In alphabetical order, the painting exhibition of Cristina Grisar at Ayala Museum’s ArtSpace and that of Maria Victoria (Marivic) Rufino at the Pen drew scores of elite art lovers. Among those present at the former were celebrated Spanish painter Betsy Westendorp (who is Cristina’s grandmother), Instituto Cervantes Director Carlos Madrid Alvarez-Piner, Ph.D., Mr. and Mrs. Alejandro Padilla, Isabel Wilson, Lorna Laurel, Rita Ledesma and Elena Colome. Spotted at the latter were Mr. and Mrs. Jose Pons Guadiola, Tony and Mita Rufina, Miguel Realmonte and others.
The visual arts are not my field of discipline; accordingly, my comments on the paintings will be those of a layman.
The remarkably gifted Cristina must have inherited her talent from Betsy. Cristina’s fantastic, fabulous, overpowering paintings, whose themes are extra-terrestrial, magnetized viewers. Entitled The Bejewelled Cosmos, the exhibition manifested the artist’s fascinating versatility, including as it did jewelry (see photo) and photographs “from this and other worlds.”
How the tall, beautiful, blonde Cristina charmed visitors with her unaffected, affectionate welcome of them!
The more mature (may sound better than older) Marivic has long enthralled and enchanted friends and peers with her “dreamscapes.” If her exhibition, entitled Luminescence, had consisted instead of musical compositions, I would have described them as exquisitely lyrical, glowing, smoothly flowing and lambent.
Romanza a book of poems by National Artist for Literature Rio Alma, edited and translated by Marnel Kilates, is illustrated by Marivic’s paintings.
Marivic has a Liberal Arts degree, major in Theater Arts and English Literature (with honors) from Marymount, Manhattan College, New York. She studied painting in both the Western style and the Chinese Tradition in Manila and New York, and has held solo exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, San Francisco, California. “Luminescence” is her 18th in Manila.
As president and executive producer of Maverick Productions, Marivic has produced dinner theater plays here and musical concerts in the US, Italy and Hong Kong. In 1990, she received the Gawad CCP for “Best Television Special.”
Startling ‘Sleeping Beauty’
The evil fairy Carabosse, portrayed by Katrice Reyes, made a tremendous impact with her terrifying presence, dynamism and dramatic intensity in “Sleeping Beauty” choreographed by Toni Lopez Gonzalez and danced by her ballet students attired in elaborate and elegant costumes.
Principals were Princess Aurora (Dani Kleiner/Nicole Zamora) and Prince Florimund (Nino Royeca) who drew lusty applause in their highly competent pas de deux, as did the Bluebird (Mark Grantos) and Princess Florine (Sabrina Burket/Carina de Guzman) in their own pas de deux.
Most startling and admired was the vast assemblage of virtual toddlers and not much older ballerinas. While showing various stages of training and development, they appeared as striking Lead Fairies, Songbird Fairies, Fairies of Courage, Friends of Princess Aurora, Ladies-in-Waiting, Jewels, Blue Sapphires, Pink Sapphires, delightfully amusing White Cats, and Red Riding Hood Girls.
The tiny ballerinas turned and glided with amazingly consistent discipline and precision, their “cuteness” endearing them even more to the adoring audience as they entered and exited endlessly in varying numbers at the CCP Little Theater stage.
Both the little ones and their senior peers called attention to the meticulous, rigid training of their mentor whom they fondly call “Teacher Toni”. Their performance likewise called attention to Toni’s immense achievement in view of the innumerable solos and ensemble numbers she had to choreograph for the vast group of participants. Indeed, what imagination and inventiveness the ballet demanded of her!
The program for “Sleeping Beauty” seems impossible to match. A coffee table book with a hard cover, it contains color pictures of the dancers and their testimonials declaring that they learned from Toni invaluable lessons not only in ballet but also in life.
Toni’s mother, former dancer-mentor Sony Lopez Gonzalez, has served as her sterling inspiration.
This article was inadvertently skipped publication due to the Christmas rush.