Philippine bishops say Madonna concert is devil’s work

Philippine Catholic bishops called Wednesday on the faithful to boycott pop diva Madonna’s sexually charged concerts in the nation’s capital, calling them the devil’s work.
MANILA: Philippine Catholic bishops called on Wednesday (Feb 24) on the faithful to boycott pop diva Madonna’s sexually charged concerts in the nation’s capital, calling them the devil’s work.

The 57-year-old Like A Virgin and Erotica hit-maker is scheduled to cavort on a giant cross-shaped stage during two concerts on Wednesday and Thursday as part of her global Rebel Heart tour.

“Pinoys (Filipinos) and all God-loving people should avoid sin and occasions of sin,” Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said in a statement posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ official website.

Full article HERE

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Madonna visits children at Bahay Tuluyan Foundation

A day before her scheduled concert on Wednesday night, pop culture icon Madonna visited and spent time with the kids of Bahay Tuluyan Foundation in Manila earlier Tuesday afternoon.

Catherine Scerri, deputy director of the nongovernmental children’s rights organization, said the American singer-songwriter arrived at 2 p.m. and stayed for close to an hour.

“She watched a little dance number prepared by the children, and then ended up dancing with them, too,” Scerri told the Inquirer in a phone interview. “The children were very happy and enjoyed their time with Madonna,” Scerri said.

On her Instagram account, Madonna posted a photo of her with three children under the organization’s care. “Chillin’ with my homies at the Bahay Tuluyan Foundation, giving shelter to orphans street children trafficking abuse victims in Manila,” Madonna wrote.

Scerri described the meeting “private and casual,” with Madonna accompanied by around 20 people, including some of her dancers.

“They reached out to us yesterday. Initially, we thought it was only her dancers who will go. We found out that Madonna was also coming today,” Scerri said, adding that Madonna asked her about how the foundation works.

“We discussed the situation of the children and how we help them,” she said.

Madonna, one of the bestselling artists of all time, is currently in the country for a two-night show at SM Mall of Asia Arena, on Feb. 24 and 25, as part of her ongoing “Rebel Heart” world tour.

The Manila leg is presented by promoter Music Management International. TVJ

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Madonna sneaks into PH days early to hit the beach

Pop superstar Madonna slipped into the country quietly through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) at 2 a.m. Monday for her two-day concert in Manila in support of her 13th studio album “Rebel Heart.”

The four-time Grammy winner’s arrival aboard a chartered Boeing 752 was kept under tight wraps with airport workers strictly prohibited from taking pictures and videos with their mobile phones.

The team of customs, immigration and quarantine officers dispatched to the parked aircraft at remote parking area 21 of Naia Terminal 1 to process Madonna’s papers were told not to bring mobile phones on board.

The ground handler of the chartered flight had reportedly requested “utmost confidentiality” on Madonna’s arrival for her SM Mall of Asia Arena concert on Feb. 24 and 25.

A Naia source, who requested anonymity, said Madonna arrived days before her concert to go to Amanpulo in Palawan, the premier resort visited recently by American business magnate Bill Gates and  Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Madonna, whose full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone, flew to Manila after her concert in Macau.

Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” worldwide tour, a total of 82 shows, will end on March 20 in Sydney, Australia.  Her two-day concert in Manila is part of the 13-show Asian leg.

The Queen of Pop is considered the best-selling female recording artist of all time, with 300 million records sold worldwide. She is also the top touring female artist of all time, according to Billboard, which ranks her second to the Beatles in its hot 100 all-time top artists.

She was also included in Time Magazine’s  “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” and is in the American cable TV network VH1 list of  “100 Greatest Women in Music.”

Madonna also earned acting acclaim when she won a Golden Globe for her role in the film version of the musical “Evita.”

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Singapore archbishop warns flock against Madonna concert

Singapore’s Roman Catholic archbishop has expressed concern at an upcoming concert by pop diva Madonna in the city-state and warned his flock against supporting those who “denigrate and insult religions”.

Archbishop William Goh said in a statement posted on the diocese website on Saturday that he had various government officials to express the church’s concerns about the February 28 concert, part of her global Rebel Heart Tour.

The concert, at the 55,000-seat National Stadium, will be Madonna’s first-ever in largely conservative Singapore.

She was barred from performing in in 1993 after police said her performances bordered on the obscene and were “objectionable to many on moral and religious grounds”.

Goh said that in a multi-ethnic society like Singapore “we cannot afford to be overly permissive in favour of artistic expression at the expense of respect for one’s religion”.

