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I saw BP's first show for the season "Neo Filipino". I'ts a collection of dances from different choreographers. Carissa Adea and Richardson Yadao danced Lakambini from Rock Supremo. Always great to see them. I don't know if they're back for good or if that was just a guest performance. The standout performance and choreography was the boys group led by principal Jean Marc Cordero. OMG! JM was amazing! He had a solo and a duet with Christopher Niño Royeca. That was the highlight of the night. JM did a double tour jump and was catched by Royeca that was met by gasps from the audience. It was so beautiful. I can see Royeca being principal for BP in the coming years. He's tall and easy on the eyes. Definitely prince material. His performance in Hugot Sa Rosas was poignant. I'm excited to see it again in September. JM being the only principal left stands out with his grace and technique.

The second half of the show was HORRIBLE! It started with a skit by a theater group. It was vulgar! They had old cultural references that are just not funny anymore. I'm sure they're good actors but the material just didn't work. I was so mad at the tackiness of that skit. The dances that followed were not memorable. That show should not have had a second half.

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I don't know very much about the company -- could you fill us in a bit? Where was this performance, is that their usual venue, who runs the ensemble and do they train their own dancers ...?

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I don't know very much about the company -- could you fill us in a bit? Where was this performance, is that their usual venue, who runs the ensemble and do they train their own dancers ...?

Ballet Philippines is one of the three major ballet companies in the Philippines. BP is the most experimental among the three. They do classical ballet, neo-classical, modern, and Filipino ethnic. They have frequent international guests. Most recently, Stella Abrera of ABT debuted as Giselle with this company. Their usual venue is the Cultural Center of the Philippines. That's like our MET. Paul Alexander Morales is the Artistic Director; the Ballet Masters are Victor Ursabia and Ramon Victoria. They train their own dancers although they also accept dancers from other companies.

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Thank you so much -- I appreciate you filling me in about this. If I can ask another question, what are the other two companies you mentioned like? And is there a contemporary/modern dance community as well?

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The other two are Ballet Manila and Philippine Ballet Theater. Ballet Manila was founded 20 years ago by retired Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. She was the first foreign principal at the Kirov Ballet which is now Mariinsky and was also principal at all three ballet companies I mentioned. She is the AD of the company. Ballet Manila has a strictly classical Vaganova technique which I am not a very big fan of. But I think their greatest weakness is their venue. Aliw theater is in the same block as CCP but smaller and has a university theater feel.

Philippine Ballet Theater is also mostly classical but the technique is not as strictly Vaganova as BM is. I've only seen one show from them; that was last month's Don Quixote where the guest artist was Joseph Philipps who used to be a corps member at ABT and is now a principal at Primorsky in Russia. PBT is also based in CCP like Ballet Philippines. Both PBT and BP are partly government funded.

There are small contemporary/modern dance companies as well but they are mostly school based. It is relatively new in the Philippines and the technique is not there yet so I'd rather watch ballet dancers doing contemporary/modern if I want to see that.

You can read about the history of these companies in the article below written about them in 2003.

http://ncca.gov.ph/about-culture-and-arts/in-focus/what-moves-the-three-major-ballet-companies/

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