Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sarsuwela Festival this February in UP

In line with the University of the Philippines' centennial festivities, the Office of the Chancellor of UP Diliman, through the College of Arts and Letters and the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA), is organizing the Sarsuwela Festival in February 2009.

The Festival aims to create more awareness of the sarsuwela as a theatrical tradition and allow audiences to witness sarsuwela productions, view exhibitions, watch films, attend the conference and participate in other festival activities.

Sarsuwela Festival 2009 is a multi-faceted project that will feature a conference, exhibit, lecture-series, research, film showing, performances, educational opening parades and other special activities, all to promote understanding and a deeper sense of appreciation of the sarsuwela. It also hopes to generate heightened enthusiasm and commitment among theater practitioners, scholars, students and the general public for sarsuwela and other Philippine performance traditions.

Opening parade. The opening parade, featuring scenes from sarsuwela productions that will be presented during the festival, will be on February 4, 2009, 2 p.m. at the UP Academic Oval.

Sarsuwela performances. Four groups have been selected to mount four classic sarsuwela productions ("Paglipas ng Dilim," "Walang Sugat," "Sa Bunganga ng Pating" and "Ang Kiri"). Performances are on Feb. 4-6; 11-13; 18-20 and 25-27 at the UP Theater, 6 p.m. Ilonggo sarsuwela performances on Feb. 23 and 24 will be at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater. Tickets (P75 each) are available at the Sarsuwela Office, UP-CAL Dean's Office (9287508).

Film showing. It is significant to note that the early films made in the Philippines were sarsuwelas, including "Dalagang Bukid" in 1919, which starred Atang de la Rama and was produced and directed by Jose Nepomuceno, the father of Philippine Cinema.

This activity hopes to illustrate how the plots, characters and theme of early films were patterned after and/or reminiscent of sarsuwela forms. Screenings are scheduled on Feb 18, 19, 25 and 26, 2009 at the UP Film Institute. Tickets (P50 each) are available at the Sarsuwela Office, UP CAL Dean's Office (9287508).

Exhibition. The exhibition entitled "Ang Mundo ng Sarsuwela" seeks to replicate the sarsuwela culture at the turn of the 20th century, allowing the viewer to situate him- or herself in the social milieu of the time through sound, image and performance. The exhibit, at the UP Vargas Museum, will open on February 11 and will run until April 5, 2009.

For more details on the festival, call (02) 928-7508, 981-8500 local 2105, 0917-9633490; e-mail sarsuwelafestival2009@gmail.com, or visit the Sarsuwela Office: 2F CAL Dean's Office, Bulwagang Rizal, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Visit www.sarsuwela2009.multiply.com


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