Ballet Manila, Academy One hold fundraiser for ballet scholars

Ballet Manila, Academy One hold fundraiser for ballet scholars

Project Ballet Futures alumni Rissa May Camaclang, Jamil Montibon and Jessa Balote will perform in Tuloy ang Saya-wan. Photo by G-nie Arambulo

Ballet Manila and Academy One – two institutions which have been actively supporting dance scholars – are joining forces to present the fundraising gala performance Tuloy ang Saya-wan on July 21, 3 p.m., at Star Theater, Pasay City.

Rodney Catubay was a Tuloy Foundation scholar trained by Academy One who is now a company artist of Ballet Manila. Photo by Ian Santos

The show aims to raise funds that will help the two groups sustain their respective ballet scholarship programs – Ballet Manila through its long-running Project Ballet Futures; and Academy One which trains selected wards from the Tuloy Foundation, a shelter for street children.

“Our common goal is to provide ballet scholarships for street children and marginalized Filipino youth. We believe ballet can help create social change,” said Ballet Manila artistic director Lisa Macula-Elizalde who brainstormed with Academy One director Cherish Garcia to organize the benefit show. This was an offshoot of their pooled efforts to raise funds for Raymond Salcedo, a Tuloy-Foundation-scholar-turned-Ballet Manila-company-artist, after he had to undergo an operation for a torn meniscus last year.

Tuloy Foundation scholar John Edmar Sumera will be dancing with Leipzig Opera Ballet. Photo by Ernest Mandap

Tuloy ang Saya-wan will showcase and celebrate the success stories of the two ballet scholarship programs. Among them are Celine Abrea and Rodney Catubay – former Tuloy Foundation scholars trained by Academy One who are now both dancing with Ballet Manila – who will perform the Pas D'Esclave pas de deux from Le Corsaire.

John Edmar Sumera and Benedict Sabularse – two ballet scholars from Tuloy Foundation who competed in the Prix de Lausanne and received scholarships in Europe – will be coming home to also perform in the show.

“They will then leave again to go back to Leipzig and Aix-en-Provence respectively where they have been offered contracts with professional companies,” said Cherish Garcia in a Facebook post. Sumera, 19, will be dancing with Leipzig Opera Ballet and Sabularse, also 19, with Ballet Preljocaj.

Marcelino Libao of Hamburg Ballet (seen here in 2013’s Stars of Philippine Ballet ) will have the Philippine premiere of his choreography, Paloma Muerta. Photo by Ocs Alvarez

Ballet Manila soloist Rissa May Camaclang and company artists Jessa Balote and Jamil Montibon – all Project Ballet Futures alumni – will also have featured numbers, as will current PBF scholars and BM finalists competing in the Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong.

Tuloy ang Saya-wan will include the special participation of two guests. First is Katherine Barkman, former BM principal dancer now with The Washington Ballet, who will perform Grand Pas Classique with BM principal dancer Elpidio Magat. Grand Pas Classique is the pas de deux that clinched for Barkman her silver medals in the USA International Ballet Competition and the Varna International Ballet Competition last year.

Benedict Sabularse, a Tuloy Foundation scholar, has been signed up by Ballet Preljocaj in France. Photo by Ernest Mandap

The second guest is Marcelino Libao of Hamburg Ballet who will premiere in the Philippines as a choreographer. Paloma Muerta, a piece that he created in 2017 for Hamburg Ballet, will be performed by BM principal dancers Joan Emery Sia and Mark Sumaylo, soloist Nicole Barroso, and company artists Brian Sevilla and Rafael Perez.

In a recent Instagram post, Libao said: “I am so thrilled for this collaboration and all for a good cause! I am very pleased… that I will be taking part of this performance with @balletmanila & @academyoneph_official for the benefit of Project Ballet Futures and a foundation that, as most of you know, is very dear to me, @tuloyfoundation.”

Ballet Manila in Tony Fabella’s Dancing to Verdi. Photo by Ocs Alvarez

He will also perform a contemporary dance solo.

Tuloy ang Saya-wan will also showcase the world premiere of British choreographer Martin Lawrance’s Sketches from Romeo and Juliet, as well as the numbers Dancing to Verdi by Tony Fabella and Blind Love by PJ Rebudilla.

Garcia appealed for assistance for the fundraising show, saying: “We are trying to better the lives of less fortunate children, one at a time… even if you can't watch, any kind of support you can offer will really go a long way in helping these kids.”

Tickets to Tuloy ang Saya-wan are available via TicketWorld, call 891-9999 or visit; or through Ms. Sylvia Lichauco De Leon, 0917 855-5652.

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