Latest Stories

Ballet Manila dancers reap medals at Asian Grand Prix

THE BALLET Manila team arrives in Manila after a successful participation at the Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong: (front row) Sergio Capa III, Anselmo Dictado, Missy Macuja Elizalde, Jessa Balote, Arnulfo Andrade Jr. and Camille Santiago; (back row) Rudy de Dios, Violet Hong, Elpidio Magat, Dawna Reign Mangahas, Rissa May Camaclang, Alfren Salgado, Joan Emery Sia and co-artistic director/coach Osias Barroso

From a field of 212 contestants from 15 countries, dancers from Ballet Manila emerged with medals and citations at the 2013 Asia Grand Prix competition held Aug. 13-18 at the Y-Theater in Chai Wan, Hong Kong. Most notable among these is the Silver medal win of 14-year-old Rissa May Camaclang, the youngest Filipino to be  awarded in an international ballet competition.

Out of 12 Ballet Manila delegates, 10 made it to the finals and eventually brought home six medals and three certificates from the competition. Aside from Camaclang’s Silver in the Junior B division, BM also brought home the following: two Silver medals in the Pas de Deux division for Dawna Mangahas and Elpidio Magat; two Bronze medals also in the Pas de Deux division for Joan Emery Sia and Alfren Salgado; and a Bronze medal in the Senior division for Dawna Mangahas.

Young danseurs Magat and Arnulfo Andrade Jr. placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Senior division, while Jessa Balote landed fifth place in the Junior B division. Seniors Mangahas, Magat and Andrade also received the “So Danca” special award for their division.

Other members of the delegation were Junior B finalist Missy Macuja Elizalde, semifinalists Camille Santiago, Anselmo Dictado and Sergio Capa III, and Violet Hong.

JOAN Emery Sia and Alfren Salgado won praise for their “Giselle” pas de deux and would go on to win Bronze medals in the Pas de Deux division.

Ballet Manila artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde said she is satisfied with the results. “It was very competitive, especially since boys and girls vied for medals together in the same division. Fortunately, they trained with so much dedication for the AGP and we are glad that their skills and hard work did not go unnoticed.”

She commended the remarkable performance of Silver medalist Rissa May Camaclang and fifth-placer Jessa Balote. The two girls are part of Ballet Manila’s Project Ballet Futures scholarship program, in which children from underprivileged communities who show great potential but cannot afford ballet education are auditioned, trained and nurtured by BM.

The Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition was established in 2011 by former dancers of the Hong Kong Ballet, in an effort to encourage excellence in fledgling ballerinas and danseurs. Hosted by the Youth Ballet of Asia, it recognizes exceptional achievement and provides funding assistance to young dancers for their continued training and development.

Macuja-Elizalde believes the Russian Vaganova training, daily classes and rehearsals and the performance experience of the Ballet Manila candidates gave them an edge over the other delegates. She says they were also fortunate to have had BM alumna Christine Rocas of the Joffrey Ballet, and Russian mentors Margarita Kullich and Vladimir Kim give special coaching sessions to the AGP and Beijing delegates.

Rigorous training was also given by the BM faculty that includes Macuja-Elizalde, Osias Barroso, Rudy de Dios, Jonathan Janolo, Eileen Lopez, Mylene Aggabao and Sofia Sangco-Peralta.

Dawna Mangahas, who also became a semifinalist at the 2nd Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition last July—despite recovering from a recent injury—is a ballerina to watch, said Macuja-Elizalde. “We know she will grow even more as a performer now that she’ll be taking on lead roles in “Le Corsaire,” “La Bayadere” and “The Nutcracker” as part of our 18th season this year.”

Dawna Mangahas bagged a Silver medal in the Pas deDeux division, along with a Bronze medal and a “So Danca” special award in the Senior division.

Barroso, Ballet Manila co-artistic director, took special note of the performances of Joan Emery Sia and Alfren Salgado in AGP. “They nailed their ‘Giselle’ pas de deux, which is rarely done in competitions nowadays. Some may think it is not technically challenging, but when properly done with style and strength, ‘Giselle’ can leave an impact especially in style, musicality and artistry. During the finals, they danced ‘Le Corsaire’ and during the Adagio, people were gushing about Joan’s exquisite line. Alfren also danced his variation really well.”

“It is a learning experience that will enhance their own growth as dancers,” said Macuja-Elizalde, who has also won honors for the country in similar competitions.

She was the first Filipino ballerina to bring home a laureate prize, a Silver medal, from the 1987 Asia-Pacific Ballet Competition in Tokyo. She also completed the senior division semifinals at the 1990 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, and won fifth place at the 1992 International Diaghilev Ballet Competition in Moscow, Russia.

Barroso, for his part, became the first Filipino classical danseur to reach the semifinal round of the First International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition held in Nagoya, Japan.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Asian Grand Prix , Ballet Manila , dance , Lifestyle

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  3. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  4. Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  5. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  6. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  7. A tale of two Priscillas: my mother Prissy and Chona Recto Kasten
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Supper power
  • Condo unit sales boosted Shang Properties earnings
  • ERC mulls over WESM price cap for May, June
  • Whatever happened to the ubiquitous pagers?
  • Huge 2013 net profits seen difficult to surpass in 2014
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats