It is the year 1905. The fate of Pontevedro, a proud but increasingly impoverished Balkan principality, relies perilously on the marriage plans of Hanna Glawari, a rich and beautiful widow. If she weds a foreigner, Pontevedro will lose the benefit of her wealth and will be left in dire straits. To save her homeland therefore, she must be coaxed into marrying a fellow Pontevedrian.

“The Merry Widow” was first shown as an operetta by Franz Lehar in Vienna in 1905. The operetta has been used as the basis for several choreographic versions by ballet companies worldwide.

In its very own version, “The Merry Widow” is skillfully choreographed and presented by Philippine Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Ronilo Jaynario in way that’s guaranteed to appeal to the Filipino audience’s inherent eye for passion, melodrama and “vida/contravida” counterplay. Through a series of pas de deux and dance scenes, themes of courtship,
romance, forbidden love and adultery receive both provocative and witty treatment. The dancers are called upon to show their talents in classical ballet, character dance, mime, and theater acting.

Coming from a wellspring of Filipino talent, honed by the dedication of its Russian ballet master, Anatoly Panasyukov and its Artistic Director, Ronilo Jaynario, and supported by a powerhouse cast of homegrown talent, PBT’s “The Merry Widow” features Irene Kim Abrogena, the highest awarded female dancer in the 2016 CCP Ballet Competition’s Senior
Solo Category and Veronica Atienza, 4th place winner at the 2016 World Ballet Competition (widely considered to be the Olympics of Dance) alternating in the lead role, with esteemed guest artist Martin Buczko, whose dancing and choreographic talents come to the Philippines from Germany, his current base in Europe.

It is worthwhile to note that prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn danced the role of Hanna Glawari when she was almost 60 years old, as her last major ballet role before her retirement. At PBT, “The Merry Widow” will be danced by young lead dancers, both between the ages of 19-21. It will be interesting to watch their take on this ballet’s challenging mix of maturity and humor with grace and aplomb.

Come and enjoy “The Merry Widow”, PBT’s second offering for its 31st Season, on Sept 30 at 3pm and 8pm and on October 1 at 3pm.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
September 30, 2017 (Saturday) | 3PM & 8PM
October 1, 2017 (Sunday) | 3PM

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