Authorities have assured the archbishop that restrictions have been placed to ensure that content deemed offensive to religious beliefs would not be allowed on stage, the church statement said.

The Media Development Authority has restricted the concert to those aged 18 and above because of sexual references.

Local media reports said Madonna would not be performing a controversial tour segment called Holy Water, which includes dancers dressed as scantily-clad nuns performing on cross-shaped stripper poles.

The church statement said many Roman Catholics have voiced outrage at Madonna’s “disrespectful use of Catholic and other Christian symbols” in her performances.

“There is no neutrality in faith; one is either for or against. Being present (at these events) in is itself a counter-witness,” the archbishop said.

He warned his flock against supporting “the ‘pseudo arts’ that promote sensuality, rebellion, disrespect, pornography (and) contamination of the mind of the young”.

Some Catholics said they supported the archbishop’s decision and would not attend the concert.

Student Kevin Koh, 24, said he would not go but would not pass judgement on fellow Catholics who attend.

“Singapore as a society has to start being open to these things because we can no longer live in our own shells,” he told AFP.

Some online comments were critical, with one commentator saying the faithful should be allowed to make their own decisions.

Read more at BusinessStandard

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Berlin Review: Moving Documentary ‘Strike A Pose’ Catches Up With Madonna’s ‘Blond Ambition’ Dancers

There is something eternally fascinating about survival stories — not necessarily the ones that involve Robert Redford on a sinking boat orSandra Bullock in a leaky spacecraft, but real survival stories, of people going on with their lives after the sometimes brief period that defined them. That fascination is multiplied, shaded with regret, nostalgia, and maybe even bitterness, when those defining moments involved youthful beauty, a physicality that time has eroded, or at least changed. Ester Gould and Reijer Zwann‘s crowd-pleasing, where-are-they-now-style documentary catches up with the troupe of dancers from Madonna‘s 1990 “Blond Ambition” tour, several of whom were subsequently featured in her then-controversial movie “Truth or Dare,” as well as the iconic video for “Vogue.” Of the seven — Slam,Kevin, Carlton, José, Luis, Gabriel, and Oliver (the straight cuckoo in this gay nest) — not all survived. Some contended with HIV/AIDS, some had to overcome addiction or homelessness, but all shared a unique and life-altering experience: a moment on the crest of a wave of fame that, with the arrogance of youth, they believed would last forever. Right until it crashed.

Actually, their time orbiting the biggest star in the world, just at the point at which she went supernova, was short, really only lasting from the beginning of the tour to the fallout following the 1991 release of “Truth or Dare.” The film, with its spontaneous gay kiss between Gabriel and Slam, became the subject of a lawsuit when Oliver, Kevin, and Gabriel sued Madonna for, essentially, involuntarily outing them. It’s a bitter moment that in retrospect takes on an almost matricidal air (they frequently refer to Madonna in maternal terms), as though it were a premeditated plan to cut the apron strings. It wasn’t, of course, and but it did abruptly sever their connection to the Queen of Pop. It feels somewhat ruefully moot now, when all of them now acknowledge their intense pride in inspiring a generation of gay people just then coming to terms with their sexuality in an environment less enlightened than today’s.

READ MORE: ‘Fire At Sea’ Takes Golden Bear At Berlin Film Festival, Mia Hansen-Love Wins Best Director, And More

Oliver, the self-confessed former homophobe despite his fondness for flamboyant clothing (“How can you be a homophobe? You look like a parrot” Luis remembers thinking) is now married, works in a restaurant, and the right hand side of his face sags slightly as a result of Bell’s Palsy, which he and his wife explain good-naturedly in one of the film’s most unexpectedly endearing moments. Jose lives with his boyfriend in a room of his adored mother’s apartment: he cries when she reminds him of the house she thought he’d one day buy her. Slam confesses to a secret he has held close since 1987, Carlton talks openly about his HIV-positive status, Luis refers to his heroin addiction: not one of them fails to understand just how young and naive they were when this whirlwind hit.

"Strike A Pose"
Linda Posnick

But neither would any of them exchange the memory of that period for anything, and most have remained connected to the dance world in one capacity or another. This contributes to the film’s loveliest sequence, where we cut between each of the men performing today: in contrast to the crisp bravado of the moves that made them famous, their short routines are elegiac and slow, scored to an delicate instrumental track rather than a pop hit, often performed in silhouette or near-darkness — a rather lovely metaphor for a graceful withdrawal from the limelight.

