P-Noise/Nordlys Brings Met Back To Life With First Performance In Years
Filipino arts festival P-Noise and Nordic artist collective Nordlys will be holding a “walking performance” at the Manila Metropolitan Theater, marking the first show to be held at the once-majestic building in years.
The performance is part of the Nordlys/P-Noise Contemporary Edition, a series of debates, film screenings, performances, and visual art exhibitions by Filipino and Nordic artists.
P-Noise and Nordlys collaborate
As a “walking performance,” the audience will be led through the theater, whose crumbling interiors will be decked out in balloons and lights, among other things. Those who attend the show can expect to relive the theater’s former glory as they take a trippy walk through its old halls and rooms.
At the end of the performance, the audience will be led to Fred’s Revolucion, a bar in Escolta, where they can hang out with the performers over beers.
Reviving the Met
The show at the Manila Metropolitan Theater (aka Met) is set to breathe new life into the theater space. Up until last year, it had been left to decay.
The art deco building by national architect Juan Arellano was once a jewel on Manila’s crown. However, conflicts in ownership led to the theater being shut down and neglected for almost two decades. This has put the theater at the mercy of nature, looters, and ghost hunters.
Also, despite being named a National Cultural Treasure in 2010, the Met has not seen a performance in over two decades, save for a concert by rock band Wolfgang held there in 2011.
The Road to Restoration
It was only in 2015 that the future of the Met started to look less bleak. In June 2015, the theater was sold to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). A couple of months later, over PHP 9 million was released for its restoration.
FUN FACT: The money used by the NCCA came from their share of the TIEZA travel tax we pay on outgoing international flights. Think of that and maybe you won’t feel so bad forking over all that cash!
Even with such progress being made, the theater is still a long way from its former grandeur. Still, its beautiful bones remain—and evidently, some artists find the space sufficient, even inspiring, decrepitude and all.