‘Breath-taking’ performance in the Bay Area by Ballet Philippines

Their North American tour started in San Jose

Ballet Philippines (BP), the resident ballet company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a North American tour, starting with the Bay Area.

The tour, dubbed “Master Pieces, Celebrating 45 Years of Dance,” coincided with the celebration of Filipino American History Month. This is the first time in 15 years that the company has visited the United States, and the Northern California leg of their six-city tour was held on October 12 at the California Theatre in San Jose.

During the reception, guests were treated to a surprise performance. Principal Dancer Richardson Yadao and Soloist Denise Parungao performed a pas de deux entitled “Dulce Estrangera,” which was choreographed by BP’s resident choreographer Alden Lugnasin.

At the California Theatre, Consul General Henry Bensurto and his family, as well as California Assemblymember Rob Bonta raved about the “powerful and breath-taking performance.”

The two-act repertoire featured dances choreographed by the Philippines’ renowned choreographers Alice Reyes, Agnes Locsin, and Tony Fabella. 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 Gregoria De Jesus.

“Master Pieces” highlighted the exemplary technique, elegance and grace which is characteristic of the dancers of Ballet Philippines. It not only commemorates 45 seasons of Southeast Asia’s first dance company, but it is also celebrates Filipino talent and artistry, according to a press statement.

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.

Upcoming performances were held in Portland, Oregon, Olympia and Seattle in Washington and Vancouver, Canada.

From left: Becca Godinez Miranda of GodinUs Music, Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Cecile Ascalon, Mariza Bensurto, Margie Moran-Floirendo of Ballet Philippines, Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., and Richardson Yadao of Ballet Philippines

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