Thursday, February 5, 2009
i finally got to see the 'play with music' atang. dulang may musika. knee-jerk reaction. WTF? why not call it a musical? watching it however made me realize what a 'dulang may musika' meant. (at least to my mind) the play incorporated songs and music that are not part of the dialogue. they sang because they were recreating scenes from the zarzuela, etc. a musical (to my mind) has the music woven into the script, as part of the dialogue - the proverbial 'break into song' part.
i got so inspired by the play. again, initial impressions were shattered. i thought that this would be a straight-forward re-telling of 'the star is born'. far from it. i love the fact that atang was so much more multi-dimensional. the almost-subversive direction her life took gave her depth, her singing a lot of more passion, and explains much of the wisdom she imparts to guia.
the kundiman - a wonderful art form that i was fortunate enough to have listened to early in life. my tita was a coloratura in her day and part of family reunions would be a lot of kundiman singing. though i didnt appreciate it then, i definitely appreciate it now. the sheer poetry built in is beautiful. but because some of the Tagalog have lost its meaning, i don't always get the lines. but the tune and the style of singing still translate the emotions beautifully.
im sitting there thinking how this art form could be 'revived' for a new generation to appreciate. any ideas?
the play is not perfect. there were scenes i was dozing off (i shouldnt watch matinees =( ). the first part looked contrived, especially guia's entrance into atang's residence, and seemingly time stands still as sepia images flash. the theater could improve its acoustics. and i felt that ayen was lacking in intensity when singing. but these are minor things. i remain in awe at the subject matter, style and treatment.
salamat, dulaang up, for bringing kundiman and ka atang to my consciousness!
Posted by closet case at 7:57 AM