Otherwise, Gould and Zwann’s film runs along perhaps too familiar and formal lines to have too many tricks up its sleeve: it establishes a rhythm of switching between the dancers individually in their post-fame lives, that we just know must end with a reunion. Yet that does not rob the inevitable meeting of its simple, sweet power, and the gentle revelations, mellowed with time, that punctuate the excited chatter are truly moving. Yes, the contrived nature of the situation contributes to a performative feel, but these men are all performers, and their interactions are no less authentic and sincere for being self-consciously dramatic.

There is also the palpable air, hanging over that dinner table, that some or maybe all of them secretly hoped that Madonna herself would make an appearance. Because aside from their personal stories, “Strike A Pose” also functions as an examination of the halo effect of fame, and what happens when the flame moves on and leaves you behind. Despite Luis’ more philosophical take (“She doesn’t owe us anything… and we became who we are because of us, not her”), Madonna is the film’s structuring absence. As a result, some noticeable omissions (we never see the “Vogue” video, for example, and concert footage is used more sparingly that you might expect), while possibly rights-based, also feel thematically appropriate.

Indeed, a deus-ex-machina last-minute appearance by the star would have thrown the whole center of gravity of the film off, because it’s not about her, it’s about life after her. And that’s how “Strike a Pose,” despite the melancholy nature of some of the stories, becomes such an uplifting survival tale. “At the time any one of us would have taken a bullet for any one of the others,” declares Oliver definitively, but there’s not always a hail of gunfire handy in which to prove your mettle: mostly it’s how you persevere in the absence of drama that really tells you who you are. [B]

Read more at Indiewire

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Thousands of Madonna fans converged on the Studio City Event Center (SCEC) over the weekend to see the Queen of Pop’s two debut performances in Macau as part of her worldwide “Rebel Heart Tour.”
The Times attended Saturday’s concert, which started at 10.35 p.m. in the crowded 5,000-seat SCEC. Madonna performed some of her all-time hits, including “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” and the lead songs from her Rebel Heart album.
During a pause between acts, Madonna sat on the stage and said to the audience: “I’ve never been anywhere quite like Macau before; it’s remarkable and it is special. It feels intimate and grand. It feels small and it feels… not small.”
Madonna’s Saturday performance in Macau also featured a surprise entrance from Hong Kong Cantopop singer Eason Chan, who took to the stage and danced alongside the musical legend. Madonna uttered, “Oh shit!” to roars of applause, as Chan fell over while dancing. Madonna ended Saturday’s concert in Cotai wrapped up in a Macau flag, as she did in HK with the Bauhinia jacket.
According to a press release issued by Melco Crown, Madonna’s two performances attracted numerous Asian celebrities, including Aaron Kwok, Miriam Yeung, Charlene Choi, Christy Chung and award-winning actress Carina Lau. Also present were celebrated couples Simon Yam and Qi Qi, and Leo Ku and Lorraine Chan.



read more at MacauDailyTimes

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Madonna crew to make Filipinos crazy for her

AT AGE 57, Madonna seems to have done everything, imaginable or otherwise, in her 36-year career.

But for her current “Rebel Heart” tour, the Queen of Pop is pulling out all the stops to give her fans, including Filipinos, a show they will remember for a long time.

Staggering are the details involved in the production of Madonna’s tour, cited by Forbes magazine as “the most expensive” of 2015, and which rolls into Manila on Feb. 24 and 25 at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena:

More than 2 million Swarovski crystals adorn Madonna’s costumes, whose seven designers include Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Alexander Wang, Fausto Puglisi, Jeremy Scott for Moschino, Nicolas Jebran, MiuMiu and Prada.

Over 1,000 wardrobe pieces are required for all the performers on stage, 500 pairs of shoes have been custom-made, and more than 200 pairs of fishnets will be worn by Madonna when the tour ends, with 60 people dressing, sewing and adjusting the costumes night after night.

While the audience are watching the show, some 2 million LED pixels will light up the rear screens on stage, with 63,500 kilograms (140,000 pounds) of lights, sound and video equipment in use for each night’s performance. The movable stage ramp alone weighs 24,970 kg (55,000 lb).

Comprising Madonna’s advance party are more than 100 crew members, who are due to arrive in Manila today to start mounting the elaborate stage set, which will also be flown in from Macau, the tour’s previous stop.

The stage—the same one used for the tour’s opening date on Sept. 9, 2015, at Bell Center in Montreal, Canada, and all other coming dates—was designed by Stufish, the design studio founded by Mark Fisher, which also did the sets of the respective tours of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, U2, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, among others.

