Founded in 1969 by Alice Reyes with the support of Eddie Elejar and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Ballet Philippines (BP) is widely recognized today as a cornerstone of the Filipino cultural identity. It is Southeast Asia’s longest running dance company with an audience that represents a cross-section of Manila’s residents and visitors from around the country and around the world.
Ballet Philippines has performed in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Russia and the former Soviet Union, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Venezuela.
As the dance company in residence at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Ballet Philippines is globally recognized as the country’s flagship company in ballet and contemporary dance. With a treasure trove of over 400 works, Ballet Philippines’ diverse, eclectic repertory is unparalleled in Asia. From full-length classical ballets and internationally recognized masterworks to indigenous works of Filipino folklore and social issues, the company weaves a colorful tapestry of the Philippines’ rich and diverse cultural heritage.
As the Philippines’ most seasoned dance company, Ballet Philippines has produced the most number of acclaimed original works, including Rama Hari, Encantada, and Peter Pan. It has also mounted classics such as Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Don Quixote.
In a country that still struggles with widespread poverty and thus places less emphasis on the arts, Ballet Philippines has been steadfast in its mission to professionalize dance in the Philippines: Dancers are paid a full salary the whole year with complete benefits.
The company is proud to be the staging ground for the successful careers of Filipino dance luminaries such as choreographers Denisa Reyes, Agnes Locsin, and dancer/choreographer Edna Vida, as well as principal dancers such as Nonoy Froilan, Cecile Sicangco, Manuel Molina, Lisa Macuja, Rey Dizon, Brando Miranda, Augustus Damian III, Toni Lopez-Gonzalez and most recently, Candice Adea, who won a silver medal in the prestigious USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.
BP has hosted the best international guest artists including Natalia Makarova, Yoko Morishita, Patrick Bissel, Martine Van Hammel, Julio Bocca, Ou Lu, Christine Walsh, Wes Chapman, Valentina Kozlova, Joan Boada and Connor Walsh, and has proudly performed with internationally acclaimed Filipino dancers Maniya Barredo, Anna Villadolid, and Elizabeth Roxas, giving them a stage for the Filipino audience.
Today, BP Alumni continue to perform in Hong Kong, Macau, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, and in the US for diverse companies such as the famed Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan, Het National Ballet of Netherlands and Cirque du Soleil.
Education and Outreach
The CCP Dance School, the official school of Ballet Philippines, is the training ground of Ballet Philippines. It undertakes a year-round program of dance education composed of a regular school year that coincides with the academic school year and the annual CCP Summer Dance Workshop, a 5-week summer intensive that draws dance students, teachers and choreographers from all over the country.
BP’s partnership with the CCP has allowed the CCPDS to accept about 100 scholars every year. It also has ties with the Philippine High School for the Arts, whose students receive supplementary training at the CCPDS.
Since 1995, BP, in partnership with De La Salle University—College of Saint Benilde has been offering a Bachelor of Performing Arts Major in Dance that has allowed BP’s dancers to get a bachelor’s degree while pursuing their dancing career.
Audience development efforts are helping the company sustain itself. This season alone, there was a 75% increase in the number of people who watched BP’s season from last year.
The company’s achievements, coupled with the generous support of numerous local and national funding sources, have dramatically strengthened BP’s position as a world-class dance company within the local, national, and international arts communities.
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