09 October 2014 – Ballet Philippines (BP) kicked-off its month-long US tour at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on October 04, after a 15-year hiatus since the company’s last performance in the United States.
The BP inaugural performance, which lasted 90 minutes and coincided with the celebration of the Philippine-American Heritage Month, showcased the group’s best works. It was attended by the luminaries of the Filipino-American community, with the likes of Apl.de.ap, Lou Diamond Phillips, Sony Pictures Entertainment Senior Vice President of Worldwide Publicity Fritz Friedman, Nia Peeples, Ms. Susan Ruttan, and Ms. Universe 2012 1st runner-up Janine Tugonon.
The Philippine Consulate General welcomed BP’s arrival in Los Angeles on October 08.
Ballet Philippines is headed by its President, Ms. Margie Moran-Floirendo, who is also known for winning the second Ms. Universe crown for the Philippines in 1973. Godinus Executive Producer Becca Godinez and PAE Live Producer Ted Benito are the producers of Ballet Philippines’ performance in the California area. BP is in its 45th season this year and is touring in the United States and Canada to exhibit the world-class talent of the oldest surviving ballet company in Southeast Asia. BP founder Alice Reyes was named a National Artist this year.
The youngest members of the traveling group, Jemima Reyes, 19, and Monica Gana, 20, have added their own achievements to the international accolades that BP received this past summer. Ms. Reyes received an award at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, while Ms. Gana represented the Philippines in the 26th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.
Carissa Adea, one of the principal dancers, was awarded a six-month fellowship in New York by the Asian Cultural Council and will be participating in workshops organized by dance companies in the United States.
Mr. Benito remarked that Ballet Philippines is his first dance production and his first time to witness an entirely Filipino ballet performance. The auditorium reverberated with enthusiastic cheers and applause from the appreciative audience. Many left the auditorium feeling proud of a ballet company that is all-Filipino. END