Osias Barroso conducts ballet classes in Taiwan
Ballet Manila co-artistic director Osias Barroso recently conducted classes at the Zhongli Youth Ballet in Taiwan, signaling the start of a possible series of collaborations between the two institutions.
Barroso held classes for students whose ages range from 9 to 16, including a teenage boy whom he cited as having good potential as a dancer.
“The students were hardworking and diligent. They valued the classes and rehearsals very much. They only needed guidance and corrections,” said Barroso.
Though there was a language barrier, he tried his best to communicate the lessons particularly through demonstration.
“I showed as much as I could. They followed naman and they were in awe of the combinations,” he said.
Barroso used BM’s preferred Vaganova training method for the classes. He said the school uses elements of Vaganova, RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing) and Taiwanese style in its curriculum.
John Chang and Maggie Chien, heads of the Zhongli Youth Ballet, had met Barroso during the 2017 Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong.
Having seen the performances of Ballet Manila’s competitors at AGP, including that of Brian Sevilla which won for him the silver prize, the two invited Barroso to hold classes for their students in Taiwan.
Barroso confirmed the dates once Ballet Manila had wrapped up its last show for its 22nd performance season, Ballet & Ballads.
He said Chang and Chien expressed their intention to invite him again to teach more classes and to also collaborate with Ballet Manila.
Barroso has been conducting similar classes in Mumbai, India where BM has been enjoying a professional relationship with the Rhythmus Happy Feet dance school run by Deepika Ravindran and Swara Patel.
Apart from Barroso’s annual master classes for the past three years, BM sent former company artist Czarina Villegas to hold ballet classes for five months at Rhythmus Happy Feet. The classes culminated last December in a Nutcracker recital that featured BM soloists Joan Emery Sia and Elpidio Magat, along with Villegas and her students.
Meanwhile, while Villegas was in Mumbai, Ravindran stayed in Manila to undergo training in the Vaganova method with BM. Last summer, while she also took ballet classes, Ravindran conducted a Bollywood class as part of BM’s summer workshop.
Rhythmus Happy Feet students chosen by Barroso have participated in BM’s summer workshops in 2016 and 2017 on full or partial scholarships.
In 2016, Barroso and BM artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde also conducted an intensive dance workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia.