For the milestone anniversary of Ballet Philippines (BP) this year, the premier ballet company has tapped designer Michael Cinco to work his magic. The Dubai-based designer’s creations will be featured in the 50th anniversary gala fashion show celebration Sept. 29.
“We will stage a fantastic version of ‘Swan Lake’ by choreographer Alden Lugnasin,” said BP’s artistic director and National Artist Alice Reyes.
The idea of working with Cinco, known for his flamboyant, crystal-and-glass bead-encrusted gowns, came about after Margie Moran Floirendo, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) chair and former BP president, met the designer at the 2017 wedding of doctors Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho in Paris.
“We are hoping to bring ballet to fashion lovers through this collaboration with Michael. If they are drawn to his designs, it might open their eyes to dance,” Moran said. “It’s our way to bring dance to them through something they love.”
In February 2020, the birth month of BP, there will be performances staged by young designers. The anniversary festivities will close with “Rama Hari” in “a celebration of National Artists working in collaboration—Ryan Cayabyab for music, Bien Lumbera for libretto, the late Salvador Bernal’s costumes and production set, and my work as a choreographer,” said Reyes.
Interest in the anniversary gala is picking up, especially with Cinco’s participation. The designer said there was no real difference between designing clothes for a runway collection and designing clothes for dance, “because I always have to consider the grace, charisma and durability of the outfit, whether it is worn by a dancer or a model.”
Unlike models, however, “dancers always have to keep on moving, so I have to consider their movements when planning the design.”
Upon seeing Cinco’s designs, Reyes noted the “perfect harmony” between fashion and dance. “We have worked successfully in the past with many couturiers. Dance, ballet and fashion create magic, it is the magic of theater. Both Ballet Philippines through dance and Michael Cinco through design reach for perfection,” she said.
“I was blessed to be born into a family of musicians so music is in my genes. My father, aside from being a very talented pianist, was also a dancer. He loved to dance and earned the nickname ‘Mr. Philippine Folk Dancer.’ I was introduced to dance at a very young age and we became known as a father-daughter team,” Reyes recounted.
She went on to study abroad after receiving a dance scholarship. “When I came back with a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance degree in 1969, there was the Cultural Center. Ms Imelda Marcos, Leandro Locsin and a whole group of very passionate people believed in the intense and fantastic richness of Philippine artistry.”
Although she was engaged to be married and had a job lined up in New York, Reyes decided to stay in Manila and formed what is now Ballet Philippines.
Since then, BP has developed over 500 choreographic shows, an impressive mix of Asian, Western, indigenous, classical, and contemporary styles and genres, of full-length classical ballets, internationally recognized masterworks, and indigenous works inspired by Filipino folklore and social issues. —CONTRIBUTED
Ballet Philippines’ 50th anniversary gala fashion show will be held Sept. 29 at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom. http://ballet.ph/