BOBBY Dy, Ayala Land president; Rowena Tomeldan, Ayala Land VP and head of operations and support services,
commercial business Group; Sofia Zobel-Elizalde, Steps Dance Studio director and Steps Dance Project founder;
Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation chair; and Junie Jalandoni, Ayala Land senior vice president and
commercial business group head
Why Sofia Zobel-Elizalde has been in search of a perfect tap dancer
Every year, Ayala Malls have always been conscious to make sure that their audiences are exposed to quality culture and arts. Every year, we bring song and dance to the malls, and we make sure it’s always something different,” says Sofia Zobel-Elizalde, Steps Dance Studio managing director, who is at the helm of this year’s Christmas program series for the Ayala shopping chain, dubbed “Frankly Speaking.”
She explains: “‘Frankly Speaking’ is inspired by the music of Frank Sinatra; it’s music that the entire family can appreciate.”
While Ayala Malls have staged different musical productions over the years, it will be the first time that tap dancing will be a highlight of this year’s shows.
Elizalde went to New York in search of the perfect tap dancer. “We actually went to the original Cotton Club in Harlem where we found Omar Edwards tap dancing,” she recalls. “We were mesmerized… so we’re very happy to share this with the Filipino audience.”
The show premiered Nov. 7 at the Glorietta Activity Center, where a live band (AMP with musical director Mel Villena) accompanied Edwards’ tap dancing. Joining him were Steps Dance Project’s gifted scholars, as well as heartthrobs Piolo Pascual, Xian Lim and Sam Milby.
“Frankly Speaking” will also tap its way into the following Ayala Malls—Alabang Town Center (Nov. 16), TriNoma (Nov. 22 and 23), Fairview Terraces (Nov. 29 and 30), Ayala Center Cebu (Dec. 6-7), and Market! Market! (Dec. 13-14).
Elizalde says that every show will be different. Edwards agrees: “I am inspired by the beat so my routine will change accordingly.” He showed off his fancy moves and tap shoes rigged with lights during the program’s launch at Glorietta.
Each mall will have different Christmas villages, featuring handpicked holiday finds by tastemakers Xandra Rocha, Martine Cajucom, and Nicole and Camille Tantoco.
At Greenbelt, Ayala Malls will welcome the Christmas season with a silent auction to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity, Centex (Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education) and The Sibaltan Women through Ayala Foundation, and Little Sisters of the Poor and the Missionaries of Charity.
The auction on Nov. 19 at Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk will feature Christmas trees decorated by designers and premium retailers like Hermes, Ana Rocha, Impy Pilapil, Leeroy New, Ed Castrillo, Dick Jose Santos and Jewelmer.
Those looking for tasty treats as gifts should drop by Market! Market! where the Christmas Chef’s Lane will be staged Dec. 8-28. Go beyond the usual fruitcake and snap up unique pastries instead.
Among the chefs will be Anna Chua of Pink Wasabi and her hand-rolled sushi cakes, Miko Aspiras and his handcrafted cookies, and Deep Dips, bottled gourmet creations by Chef Arnold.
“Christmas is always about celebrating happiness and magic. Come and watch the shows, do your Christmas shopping, and have a great meal. It’s great to see families come together with big smiles on their faces,” says Elizalde.
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