The country’s premier dance company opens its much anticipated 53rd Season with “Dance Here And Now: Equus, Bolero, And Other Dances” igniting life to the performance arts with its first live show since the hiatus caused by the global pandemic.
Ballet Philippines’ highly anticipated 53rd Season Gala brought together a community of artists, performers, patrons, supporters, and fans all united by the love of dance, arts, and culture. The CCP lobby was once again bustling with giddy and cheerful energy during the pre-show cocktails while the audience patiently waited, in between toasts and warm hugs as old friends were joyfully reunited after the pandemic-caused hiatus.
Ballet Philippines President Kathleen Liechtenstein welcomed the audience by saying, “How wonderful it is to see all of you back at the CCP. Thank you for celebrating with us at tonight’s Gala! When the world closed down on us with nowhere to dance live, our battle cry was to keep dance alive! The Board of trustees immediately migrated the company to a digital platform called BP OnStream!”
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She continued, “Online, our home-based training with the dancers thrived and prospered; 60 superstars of the ballet world came onboard to conduct probono masterclasses! We have 49 video productions to date, and ran a series of K-12 instructional videos for students.”
Liechtenstein elaborated by narrating how the company initiated a Guest Artist training program with Philippine Ballet Theater headed by Marilou Kahn-Magsaysay and Ballet Manila with Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. “For the first time, the Philippines’ three foremost Ballet companies – banded together, unified as one happy family for the survival of the art of dance in this country,” she proudly declared.
She also acknowledged the “secret power of Ballet Philippines, its visionary and exceptional Board of Trustees: Our Chairman Antonio Cojuangco, Vice Chairman Maan Hontiveros, Treasurer Rosalind Wee, Mercedes Zobel, Bernie Aboitiz, Aldine Basa, Dr. Joven Cuanang, Carlo Calma, Katrina Razon, Amanda Luym, Lulette Monbiot, Katrina Razon, and Greg Yu.”
“Dance Here And Now: Equus, Bolero, And Other Dances” was the culmination of the two-year journey of darkness and light, heartbreak and breakthroughs, challenges and triumphs, with the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) proudly presenting a bigger, bolder, stronger, and wiser Ballet Philippines.
The performances were an emotional journey and a feast for the senses, beginning with “Dance Through Time and Bolero” in Act I featuring Romeo and Juliet, Filibuster, Scheherazade, Figaro, Carmen, Tarantella, Don Quixote, and Bolero. “Equus” in Act II was a masterpiece choreographed by Artistic Director Mikhail “Misha” Martynyuk and Artem Ignatiev, exploring the expression “horse’s work of a dancer” while honoring and celebrating the dancer’s discipline, diligence, dedication, hard work, and mental fortitude. It was a captivating and delightful evening spanning a grand jete, pas de deux, and fouettes that made the heart flutter. And speaking of fluttering hearts-what a glorious performance from Ballet Philippines’ Jemima Reyes and Aldrian Ocampo and The Manila Symphony Orchestra’s Sara Maria Gonzales-Solares , First Violin; Raphael Espada, Second Violin; Glenn Aquias, Cello; and Zandro Zulueta, Piano.
In an Instagram post, Ballet Philippines company dancer Jemima Reyes, shares, “This weekend, after years of pandemic, we were finally able to step on the big stage again! I honestly would’ve taken any stage but to be back in the CCP Main Theater was truly amazing. Here are some photos to remember the weekend by. These definitely don’t sum up the whole process but here’s most of what I have and what only IG can take.
With everything that has happened, my heart swells with gratitude. Much love to all who came and watched the show. Even the ones who couldn’t come but extended their love and support!”
Reyes impressed with a superb gala performance in Bolero, Scheherazade, and “Equus!”
Indeed the evening saw a bolder, stronger, and wiser Ballet Philippines! Bravo!
To know more about Ballet Philippines’ 53rd Season and to purchase your tickets, visit ballet.ph.
Banner photo via Instagram @balletphilippines.