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      "...a prolific ballet company..."
      Critics have referred to Ballet Manila as the "ballet company of the new millennium" because of its unwavering commitment to excellence in classical dance, both as a professional performing company and as a formidable training ground for young dancers. Ballet Manila has achieved an i... read more
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      Bio

      Critics have referred to Ballet Manila as the "ballet company of the new millennium" because of its unwavering commitment to excellence in classical dance, both as a professional performing company and as a formidable training ground for young dancers.

      Ballet Manila has achieved an impressive track record of over 200 local performances-from Abra to Zamboanga. They have brought the magic of dance to Filipinos from all walks of life and in all corners of the archipelago, performing classical and neo-classical ballet pieces in non-traditional venues without compromising the fine artistry of its craft.

      In 1995, within six months of its creation, Ballet Manila was invited to represent the Philippines at the 2nd International Music Festival of the Asia-Pacific Region in Krasnoyarsk, extending to a six-week Russian Tour comprising in four Siberian cities.

      The following year, BM went on a four-city tour of the United States, including a debut performance in New York to celebrate Philippine Independence Day. It was the first gala performance of a Filipino classical ballet ensemble in what is considered "the dance capital of the world".

      By October 1996, Ballet Manila scored another first with its unprecedented collaboration with the Krasnoyarsk State Ballet, a 30-member Russian company which joined BM on a three-week tour of key cities of Luzon and the Visayas, on the occasion of Lisa Macuja's tenth anniversary as a home-based ballerina. With their highly successful performances of Swan Lake and Don Quixote, the Filipino and Russian Ballet companies forged a pioneering joint artistic venture - not only for both groups, but also for the countries they represent.

      In 1998, the two ballet companies joined forces once more for a full-length performance of the classics Le Corsaire (the first in Asia) and Swan Lake.

      A Ballet Manila highlight is the completion of another successful US tour, where the company presented shows in jam-packed theaters in Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, Washington D.C., Michigan, and Ohio.

      Locally, BM --- in cooperation with Manila Broadcasting Company --- had pioneered a highly successful cont\cert series, Ballet and Ballads. These free performances feature the artistic merger of pop songs and classical dance, as part of Ballet Manila's mission of bringing ballet closer to the heart of the masses.

      The late Eric V. Cruz, BM Artistic Adviser, who had three decades of experience in Dance behind him, was heartened by how the group has proven to be an important link in the chain of development in Philippine dance in so short a time. Cruz believed the competitive edge of Ballet Manila rests on four important qualities of the dancers: youth, talent, a steadfast commitment to ballet, and most of all, belief in the group's aims and aspirations. "young as they are, they already have a vision for Philippine ballet and the role they have to play if they want to make a significant contribution to the art," Cruz attested.

      Ballet Manila continues to lay foundations that will strengthen its position as a premiere ballet group. On January 2001, BM further boosted its position as the only company with direct links to the “birthplace” of classical ballet --- Russia. Its 2nd Russian Tour ended with a big performance in the historic Maly Theater in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) Russia where the Russians were treated with the world-class artistry and skills of the Filipinos. In June 2004, Ballet Manila had another successful US tour performing in the cities of Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, St. Louis and Nashville. It was the company’s 3rd US tour and barely two months after, in August 2004, the Company took center stage once more. This time, it was in Scotland, United Kingdom being the Philippine representative to the 2004 Aberdeen International Youth Festival where they performed in Aberdeen, Arbroath, Ballater and Stonehaven. Ballet Manila has since performed in Korea, in Beijing, China and in the World Culture Expo 2006 in Angkor Wat, Cambodia as well as repeat performances in the United States in 2005 and Russia in 2006.

      Aside from its summer dance workshops, Ballet Manila maintains a school that offers year-round ballet classes. Deserving students are awarded scholarships, while those who eventually qualify are invited to join the company as professionals. Ballet Manila compensates its dancers well, giving performance fees and monthly salary that are commensurate to their talent and effort.

      Ballet Manila also ensures that the appropriate infrastructures are in place to serve the dancer's needs. Its three-walled rehearsal hall ---- the largest in the country --- is set against a backdrop of lush greenery that has proven conducive to creative work. A second studio has air-conditioned facilities and living quarters for visiting tutors. Nearby, the Ballet Manila office is equipped with a music library, a costume house and storage space for equipment. Books and videos on ballet are also at hand for the continuing education of the dancers and students.

      Aside from bringing classical ballet to the farthest-flung regions of the country and to audiences abroad, Ballet Manila has also set its sights on attracting a younger crowd of balletomanes --- one that will grow and mature with the group.

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