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Ballet PH wows audience at Northern California leg of US tour

/ 04:34 AM October 22, 2014
The entire Ballet Philippines team with Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

The entire Ballet Philippines team with Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

San Francisco visit (from left to right): Becca Godinez Miranda (GodinUs Music), Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Cecile Ascalon, Mariza Bensurto, Margie Moran-Floreindo (Ballet Philippines), Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. and Richardson Yadao (Ballet Philippines).

San Francisco visit (from left to right): Becca Godinez Miranda (GodinUs Music), Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Cecile Ascalon, Mariza Bensurto, Margie Moran-Floreindo (Ballet Philippines), Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. and Richardson Yadao (Ballet Philippines).

SAN FRANCISCO – Ballet Philippines held the Northern California leg of its six-city tour before an audience awed by its breathtaking performance on Sunday, October 12, at the California Theatre in San Jose.

The much-awaited tour marks the first time in 15 years that the Company has visited the United States. Entitled Master Pieces, Celebrating 45 Years of Dance,the tour celebrates the ballet company’s 45th anniversary and coincides with Filipino American History Month.

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Ballet Philippines is the resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The 25-member US tour contingent is headed by Margie Moran-Floirendo, president, and Paul Alexander Morales, artistic director.

Among the dancers are five of the Company’s principal dancers: Carissa Adea, Jean Marc Cordero, Katherine Trofeo, Richardson Yadao and Earl John Arisola, all of whom are Philstage Gawad Buhay nominees and awardees for various performances.

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Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. hosted a reception on October 10at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. “Over their 45 years of performing, Ballet Philippines has made a deliberate effort to preserve Filipino culture by using ballet as a platform to tell our story, and share the beauty of our culture,” Bensurto remarked.

Richardson Yadao and Denise Parungao in “Dulce Estrangera.”

Richardson Yadao and Denise Parungao in “Dulce Estrangera.”

Principal Dancer Richardson Yadao and Soloist Denise Parungao treated guests to a surprise pas de deux entitled “Dulce Estrangera” choreographed by resident choreographer Alden Lugnasin.

The Sunday audience at the California Theatre, including California Assemblymember Rob Bonta, was amazed by the Company’s the powerful and breathtaking performance. The two-act repertoire featured dances choreographed by the Philippines’ renowned choreographers Alice Reyes, Agnes Locsin and Tony Fabella.

It showcased various ballet styles such as classical, neo-ethnic, neo-classical and contemporary. Some of the dances also reflected aspects of Philippine culture and history through its music and storylines, such as the Bungkus Suite which made use of traditional and popular folk songs and Lakambini, a rendition of the love story of national hero, Andres Bonifacio, and his wife Oryang (Gregoria De Jesus).

At San Francisco performance (left to right): Benito Miranda (GodinUs Music), Mariza Bensurto, Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Paul Alexander Morales (Ballet Philippines), Cecile Ascalon and Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon.

At San Francisco performance (left to right): Benito Miranda (GodinUs Music), Mariza Bensurto, Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Paul Alexander Morales (Ballet Philippines), Cecile Ascalon and Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon.

At San Francisco performance (left to right): Benito Miranda (GodinUs Music), Mariza Bensurto, Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Paul Alexander Morales (Ballet Philippines), Cecile Ascalon and Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon.

Master Pieces highlighted the exemplary technique, elegance and grace characteristic of dancers belonging to Ballet Philippines, commemorating 45 seasons of Southeast Asia’s first dance company and celebrating Filipino talent and artistry.

Ballet Philippines’ California tour is produced by the Federation of Filipino-American Associaions, Inc., GodinUs Music and PAE Live! Proceeds from the performances will benefit the Ballet Philippines Foundation, Inc. and the apl.de.ap Foundation.

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Upcoming performances will be held in Portland, Oregon, Olympia and Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada.   (For more information, visitwww.ballet.ph and www.facebook.com/balletphilippines.)

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TAGS: Ballet Philippine Northern America tour, Ballet Philippines, California Theatre, Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr., Cultural Center of the Philippines, Margie Moran Floirendo, Paul Alexander Morales, Philippine ballet company
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