MANILA, Philippines—Ballet Manila’s (BM) forthcoming anniversary presentation, “BM 2.0,” will have Chicago-based Joffrey Ballet dancers Christine Rocas and Rory Hohenstein, said artistic director and prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.
Rocas is one of BM’s success stories, having started her training at the BM School at age 9 and later becoming a principal ballerina of the company.
In 2005, Rocas emerged silver medalist in the New York International Ballet Competition and received the Arpino Award, which secured her entry to the famed Joffrey Ballet.
“We are very proud whenever our students and former company artists are able to spread their wings and even establish careers overseas,” said Macuja-Elizalde.
For “BM 2.0,” the company’s 20th-anniversary offering, Rocas and Hohenstein will perform the Balcony Scene from Krzysztof Pastor’s “Romeo and Juliet” and a pas de deux from Christopher Wheeldon’s poignant “After the Rain.”
Rocas’ stellar role in Joffrey Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet” last year was cited by the international Pointe magazine as one of the 10 Standout Performances for 2014.
A review in the Chicago Sun-Times said: “Christine Rocas’ Juliet was a total triumph—a dazzling star turn on every level, with rapturous, pristinely beautiful dancing and gorgeously honest acting that could put a Royal Shakespeare Company veteran to shame. Her Romeo, Rory Hohenstein, a dancer of the most subtle grace and intelligence, was a passionate, easily masculine partner.”
“After the Rain” by ballet sensation Christopher Wheeldon has been hailed as a “landmark piece, full of heartfelt emotion that leaves audiences in awe.”
“We are glad to welcome back Christine to the Philippine stage after we invited her to perform in our production, ‘Stars of Philippine Ballet,’ in 2013. Her participation in ‘BM 2.0’ is an opportunity for local audiences to see the talent that has made her thrive at the Joffrey Ballet for the past nine years,” said Macuja-Elizalde.
“BM 2.0” will also showcase the world premiere of “Bloom,” multiawarded Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s first work for an Asian dance company, focusing on rituals and prayer.
Other featured pieces: Pas d’Action from “Paquita”; “Ecole,” by BM coartistic director Osias Barroso, about a dancer’s daily journey from his first dance exercise to his professional stage work; and “Tara Let’s,” by BM principal artist Gerardo Francisco, originally choreographed for the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
“BM 2.0” will have its gala night on Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m.; with a matinee show on March 1, 3 p.m., at Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City.
Subscriber’s Night, originally scheduled on Feb. 20, will now coincide with the gala.
“BM 2.0” is presented by Ballet Manila, Manila Broadcasting Company, Aliw Theater and Star City, with ACS Manufacturing Corp., BPI Express Credit, Island Rose, Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, First United Travel, Papa John’s Pizza, Krispy Kreme, The Food Club and Tokyo Bubble Tea.