Safe to Dance: Ballet Philippines Is Returning to Live Performances for Its 53rd Season - Arts & Culture

The company is ready to dance where no one else has.

Ballet Philippines’ commitment to keeping dance alive developed a digital platform of performance streaming and masterclasses during its last two seasons, which was triggered by pandemic restrictions. Now, they’re ready to fill up theaters—and untraditional venues—with the return of live performances. 

READ ALSO: Show Must Go On: After Hurdling Challenges To #KeepDancing, Ballet Philippines Welcomes Another Season

For its 53rd season, the first resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) launched “dance where no one else has,” the theme of the new beginning at Taguig’s Gallery by Chele.  

Invigorated spirit

At the mezzanine of chef Chele Gonzales’ restaurant, a snippet performance was danced by Ballet Philippines principal dancer Jemima Reyes and the company’s artistic director, Misha Martynyuk. 

“We wanted a launch that would reflect the inspired and invigorated spirit of the company,” explained Ballet Philippines President Kathleen Liechtenstein.

 “Think of this as ‘revenge dancing.’ After years of online classes, live streaming, and digital migration, we wanted to step out again–and go where ballet has never been. We’re not just talking about locations, although that has been in the pipeline, but also new partnerships and collaborations.” 

Jo Ann Bitangcol captured the grace and beauty of Ballet Philippines’ core dancers wearing couture creations by the Fashion Design Council of the Philippines.

A photography exhibit shot by Jo Ann Bitangcol greeted guests, exemplifying the company’s different efforts to empower the creative community. 

Empowering the creative community

The images presented Ballet Philippines’ dancers in couture creations of Fashion Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) designers such as JC Buendia and Happy Andrada. 

“I remember I was a scrawny boy seated in the darkness of CCP, watching my first ballet, which was the Nutcracker,” Buendia shared in a speech. “And ever since, it has inspired me to design. So this is very timely because now we’re going back to normalcy, and it would be nice to start weaving our dreams again.”

While conceptualizing this season’s performances, Martynyuk shares that his fellow dancers have restored their bodies through rigorous training, and now they’re ready to execute the five shows they have lined up: Paquita and Bolero (September 2022), EQUUS (September 2022), Nutcracker (December 2022), and Rizal (March 2022). 

The Honored Artist of the Russian Federation and choreographer adds that as he envisioned the season ahead, he saw a lineup that would showcase “new emotions, new discoveries, and a new crop [of] talented dancers on stage that audiences will fall in love with.” 

Banner photo courtesy of Ballet Philippines.

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