originally choreographed for film, transitions to a stage adaptation.

Carmen and Other Spirits is presented by Alice Reyes Dance Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the CCP’s Professional Artist Support Program with the generous support of Samsung Performing Arts Theater and Birch Tree Adult Boost. It features dance trainees from Guang Ming College, Philippine High School for the Arts, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde and other independent performers.

The show runs 20 October, Friday, 7:30 p.m; and 21 October, Saturday, 4 p.m., both at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater.

Tickets go live on TicketWorld on 10 October 2023.