The MOA Arena crowd will be thrilled to see that the Rebel Heart stage “is almost as long as the entire court floor area” of the venue, according to a representative of the tour’s Philippine promoter, Music Management International.

The main stage leads to a long catwalk extending from its middle to the center of the space. At the middle of the catwalk is a second, circular-shaped stage, while at the far end is a third, heart-shaped stage.

The stage will allow Madonna to move as freely as possible and reach out to all sections of the venue. In fact, there will be seven bouncing sway poles extending over the audience during the performance.

The Rebel Heart concert averages 20 songs, give or take a couple of additional tunes, depending on Madonna.

The set list from the Feb. 20 show in Macau contains four segments: “Joan of Arc/Samurai” theme, opening with the Beatles’ “Revolution” accompanying a video, before segueing with five Madonna songs; “Rockabilly meets Tokyo,” five songs including “True Blue” and “Like A Virgin”; “Latin/Gypsy,” five songs including “La Isla Bonita”; “Party/Flapper,” five songs including “Material Girl”; plus an encore, “Holiday.”

The tour, which will end on March 20 in Sydney, has a total of 82 shows: 36 in North America, 25 in Europe, eight in Oceania, and 13 in Asia, including the two dates in MOA Arena.

It is presented by Live Nation, with whom Madonna signed a five-year contract worth over $1 billion.
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Madonna arrives in Manila

Madonna arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, dawn of February 22, 2016.

The American singer and songwriter, whose full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone, was aboard a chartered Boeing 752 at 1:58 a.m., the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said.

From the plane, she walked at the runway’s ramp and boarded a limousine going to her hotel.

Madonna will be having a concert titled “Madonna Rebel Heart Tour” at the Mall of Asia Arena on February 24 to 25 2016.


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New in Filmography: Madonna in Truth Or Dare / In bed With Madonna, TONS of scans, lots of videos!

New in our Filmography is Truth Or Dare / In Bed With Madonna. We couldn’t have timed it better as it’s been almost 25 years since it made it’s memorable debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991. Not only that but the Dutch documentary Strike A Pose following up on what happened to the dancers of the Blond Ambition Tour has just premiered at Berlinale. Receiving nothing but praise and set for a Dutch premiere in May.

We have taken a lot of time getting this one together, hours of scanning original articles, finding great videos and memorabilia (from our own collection).

  • Press – over 125+ original magazine and newspaper articles scanned
  • memorabilia – including the original Cannes programme, displays, original videos and much more
  • Trailers – view a rare original TV spot and see the trailer
  • Movie Scenes – view some scenes from Truth Or Dare from the blu-ray in HD
  • Interview – watch the entire interview with Rene Mioch
  • Buy the film!
  • Read the facts

Visit Truth Or Dare now, ENJOY


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‘strike a pose’: a homage to madonna’s blonde ambition dancers

At the drop of a hat, any serious Madonna fan can run down the most indelible moments fromTruth or Dare (or In Bed with Madonna). The highest-grossing documentary ever at the time of its release, the film details the on-and-off-stage antics of her 1990 Blond Ambition world tour. My highlight would be when the tenacious pop princess sings a cappella with her two back-up singers outside an arena, as they hold hands and strut past impassive police “in the fascist state of Toronto,” after being told she’d face arrest on the grounds of not-very-virginal onstage crotch play.

Sure, the film seared into our collective consciousness those iconic Jean Paul Gaultier costumes and Madonna’s oft-discussed water bottle fellatio feat. But with the luxury of hindsight, what remains most groundbreaking about Truth or Dare is the way it candidly explored and embraced young queer life. At one point, hip-hopper Oliver even complains about being the only straight performer on the tour, as her six other dancers were gay men. And in a pre-So You Think You Can Dance era when dancers mostly toiled in oblivion, Truth or Dare propelled Madonna’s surrogate family of backup talents — Salim, Gabriel, Carlton, Jose, Kevin, Luis and Oliver — into the spotlight in an unprecedented way. While the dancers became role models of self-empowerment and success for millions worldwide, the touching new documentary Strike A Pose reveals that applying those ideals of freedom to their own lives proved far trickier.

