When in Manila, despite all the chaos that has been going on because of the election, there’s still something to be happy about. Like, Manny’s victory, Coldplay’s announcement, Anti-sexual ordinance passed, and now this–4 Young Ballerinas Represent Philippines in Russia.
Thanks to Ballet Manila, these ballerinas are now able to represent the country at such a young age, in Russia! These promising dancers will represent Ballet Manila in the DANCE OankPEN International Ballet Festival, to be held from April 16 to 25 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
They are BM junior company members Nicole Barroso, Marinette Franco, Alvin Dictado and Joshua Enciso. All handpicked by their artistic heads to participate in the prestigious festival, which will bring to the fore the fruits of their years of rigorous training in the Russian Vaganova method.
Fourteen-year-old Nicole, the youngest in the group, is a silver medalist (Junior B category) of the 2015 Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong, where Marinette, 16, was also a finalist. “Having trained exclusively in the Ballet Manila School, they both exude the style and technique of the Vaganova-trained dancer,” observes artistic director and prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, who is also the BM School director. “However, as individual artists, they are complete opposites when it comes to strengths. Whereas Marinette is tall and long with beautiful lines and extensions that go up and away, Nicole is a compact soubrette who is fast, charming and a turner”.
On his selection of the male delegates, co-artistic director Osias Barroso points out that both have “marvelous stage presence.” Joshua, 16 and an AGP finalist, is described to have “a wonderful ballon” while Alvin, 15, is “light on his feet.” Adds the former ballet master and principal danseur: “Although they are young, these boys have a good working attitude and they deliver onstage. I am confident that they will treasure this experience and strive harder to improve on whatever physical limitations they may possess.”
On April 24, after completing their Master Classes, the four Filipino teens will join their international peers in performing at the “Young Stars Gala” scheduled at the historic Hermitage Theater, where they will be dancing on the very same stage where ballet icons like Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky took flight over a century ago. They will also participate in museum tours, as well as cultural and artistic exposure trips arranged especially for the junior delegates. “I feel that this chance to train and perform in the very heart of Russian ballet will have a very positive impact on our young dancers,” Osias shares. “Given more opportunities like this, I am certain that they will all mature into able guardians of the BM tradition, which values excellence in the classics above all.”
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