Latest Stories

Will Ballet Philippines become the national dance company?


When Ballet Philippines trustee Kathleen Liechtenstein tapped Margie Moran-Floirendo to join her, the former beauty queen-turned-civic leader thought her job as president merely entailed weekly visits. She ended up spending more time making BP more financially viable.

Upon joining BP in 2009, Floirendo recalled that the company’s morale was sagging after a series of conflicts between the former artistic directors and the board.

“It took time before the dancers regained their confidence,” said Floirendo. “We had a common purpose to make things work. We had to jumpstart everything. Now we want to get everything to another level.”

Floirendo is now on her third season, and BP is becoming more sustainable. It costs P30 million a year to run the company, which covers production, salaries and employee benefits. More than 40 percent of its income comes from block ticket sales, performances outside of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and special events. The dancers have been kept busy with national tours and shows in partnership with SM.

In the past two seasons, BP had invited foreign guest teachers and artists to help raise the company’s artistic and technical standards. For the welfare of the dancers, more housing and better health insurance were provided.

The company has had a bumper crop of awards last season and is planning to revive the junior company Ballet Philippines 2. Floirendo is finding more ways to earn money for BP, such as the rental of its satellite Arts in the City studio in Bonifacio Global City.


Despite efforts to improve the operations and artistic standards of the company, the talk among the dance community is the bill which Floirendo, Morales and other BP executives are lobbying for. Authored by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Senate Bill 2679 aims to make the Ballet Philippines Foundation Inc. (Ballet Philippines) the national dance company through legislation.

The BP president pointed out that many countries have a national dance company supported by the government. If the bill is passed, it could raise the salaries of BP’s dancers and provide funding to import guest teachers.

However, the bill didn’t sit well with the characteristically fractious dance community. As it is, BP enjoys office space, the rehearsal hall, and the use of the theater as some of the rights of a CCP resident company. The bill would expand the company’s privileges.

“We received opposition because of the fear of what would happen to them. If I were on the other side of the fence, I would never think that I was any less, and I’m not saying we are better,” says Floirendo. She added that the company is willing to help other companies. In the past, dancers from other groups could take their classes for free.

“We believe that BP deserves it because of its 42-year existence. It started its season when CCP opened in 1969, and it has a repertoire of over 400 works. We’ve developed world-class dancers. Everything has been documented.”

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: Ballet Philippines , lobbying , Margie Moran-Floirendo , Sen. Bong Bong Marcos

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?


  • Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • Thousands celebrate Easter in Holy Land
  • Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation
  • Pimentel wants Balikatan-type drills for PNP
  • Sports

  • 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
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • 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

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • 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

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW from Maguindanao 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
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders