Thursday, February 17, 2011

BALTAZAR’S OROSMAN AT ZAFIRA: Swaying to the Rhythm of Love and War

by Arren
Original Article can be found HERE

In the unappeasable thirst for power, a powerful leader is murdered leaving behind his wife and daughter who would grieve for him and would vow to take revenge for his death. In the unpredictable machinations of the heart, two people fall in love only to find themselves torn apart by familial duty, treachery and war. This is only the beginning of the tale of love and war in Francisco Baltazar’s Orosman at Zafira.

Brought to life onstage by Dulaang UP in 2008, Orosman at Zafira is now on its third run at the SM Mall of Asia Centerstage. Dulaang UP has adapted a contemporary retelling of the story making it more accessible and fun to its audience. Long verses were made into song, music was harmonized with the mood of the different scenes, and dance became the medium where the characters expressed their emotions. 

I still remember that I almost didn’t watch Orosman at Zafira in 2008 simply because it was Balagtas. Then I found myself buying a ticket to the show since it everybody was saying it was very good. And as I was watched the performance for the very first time, I fell in love with theatre. What is not to love with a language, though not easily understandable, that was spoken with so much emotion that it became a melody to the audience’s ears; with the music that is distinctly Filipino and made our hearts beat to its rhythm; and with the brilliant choreography by director Dexter Santos, especially those of the war scenes that raised goose bumps and made the audience watch in wonder at the beauty and intensity the dances were executed.

Three years later and after watching Orosman at Zafira for the fifth time in its third run premiere, it got bigger and more beautiful. A bigger space meant that the ensemble could move more freely, and they had to fill that big space with intense energy for the audience to feel. Which is exactly what they did. Every jump, kick and spin was executed with so much power. The chorus didn’t have to speak to tell what they are feeling; their dancing was more than adequate in showing their own story. In the war scenes their movements and cries reeked of desperation to conquer the enemy, but with it also came the torment of knowing that they’re battling to their death. I found myself teary-eyed when everyone was praying to God to save them from the bloodshed that was to come. In words and in movement, the strong yearning to flee from the path that they are on was evident but everyone was caught up in the consequences of their actions and they knew that it was impossible to escape.

Orosman at Zafira is the portrayal of how a powerful passion for love or ambition can drive people to do beautiful or ugly things. In the thirst for love, people become desperate to do anything to achieve another’s heart. In the thirst for power, people can become absolutely heartless to get to that pinnacle of supremacy. When so much passion is portrayed in a performance, it reaches the audience and leaves them awestruck. From every performer and the people behind Orosman at Zafira, I felt the love they had for what they are doing. Every note, line, movement and cry was born out of love.

Indeed, love can drive people to do so many things. In this case, the product was a beautiful play. No doubt there were sweat, blood, tears,bruises and sprained ankles that went with making this play possible, but love still prevailed. A fitting representation of the heart of Orosman at Zafira: 

“Kasumpa-sumpa man, pag-ibig, pag-ibig at pag-ibig pa rin.” 

Direction and Choreography by DEXTER SANTOS 
Original Music by CAROL BELLO 

Orosman at Zafira is one of the most-acclaimed works of Francisco Baltazar,
the “King of Tagalog Poets.” It is the story of the struggle for power of three kingdoms: Marueccos, Tedenst and Duquela. Amid hatred and war where two individuals find love, this musical adaptation highlights the strength of the Filipina and celebrates Philippine culture through breathtaking dance and music. 

This original Filipino musical features Jay Gonzaga, Maita Ponce, Delphine Buencamino, Tao Aves, Roeder Camanag, Red Concepcion, Kevin Concepcion, Acey Aguilar, Jean Judith Javier, Neil Tolentino, Nazer Salcedo, Ronnie Martinez
and the Dulaang UP Ensemble. 

Catch OROSMAN AT ZAFIRA on its LAST Saturday run
February 26 / 3PM / SAT @ MOA CenterStage

Ticket Price: Php350

Contact Onay @ 0918.536.2116 to reserve tickets.

No comments:

Post a Comment