Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy sad

Production week is here again. It's like hell week to college students and putting the issue to bed for editors. For us dancers, it's our do or die week. Not completely confident of your solo? Sorry, you're going onstage tonight. 

This is the time when dancers do their most complaining. The wait in between runs are soooooo long... Dinner break is too short... Why is one dance blocking longer than it should?... Is THIS our costume?... The lights are too bright... the stage is too dark... 

Despite the complaints, this is also the time when magical things happen. I've seen magic happen onstage and off.  In La Rev, I was inspired by the handful of former BP members who came out of retirement to help pull the current dancers together. It felt good to see some relief in Agnes' face after we gave our best to give justice to her masterpiece. In New Beginnings, I felt myself and other dancers make a break through in our dancing. I felt dancers truly connect and work things out when injury started to take down key dancers. I saw maturity and grace make its contribution to the group. In Coppelia, I witnessed Candice push herself like never before to give the performance of her life. After days of not getting the timing right, there was one performance when the orchestra played perfectly in tune and in time with us.

Sadly I won't be performing with the company in Neo Filipino, but the reason for this is a very happy moment in my life: I'm pregnant with my first child. 

Sometimes, I wonder whether I'm ready. I wish I could have at least finished the season and performed as Tadtarin in Amada, a BP classic. I wish I could have continued the progress I've been making with my dancing. I could have spent a few more months just enjoying the company of my co-dancers, who are my dearest and most respected friends. Maybe just a few more months of living life the way I know it. 

On the other hand, I've been wanting to have a child for quite some time now. I adore my sisters' children. My husband and I want to have kids, and can't see life any other way.  This is indeed a joy and a blessing. There's no other time to have it but on the time it is given. And the time is NOW.

It's ok to miss this production and all the productions of next season (waaah!); I'm having my own production. And despite all my complaints (I get tired so easily... I feel dizzy again), something magical and wonderful is happening inside my belly, which is not flat and strong anymore. Hay. But that's ok. I'm carrying a child in me... another human being... a little boy (Roger Tony Stark D. Bautista) or a little girl (which Jamie hopes will be an easier introduction to parenthood). 

Wow. Life is changing. But I won't have it any other way.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ballet Philippines presents Neo-Filipino



March 13 – 15, 2009
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino
Cultural Center of the Philippines

Featuring works by

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – In the final program of its rousing 39th Anniversary Season, Ballet Philippines pays homage to the vast riches of the Filipino cultural heritage in NEO – FILIPINO with the revival of a repertory favorite and two world premieres. Highlights include the highly anticipated revival of founding artistic director, Alice Reyes' Amada. Inspired by National Artist Nick Joaquin's Tadtarin and Summer Solstice, Amada explores the mysteries of the Tadtarin ritual. Live music by Kalayo (formerly Pinikpikan) will serve as inspiration for the world premiere of KatiTaog by Ballet Philippines' Artistic Director, Max Luna III - his first work created especially for the company. The world premiere of Ulaging – Daog-dog Sa Sang Libong Kulog by BP Resident Choreographer, Alden Lugnasin, draws on a fusion of live music, ethnic instruments, movement, drama and contemporary dance to expose the plight of the indigenous Lumads of Mindanao.

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Ticket World Outlets: +632 891 9999
CCP Box Office: +632 832 3704
Ballet Philippines: +632 551-0221/551-1003/832-3689/832-6011

Money saving season subscriptions are still available, for as little as P3200, from Ballet Philippines. BP is pleased to once again offer discounts to Students with ID (50% off), Seniors (20% off) and Groups of 20 or More (20% off). Special discount rates are also available for School Groups.

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This production of Neo – Filipino is made possible in part thanks to the support of Ayala Land Premiere, Globe Telecom, Rene Barbier and Freixenet Cava Wines

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Music: Lucrecia Kasilag
Choreography: Alice Reyes

In the Philippines, Spanish Catholicism was absorbed and mixed with local pagan rites and rituals. One of the more primitive ones was that of the "Tadtarin" which was practiced once a year during the Summer Solstice at the Feast of Saint John. It was a Dionysian festival where women reigned supreme for three days and the men who participated could do so by wearing some female garb as a symbol of subservience.

Music: Kalayo
Choreography: Max Luna III

The traditional Pangalay of the Tausūg people of the Sulu Archipelago serves as inspiration for Mr. Luna’s exciting live-music collaboration with Kalayo.

Ulaging – Daog-dog Sa Sang Libong Kulog – WORLD PREMIERE
Choreography: Alden Lugnasin

Resident Choreographer, Alden Lugnasin, draws on a fusion of ethnic instruments, movements, drama and contemporary dance to explore the environmental issues facing the indigenous Lumads of Mindanao.

