You know that a play is a classic if it has gone through several metamorphoses and iterations, and Edna Vida Froilan’s version of Peter Pan is no exception. Having been restaged six times since its original iteration in 1983, people have been coming back for Froilan’s spectacular and majestic version of Peter Pan.
Those there are some revisions made through all six versions, we give you a rundown on the magic on not just the story of Peter Pan, but on Froilan’s unique Filipino execution.
It’s more than your typical ballet performance
A unique aspect of Froilan’s version of Peter Pan is that she incorporated a ballet performance with a Broadway-like feel. ”It's a combination of dance and theater musical, something that's quite unique,” Froilan said.
The fun part with this approach is that the characters lip sync to songs being played while showcasing their stellar ballet performance. Fusing two different genres does help in making the audience relate to the whole performance better.
Everyone can relate to the story
Whether they are performers or part of the audience, the story of Peter Pan is so timeless that original performers from the 1983 version would bring their children (and in some cases, grandchildren) to the 2015 version, and they would still feel their inner child after watching the performance.
“Many people have approached me to say they became young again after watching the show so it brings back memories of childhood,” Froilan remarked, noting that she is thrilled with the response of everyone (including performers!) every time Peter Pan is restaged.
The characters can be likened to Filipino personalities
Did you know that Froilan considered making a Filipino version of Peter Pan? In the planning stages, she considered Peter Pan as a street child, Tinkerbell as a diwata, and Captain Hook as a politician. While she did not push through with the idea (well maybe in the future, why not?), Froilan noted that all nationalities can, in one way or another, relate to the universal message of Peter Pan.
“Neverland is a place of fun and adventure, away from what we all face in the real, somewhat chaotic life,” she said.
It has the right blend of comedy
For those who have seen Froilan’s version of Peter Pan, one can notice that she added a comedy element to the whole story. Though her sense of humor is more of “wry and dry”, Froilan looks up to the Comedy King Dolphy as the epitome of comedy done right. “He's [Dolphy] always serious and for me comedy is very serious,” she said on why she loved Dolphy’s brand of comedy.
Why does Froilan prefer a wry and dry form of comedy instead of slapstick comedy? “I prefer people to laugh at the hilarious events as they unfold on stage and not because the dancers are trying to make them laugh.”
The 2015 version is suited for millennials
Froilan’s Peter Pan may be 33 years old, but she made some tweaks to make her masterpiece in line with the times. One of them is a selfie moment in one of the sequences, and more front-of-the-curtain dances, making the whole performance more interactive to the audience.
With millennials being a fast-paced generation, Froilan factored this out for the latest restaging. “In previous years the audiences would listen to the music intervals and enjoy it; Now, I know they want to see action so I added choreography to the music,” she explains.
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