THE CALENDAR of events of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is full of dance and music as it gears up for the long-overdue rehabilitation of its Main Building, which includes closing its theaters and other indoor venues starting January 2023.
After more than 50 years, the Tanghalang Pambansa (CCP Main Building) will undergo a major facelift which will last for three years.
“We will not keep any stone left unturned,” said CCP president Margie Moran-Floirendo in a statement.
“The CCP rehabilitation plan emanates from the building audit done from 2018 to 2019. We initially planned to start reconditioning the Main Building right after the 50th anniversary, but the pandemic happened and we had to make do with what we can, with the budget we have,” she said.
The renovation works have already started at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) this year, as well as the Silangan Hall, the fourth floor, and the former Design Center Building to which the CCP’s offices will transfer in the coming months.
The executive offices and conference rooms will move to the nearby Ramon Magsaysay Center along Roxas Blvd., Malate, Manila.
PERFORMANCES DURING RENOVATIONWhile the renovation proceeds as planned, the programs and projects of the country’s premiere art institution continue. Over the next two years, the CCP will mount performances, concerts, and other events inside and outside the CCP Complex, fully utilizing its outdoor venues.
One of these venues is the new Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez, a flexible black box theater which seats 320 and is adjustable to the artistic and technical needs of any production. Named after its donor, the experimental theater will be inaugurated on Sept. 8 with performances highlighting its technical possibilities as well as its inaugural artistic season offerings. These include Tanghalang Pilipino’s Anak Datu and Repertory Philippines’ musical Carousel, among others.
The cultural complex also has several outdoor venues that can be utilized as performance areas, such as the Liwasang Ullalim, which was the venue for the Cinema Under the Stars, the plaza inside the Harbor Square, and the CCP Concert Ground, among others.
Utilizing its strong cultural network, the CCP intends to expand to the regions with outreach programs and art education projects. The Cultural Exchange Department and the Art Education Department already have programs in various parts of the country and will continue to do so in the coming years.
LAST HURRAH SHOWSFor the fourth quarter of the year, the CCP artistic season goes full blast, starting with the CCP Anniversary Gala: Musikal II on Sept. Celebrating the center’s 53rd founding anniversary, the gala featuring excerpts from original Filipino musicals staged from 2015 to 2021.
The last exhibit at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (CCP Main Gallery) is the retrospective “Imelda Cajipe-Endaya: Pagtutol at Pag-asa,” on display until Dec. 4. It exhibits over 200 artworks and archival materials surveying the artist’s extensive practice in printmaking, painting, collage, and installation from the 1960s to the present.
While the CCP galleries are shut down, there will be traveling exhibitions featuring the CCP art collection, starting with a print exhibit at Arthaland Century Pacific Tower on 5th Avenue and 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The exhibit is opening on Oct. 13.
Part of the collection will be on loan at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and the National Museum.
Ballet Philippines will present its show, Dance Here and Now: Equus, Bolero and Other Dances, from Sept 17 to 18 at the CCP Main Theater. This is its first live performance after the pandemic lockdowns.
Meanwhile, the CCP Dance Series (Live!) will be held from September to December. The production features choreography created by National Artists for Dance Alice Reyes and Agnes Locsin, pieces by French choreographer, Redha Benteifour, and promising choreography works by young Filipino dancers. The series starts on Sept. 23 and 24 at the Main Theater, and ends with Puso ng Pasko on Dec. 2 to 4.
This year, the CCP Met Opera in HD returns with a screening on Sept. 27 at the Greenbelt Cinema in Makati. Held in partnership with Ayala Land, Inc. and the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc., this program runs until March 2023, screening classic opera masterpieces from the Metropolitan Theater in New York such as Carmen, La Traviata, Aida, and Samson et Dalila.
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra is all set to return to the concert hall for live performances for its 38th season, with concerts slated at the Main Theater on Sept. 16, Oct. 7, and Dec. 16. The season will end next April with performances in 2023 to be held at the Manila Metropolitan Theater.
Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot will be among the final productions to be held at the CCP Main Theater before it closes for renovation. To be held on Dec. 9, 8 p.m., and Dec. 11, 2 p.m., the production is done in cooperation with the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc. and the Rustan Group of Companies. Meanwhile, Ballet Philippines will present The Nutcracker at the Main Theater on Dec. 17 and 18.
The CCP performance season ends with Handel’s The Messiah on Dec. 16. Not to be missed are the annual holiday events at the CCP, including dawn masses and facade lighting.
“The CCP Main Building might be closed, but we promise that we remain true on our mandate to promote artistic excellence, nurture our artists, create artistic and educational content, and engage the broadest audiences in art making and cultural experiences. We are committed to remain the leading art institution in the country,” Ms. Moran-Floirendo said.
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