A not-so-ugly retelling of ‘The Ugly Duckling’

Published April 4, 2021, 7:23 AM

by Manila Bulletin Entertainment

A neo-classical version of the literary fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling” takes shape in the form of online film “The Not So Ugly Duckling,” which encapsulates the beauty of ballet as a performance art.

The dance showcase follows the journey of Cacciatore, a duck from a small town in pursuit to reach her Hollywood dream. The modern interpretation of the iconic story speaks of self-love, acceptance and appreciation. It highlights the importance of embracing the value of individuality and the different facets of beauty in the 20th century.

The film seeks to curate a one-time theater-like experience. Though films can be recorded through videos, it still embodies the philosophy of dance: an art form that is always and can only be of the moment.

“The Not So Ugly Duckling” is written by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Dance Program Chairperson Nina Anonas-De Santos, ACBE, former soloist at Ballet Philippines, principal dancer at the Manila Metropolis Ballet and Junge Ballett Compagnie, Frankfurt and featured international artist at Ballett Frankfurt.

The show is directed and choreographed by contemporary dancer and Australian Conservatoire of Ballet teacher Ruthame Hurtado, who is currently a Dance Program major at Benilde.

The production is a collaborative effort between Hurtado and fellow homegrown Benildean artists including Dance alumni Cariaso and Mariella Lia Carlos, Multimedia Arts student Lois Laylo, Music Production undergrad Raphael Padua, and Theater Arts pupil Anthony Peñaranda.

It features emerging classical ballet dancers and performers including Halili Cruz School of Dance’s Nika Villarin, Academy One Music and Dance Center’s Yella Carlos, Ballet Philippines’ Jireh Cariaso, and Damian School of Ballet’s Anthony Peñaranda.

It likewise spotlights the talent of promising primary ballerinas Agatha Yulo, Jessa Aquino, Jharexa Myze Carvajal, Trisha Galang, Esabel Galang and Athena De Guzman.

It will be livestreamed for free from Saturday, April 10 to Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TNSUD2021).