“It’s impressive to see people follow what you did and, 25 years later, still appreciate you for telling your personal side of the story and getting all emotional about it. I’m so moved by that,” iconic voguer Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza tells me when we sit down with fellow dancers Kevin Stea and Salim Gauwloos for a chat at the Berlinale, where the film’s world premiere elicited rapturous cheers and heartfelt Q&A testimonials the night before. Still reeling from what Kevin describes as “the overwhelming love and look of awe in people’s eyes,” I reckon it’s just starting to dawn on them that they never stopped being role models for such a wide spectrum of fans.

Among them, Strike A Pose co-director Reijer Zwaan, a political scientist and deputy editor for a current affairs program in the Netherlands. In other words, not quite the filmmaker profile you’d expect for such a project. Zwaan agrees it’s a happy departure, explaining how the guys left a big imprint on him growing up. “It stems from a personal fascination of mine with these dancers,” recalls Zwaan. “I saw the film when I was 11 at an Amsterdam theater and was immediately mesmerized. I saw the film many times after that and wondered what had happened to them. I found people online writing about how they came out or dared to be themselves because of them. It certainly was inspiring to see a group of gay guys be so open, proud and cool. I remember being impressed with them, as was [co-director] Ester Gould.”

Upon meeting the guys separately and being completely taken by their combination of “sweetness, strength and openness,” Zwaan and Gould agreed there was a big story to tell. One that would afford the six surviving dancers (Gabriel sadly died of AIDS in 1995) a chance to speak for themselves, and open up about the inner demons that prevented them from achieving the very freedom they embodied so convincingly. “The idea of self-acceptance as being very hard for all of us, even when you are a paragon of pride, was very powerful to us,” says Zwaan. “That’s what connected all their stories for us.”

Read the full article at I-D Vice

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Exclusive Video: Synth Secrets of Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour

Behind the big production and choreography of Madonna’s 2015-16 Rebel Heart tour are some state-of-the-art synth rigs. Musical director Kevin Antunes, whom we’ve also talked to about his work with Justin Timberlake and on Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: One tribute, invited us onstage for a rare look at the hardware-meets-software stage rigs assembled for himself and co-keyboardist Ric’key Pageot.
On Antunes’ stage riser, a huge amount of the sounds come from a mirrored dual-laptop Native Instruments Komplete setup that includes Maschine pad controllers and Komplete Kontrol MIDI keyboards. The MacBook Pros also runMOTU Digital Performer. His audio interface of choice is the RME MADIface XT because he needs to send lots of channels to and from both the front-of-house and monitor mixers. A venerable Mackie Big Knob serves as Antunes’ personal monitor controller, along with customized Master & Dynamic headphones. To his right, a Roland Fantom-G workstation and V-Synth GT comprise the hardware synth portion. A custom-made rack of Gibraltar components utilizes a convex, ribcage-like shape to allow freedom of movement and easy access to foot pedals–and also looks so stealthy that from the audience perspective, it’s as though the keyboards and synths are floating in mid-air.
Ric’key Pageot’s main axes are an Access Virus TI 2 above a Nord Stage 2. For loops and samples, he runs Ableton Live and a Push controller on a MacBook Pro, via an Apogee Ensemble interface, connected via Thunderbolt. (Read about the latest features in Ableton Live 9.5 here.) Like Kevin, he also has the Roland Fantom-G and V-Synth GT.
Kevin, Ric’key, and keyboard techs Joe Wolfe and “Bongo” Longo explain all this and more in this trio of exclusive videos, shot just before sound check at Madonna’s October 2015 performance in San Jose, California.
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Madonna will not perform sensitive segment in Singapore, organiser clarifies – Holy Water will be cut

“We wish to reconfirm MDA’s earlier response to this matter and clarify that Holy Water will not be a part of the Singapore show,” says organiser Live Nation Lushington.

SINGAPORE: Madonna will not be performing her controversial song Holy Water during the Singapore leg of her Rebel Heart Tour later this month, clarified organiser Live Nation Lushington on Friday (Feb 19).

In an article published by the Straits Times on Feb 16, it cited an investor in the show, Chief Executive of Kinglun International Holdings James Lee who said Holy Water would be performed in an amended version at the Singapore show.

Live Nation Lushington also stated that it had a cleared song list and performance that would meet the Media Development Authority (MDA) guidelines and requirements of show licensing in Singapore. The company holds the licence for the show.

MDA stated previously that Madonna would not be allowed to perform the segment because it contained “religiously-sensitive content which breach our guidelines”.

The regulator reiterated that the concert organiser has agreed to comply with the terms of the license. “(The license) states that the concert should not contain content or materials which offend any race or religion, and that the performance overall must fall within the guidelines of the R18 rating.”

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