STARS of Philippine Ballet – a gathering of the finest Filipino dance talents here and abroad led by prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde – will go on stage on June 1, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at the Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City.
Presented by Ballet Manila, the Manila Broadcasting Company and Aliw Theater, the one-night gala concert brings together onstage for the first time today’s most exciting and multi-awarded Filipino dancers, many of whom are coming home from the ballet companies they represent abroad.
The show is a benefit for Ballet Manila’s scholarship program, Project Ballet Futures.
Featured in Stars of Philippine Ballet are Candice Adea of Hong Kong Ballet, Christine Rocas of Joffrey Ballet, Aileen Gallinera and Eduardo Espejo of Ballet David Campos, Marcelino Libao of Hamburg Ballet and Jared Tan of Atlanta Ballet.
Macuja-Elizalde is partnered by Rudy De Dios of Ballet Manila, with Jean Marc Cordero joining the production courtesy of Ballet Philippines.
Also showcased are Ballet Manila, the Philippine Ballet Theater, and international guest artists Mayo Arii of Hamburg Ballet, Jennifer Drake and Brian Williamson of Dance Theatre of Tennessee, and Mauro Villanueva of Joffrey Ballet.
Chris Mohnani, former principal dancer of Ballet Manila and the Nashville Ballet, is coming as artistic director of his own ballet company, Dance Theatre of Tennessee.
Eduardo Espejo and Aileen Gallinera will dance the pas de deux from the opera Faust and from Mascara de la Muerte Roja, both choreographed by David Campos of Barcelona’s Ballet David Campos where the two are principal dancers.
Christine Rocas and Mauro Villanueva will perform two pieces from the Joffrey Ballet repertoire – Reflections by Gerald Arpino and Bells (Pas de Deux) by Yuri Possokhov.
Candice Adea and Jean Marc Cordero will dance in Diane et Acteon, by Agrippina Vaganova, taken from the ballet Esmeralda about the Goddess of the Hunt who falls in love with the brave hunter; and in Alden Lugnasin’s interpretation of a Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand duet, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.
From Ballet Manila, among the featured pairs are: Stephanie Eunice Cabral and Arnulfo Andrade in Wedding Pas De Deux from Act 3 of The Sleeping Beauty; and Dawna Mangahas and Elpidio Magat in Grand Pas Classique.
The gala also includes the Philippine premiere of choreographies by John Neumeier, artistic director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet (Spring and Fall and Nocturnes); the two dance pieces of the Joffrey Ballet, Bells and Reflections; a new choreography by Ron Jaynario (La Femme, the second of a three-part work in progress for PBT, called The Tribe); and a new piece by Augustus Damian III for an all-male ensemble of Ballet Manila entitled Aramica.
Also not to be missed is George Balanchine’s Who Cares? set to the music of George Gershwin, featuring Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s Drake and Williamson.
For the past three years, Macuja-Elizalde has been organizing ballet galas at this time of the year, namely the Stars of Russian Ballet, the Singapore Dance Theatre gala entitled DUO and the World Stars of Ballet.
“This year, I decided to keep the gala close to home by inviting Filipino artists who have excelled abroad and bringing them here to dance for our local audiences,” she says.
The gala was inspired by shows Macuja-Elizalde herself performed in in the 1980s and 1990s, mounted by Ballet Philippines and Philippine Ballet Theater, and featuring Filipino dance icons working abroad and in the local scene.
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