2020 was a difficult year for businesses, but it was a lot more difficult for institutions and groups in the performing arts scene. With theatres closed and live performances cancelled or postponed, the global pandemic truly altered the way people consume entertainment. Yet despite the downs, many performing arts groups—including Ballet Philippines—remained resilient and found new, creative ways to bring the stage to our homes.
Through its revamped website, called BP OnStream, Ballet Philippines' previous season was not short of accomplishments. It was able to deliver 52 masterclasses from legendary superstars of the ballet world with over 1,600 virtual attendees. Meanwhile, a total of 365 company classes were conducted with almost 7,000 attendees. Out of this, 31 original video productions were made, as well as carrying the K12 Kalusugan exercise breaks for students and teachers. Through Batang BP's educational and entertaining materials, the esteemed ballet company was able to reach out to the younger audience.
"Having adapted and integrated BP well to survive the lockdowns, closed stage, banned live shows, makes me proud of the dancers and executive staff who have demonstrated such awesome talents and fortitude," Ballet Philippines president Kathleen Liechtenstein said.
In culmination to the 51st performance season of the company, two productions had their world premiere via Ballet Philippines' Facebook page. First was Dystopian Body, created and choreographed by Joshua Serafin. It was a performance "concerned with a place where the body evolved despite an environment where conditions do not provide the most basic needs of its citizens". Shortly after, Diyosa (Goddess) premiered as well, a thought-provoking performance inspired by the Philippine pantheon.
"This harmonious relationship (between gods, goddesses, and humans) is destroyed due to the humans' greed and selfishness, and with it, the light that once shone down on the world was lost," the production's notes said. It showcased the goddess of deeper realisation, Luwada, the heroine of the story and the original creation by writers Maritess Fojas de Ocampo and Juan Jesus Davide Fojas de Ocampo. Diyosa was choreographed by Ballet Philippines' artistic director Mikhail Martynyuk.