Ballet Meets Architecture: Carlo Calma Reinterprets Philippine Deities in Ballet Philippines’s Diyosa

April 12, 2023



Rick Formalejo

Carlo Calma is one of the most renowned Filipino visual artists and architects in the country today. He works in the field of visual arts and architecture, exploring the relationship between bodies, nature, and the environment. Integral to his practice is his notion of movement that translates into his sculptures and architectural designs which, to a degree, have a performative aspect in them. He designs his body of work– from sculptures, objects, videos, and installations– to blur the boundaries between art and architecture, making his practice cut across other artistic disciplines.

Carlo Calma architect/artist
Carlo Calma architect/artist

In addition to his impressive portfolio, Calma’s newest creation is an exciting ballet performance. Set in the mythical world of Philippine gods and goddesses, Calma’s DIYOSA is Ballet Philippine’s  latest original production that juxtaposes elements from our rich culture with a call to action on the global environmental crisis. 

Carlo Calma architect/artist ballet
Carlo Calma architect/artist ballet

Choreographed by Ballet Philippines’ Artistic Director Mikhail Martynyuk, DIYOSA takes audiences on an unique sensorial journey where dance, design, fashion, electronic music, and art come together to inspire future generations. DIYOSA is anything but a literal interpretation of deities from ancient worlds. In the realm created by Calma, “the gods and goddess are reinterpreted as elements in architecture—creating these metaphysical worlds.”

In the adaptation, Philippine gods and goddesses are characterized through distinctive elements of local life—sunrise in the countryside, crowded alleys, the chorus of tricycles and jeepneys, just to name a few. In interpreting Calma’s concept of modern day deities on stage, Martynyuk shares a precise picture of how every god or goddess moves. He shares, “The concept of gods and goddesses in this ballet is very abstract. In Diyosa, we want to modernize our experience of a god or goddess. So, we had to create a dance for each character. This performance will see a fresh new combination of classical, neo classical and modern dance styles.”

The elements of Carlo Calma’s masterpiece presented in unison will be a sight to behold. The performance will be held at The Theatre at Solaire which recently partnered with Ballet Philippines. Carlo Calma’s DIYOSA by Ballet Philippines will be one of the most awaited in The Theatre’s power cast lineup in 2023. 

DIYOSA will make its debut on April 14, Friday at 8:00PM with shows on April 15 and 16 at 2PM and 7PM. 

Photos by ED SIMON

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