Saturday, December 06, 2008

You have to watch Dulaang UP's Atang

It's a lustrously-staged work, the best kind of historical theater, the one that somehow enlarges you, disgorges you out of the theater more aware of things than when you came in, yet grateful for the opportunity to be both entertained and instructed. I believe it marks a mature, important junction in the long-running Floy Quintos (playwright)-Alex Cortez (director) collaboration; that's all I can say for now--it's 3 a.m. and I need to be up again in less than five hours.

Enjoy this rare clip of Ayen Munji-Laurel singing Nabasag ang Banga from Dalagang Bukid, Atang de la Rama's first hit sarsuwela, at a CCP tribute concert to National Artists called Lagi Kitang Naaalala. Who knew then that, years later, Ayen would sing this song again, not concert-style as in this clip, but in a glowing, evocative excerpt from the sarsuwela (see pic above)--the arrangement slower, its subtext clearer (guess what the song is about?), the era sprung vividly to life--in a new play called Atang?

Dulaang UP's "Atang" runs until Dec. 14 at the Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, UP-Diliman. Call 0917-6206224 or 0922-8206224, 9818500 local 2449, 9261349. Telefax 4337840. E-mail, or visit


ethan h said...

This may be just me, or this particular clip, or the limits of youtube, but Ayen doesn't impress. It was quite irritating. :-(

Anonymous said...

ayen is the new menchu!


Therese said...

I liked this song sa Atang! Lively siya and nice :D Hindi ko gusto masyado yung ibang songs/kundimans eh. Haha!

Anonymous said...

ayen is the new menchu! --> i do not think so. talented as ayen may be as a businesswoman, she still needs a lot of training, vocally, theatrically. Menchu has to take dance classes and master classes in voice just to be in form. and you could see the result kay menchu.

Anonymous said...

we watched the play last sunday and ayen was good.

Dennis N. Marasigan said...

I watched the show last night (December 12) and Shamaine was great as Atang. From her first entrance and first spoken lines, she was Atang dead on. It was one of those roles where Shamaine disappeared and Atang came alive, a truly riveting performance.

Kudos too to Floy, Alex, Tuxqs, Ayen and the rest of the company.


gibbs cadiz said...

ETHAN, it's more the video. terrible video product. but ayen did great in atang. :)

thank you for your wit, BABYGIRLATANG. :)

THERESE, yeah, kundimans take a bit of getting used to, and they're actually structured as slow songs, but they make for singularly beautiful sounds once you get the hang of it--and especially when they're sung beautifully, and with context, as in this show. :)

ANONYMOUS, babygirlatang was being sarcastic, though your point is also true. menchu is menchu. :)

ANONYMOUS, thanks for the feedback. :)

hi DENNIS, agree! galeng ni shamaine! :)

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