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Founded in 1969 by Alice Reyes with the support of Eddie Elejar and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Ballet Philippines (BP) is widely recognized today as a cornerstone of Filipino cultural identity. Its audience represents a cross-section of Manila’s populace, including local and international visitors. Touring internationally, the company presents indigenous Filipino creations as well as uniquely Filipino interpretations of internationally recognized masterworks. Each year its outreach and educational programs introduce new generations of audience members not only to dance, but also to music and the visual arts. BP’s official school, the CCP Dance School, continues to produce dancers of international caliber. As the resident dance company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Ballet Philippines is globally recognized as the flagship company in ballet and contemporary dance.With a treasure trove of over 400 works, Ballet Philippines’ wide ranging, eclectic repertory is unparalleled in Asia. From full-length classical ballets and internationally recognized masterworks to indigenous works of Filipino folklore, the company weaves a colorful tapestry of the Philippine’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.With the support of both the private and public sectors, BP’s achievements continue to strengthen and firmly establish its position as the country’s premier dance company. Ballet Philippines continues to look forward to its future while continuing to pay tribute to its past.

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Programming is subject to change. For further information, please visit BP online at

CCP 40th Anniversary Launching Gala

Monday, February 9, 2009

2008 Gawad Buhay

Monday, February 09, 2009

PHILSTAGE’s Gawad Buhay! nominees bared, CCP awards rites set on February 18

Ballet Philippines’ productions of New Beginnings and Coppelia romped off with seven major nominations in the fourth quarter citations list released by the jury of the 2008 Gawad Buhay!, The PHILSTAGE Awards for the Performing Arts.

New Beginnings earned the jury’s nod for outstanding dance production, ensemble performance, choreography (Max Luna III and Alan Hineline), and set design (Gino Gonzales). Coppelia was cited for ensemble performance and set design (Mio Infante).

Tanghalang Pilipino’s Mga Gerilya sa Powell Street earned citations for ensemble performance, male lead performance (Joe Gruta and Dido dela Paz) and featured performance (Mailes Kanapi).

Ballet Manila’s Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang was cited for costume design.

Gawad Buhay! is the first industry awards conferred for outstanding achievements in the performing arts by member-companies of the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group, Inc. (PHILSTAGE). The PHILSTAGE Board of Directors is composed of Tanghalang Pilipino’s Fernando Josef, president; PETA's Melvin Lee, vice president; Ballet Philippines’ Sandy Hontiveros, secretary; Repertory Philippines' Gidget Tolentino, treasurer; Actors Actors’ Leonardo Lim, Ballet Manila's Susan Macuja, Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s Tony Espejo, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit’s Mitch Valdes, TRUMPETS' Joel Reyes as Board Members, and PHILSTAGE Executive Director Elmar Beltran Ingles.

While PHILSTAGE administers the awards, the final recipients will be chosen by an independent Jury Panel selected by the PHILSTAGE Board of Directors from a roster of critics, performing artists, cultural researchers and scholars, and the general public.

The public is invited to watch the final awards rites to be held at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) at 7:30 p.m. on February 18, 2009. Invited to present the awards are the country’s foremost theater personalities.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ballet Philippines Company Auditions: 2009-10 Season

Open call for Ballet Philippines and Ballet Philippines II

Saturday, February 28th 2:00pm Ballet Philippines’ Studios/CCP
Sunday, February 29th 11:00am Ballet Philippines’ Studios/CCP

About Ballet Philippines
Directed by Alan Hineline and Max Luna III, Ballet Philippines is one of Southeast Asia’s major dance companies and maintains an internationally recognized repertoire of classical, neo-classical, contemporary and modern works from choreographers including Ailey, Nebrada, Locsin, Fabella, Reyes, Lugnasin, Luna III and Hineline.

Ballet Philippines’ 2009/2010 season will run between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010. The Company will perform four programs of both classical and contemporary works at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. In addition, the company may be featured in some national and international touring engagements. The thirteen month contracts include salary, health coverage and educational opportunities.

For information please email

Sunday, January 4, 2009

CCP Dance School SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS: January 10, Saturday

The CCP Dance School of Ballet Philippines is holding auditions for the third quarter (January to March) of its school year on January 10, 2009, Saturday at the CCP Rehearsal Hall. Full and half tuition scholarships are awarded to children and advanced dance students ages 9 to 18 from the different regions and Metro Manila. This is in line with the CCP and BP’s mission to discover and nurture young talents in dance. These scholars eventually become candidates for apprenticeship and membership to the company. The scholars regularly perform at the CCP’s theaters for the company’s season and for special productions.


CCP Dance School Scholars (girls and boys age 9 to 13 with basic ballet training) and
Male Scholarship Program (boys up to age 20 with any dance training)

Company Scholars (girls and boys up to age 18 Intermediate levels and up)

All applicants must submit 2 pcs. 1x1 ID pictures, dance resumé, registration form and audition fee (P75 for CCPDS students, P100 for non-CCPDS applicants) prior to the audition date, and must come in comfortable dance attire. (Leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes for girls; White fitted shirt, black tights and black ballet shoes for boys. Advanced ladies must bring their pointe shoes.)

For more information, please visit Ballet Philippines or call 832-3689/832-3676 Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 7:30am to 3pm, or email Send text messages to (0906) 428 4564.
(Photo by Noordin Jumalon)