On August 19, 2018, the group performed at the new Shanghai International Dance Center as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs. In Beijing, Ballet Philippines performed at the Tianqiao Theater, home of the National Ballet of China (NBC), on August 25 and 26 in fulfillment of the Executive Program of the Philippines-China Cultural Exchange Agreement under National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the China Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Ballet Philippines performed a collection of Masterpieces, including “Amada” and “Bingkod Suite” by National Artist for Dance and BP artistic director Alice Reyes, which won wild applause from the audience and praise from the dancers and staff of National Ballet of China. The theater was filled with a highly appreciative Chinese audience including Chinese government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, business executives, media and art representatives, officials of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, officials from friendship and cultural associations, officials of Chinese universities and students, and members of the Filipino community. The Filipino diplomats were led by Philippine Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana.
This tour is part of the people-to-people exchange between the Philippines and China and was made possible by generous support from Philippine Airlines, the official carrier of Ballet Philippines, Tan Yan Kee Foundation, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Tourism Promotions Board, and Ito Curata couture.
For two nights at Beijing’s Tianqiao Performing Arts Theater, warm applauses resounded from this set of audiences as they commended the dancers of Ballet Philippines. Ballet Philippines, which was founded in 1969 by Ms. Alice Reyes (a National Artist of the Philippines), is the resident dance company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, recognized as the country’s flagship company in ballet and contemporary dance. For many years, former Miss Universe Ms Margarita (Margie) Moran-Floirendo was at the helm of the ballet company.
Culture and the arts have always formed part of TYKFI’s program in education, culture, and sports. TYKFI has had several projects promoting dialogue, as well as, cultural and language exchanges between the Chinese and the Filipinos, especially amongst young students. Ties built through cultural exchanges also help promote mutual respect and understanding over each country’s culture and history. As a Philippine arts ambassador, Ballet Philippines is a fitting partner for TYKFI as it also supports and nurtures this advocacy of the Foundation through its occupation.
The dancers wore brilliant costumes some of which were perhaps a modern take to traditional Filipino ensembles. They gave a flawless and versatile performance while also showcasing indigenous themes with lavish elegance.
Touched and inspired, the little Chinese ballerina fans amongst the audience took to the stage with bouquets on hand at curtain call. Dressed in bright red tutus, these bouquets of friendship, admiration, and honor, shows that cultural exchanges are a tool for mutual understanding between two different countries. For who knows, as more countries increase in cooperation and mutual appreciation, what humanitarian innovations may result, what further enrichment may amalgamate for any given culture, and what modern breakthroughs can be achieved together.