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L-R: Ms. Becca Godinez Miranda (GodinUs Music), Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Ms. Cecile Ascalon, Ms. Mariza Bensurto, Ms. Margie Moran-Floreindo (Ballet Philippines), Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. and Mr. Richardson Yadao (Ballet Philippines)

San Francisco, 12 October 2014 -- Ballet Philippines (BP), the resident ballet company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a much awaited North American tour.  The tour, dubbed Master Pieces, Celebrating 45 Years of Dance, coincides with the celebration of Filipino American History Month.  This is the first time in 15 years that the Company has visited the United States, and the Northern California leg of their six-city tour was held on Sunday, 12 October 2014 at the California Theatre in San Jose.

The entire team from Ballet Philippines with Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr.

The 25-member contingent from Ballet Philippines is headed by Ms. Margie Moran-Floirendo, President, and Mr. Paul Alexander Morales, Artistic Director of BP.  Among the dancers in the tour are five of the Company’s principal dancers: Carissa Adea, Jean Marc Cordero, Katherine Trofeo, Richardson Yadao and Earl John Arisola, all of whom are Philstage Gawad Buhay nominees and awardees for various performances.

In honor of this occasion, Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. hosted a reception to welcome Ballet Philippines to the Bay Area on 10 October 2014 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. In his remarks, Consul General Bensurto expressed the importance of the work being done by Ballet Philippines and its relevance in the celebration of Filipino American History Month, stating that “Over their 45 years of performing, Ballet Philippines has made a deliberate effort to preserve Filipino culture by using ballet as a platform to tell our story, and share the beauty of our culture.”

Richardson Yadao and Denise Parungao in Dulce Estrangera

During the reception, guests were treated to a surprise performance.  Principal Dancer Richardson Yadao and Soloist Denise Parungao performed a pas de deux entitled Dulce Estrangera, which was choreographed by BP’s resident choreographer Alden Lugnasin.

On Sunday, the audience at the California Theatre, among of which were Consul General Bensurto and his family, and California Assemblymember Rob Bonta, were amazed at the powerful and  breath-taking performance of Ballet Philippines.  The two-act repertoire featured dances choreographed by the Philippines’ renowned choreographers Alice Reyes, Agnes Locsin and Tony Fabella.  It showcased various ballet styles such as classical, neo-ethnic, neo-classical and contemporary.  Some of the dances also reflected aspects of Philippine culture and history through its music and storylines, such as the Bungkus Suite which made use of traditional and popular folk songs and Lakambini, a rendition of the love story of national hero, Andres Bonifacio, and his wife Oryang (Gregoria De Jesus).

L-R: Mr. Benito Miranda (GodinUs Music), Ms. Mariza Bensurto, Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Mr. Paul Alexander Morales (Ballet Philippines), Ms. Cecile Ascalon and Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon.

Master Pieces highlighted the exemplary technique, elegance and grace which is characteristic of ballet dancers belonging to Ballet Philippines.  It not only commemorates 45 seasons of Southeast Asia’s first dance company, but it is also celebrates Filipino talent and artistry.

Ballet Philippines’ California tour is produced by the Federation of Filipino-American Associaions, Inc., GodinUs Music and PAE Live! Proceeds from the performances will benefit the Ballet Philippines Foundation, Inc. and the Foundation.  Upcoming performances will be held in Portland, Oregon, Olympia and Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada.   For more information, visit and  END.