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Old July 5th, 2005, 07:21 PM   #1
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Philippine National Artists and National Heroes

The Philippines is home to some of the most talented artists in the world. This thread is dedicated to the discipline that brought numerous honors to our country.

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Silver swan. Filipina ballerina Christine Joy Rocas, dancing as the Black Swan in Swan Lake, recently won the silver medal at the 8th New York International ballet competition, the equivalent of the Olympics in the ballet world.

Filipina bags top ballet honors in New York


A Filipino ballerina bagged top honors at the 8th New York International Ballet Competition (NYIBC) held recently at Alice Tully Hall of the Lincoln Center.

Christine Rocas, 18, who received her formal ballet training from Ballet Manila since she was 10, won the silver medal in the women’s division beating 26 couples from 19 countries.
The gold medal in the women’s division was not awarded during this year’s NYIBC while the bronze medal went to Hanae Seki of Japan.
In the men’s division, Joseph Gatti of the USA danced his way to the gold medal while Daniel Sarabia of Cuba won the silver medal.
Altankhuyag Dugaraa of Mongolia bagged the bronze medal.
Christine’s partner in all three rounds was fellow-Filipino and Ballet Manila company member Francis Cascaño.
The NYIBC, held every three years, is one of the world’s premier dancing competitions geared towards identifying promising young dancers, enhancing their professional education, and providing them with career opportunities.
Christine also bagged the Arpino Award, a one-year contract with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. As of press time, Rocas is yet undecided whether she will accept the offer.
"This is an example of how a student surpasses a teacher. It is a significant achievement that is unprecedented in Philippine ballet history," said Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, artistic director of Ballet Manila.
Christine, Ballet Manila’s demi-soloist, is the second Filipino to be awarded a medal abroad.
Her mentor, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, bagged the country’s first silver medal in the Asia-Pacific International Competition in 1987.
"This shows that the Philippines can produce great talent even though ballet is a Western art form. We hope this victory will provide the impetus for government, the business sector, and the public to support ballet. Our artists need patrons who share the vision of bringing the Philippines international recognition," Lisa stressed.
The NYIBC distinguishes itself from other competitions because of its unique and grueling format.
According to Osias Barroso, Ballet Manila associate director and ballet master, the repertory is announced only upon the arrival of the dancers.
During the first two weeks, all dancers are taught three pas de deux by world-renowned instructors and coaches.
Only the dancers with the highest scores advance after each round.
President of the Jury for NYIBC 2005 was Victoria Morgan of the USA, artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet.
The other judges were Stanton Welch of Australia, artistic director, Houston Ballet; Andre Lewis of Canada, artistic director, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet; Xin Li Li of China, artistic director, Shanghai Ballet; Dame Merle Park of England, former artistic director of the Royal Ballet School; Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen, Alexei Ratmansky of Russia, artistic director, The Bolshoi Ballet; Victor Ullate of Spain artistic, Victor Ullate Ballet; and Maria Eugenia Barrios of Venezuela, artistic director, Ballet Contemporaneo de Caracas.
In preparation for the competition, Christine joined a contest in Helsinki, where she made it to the semifinals.
In August of 2003, Christine received a finalists’ certificate in the Junior Division at the 9th Asia-Pacific International Competition in Tokyo, Japan.
She also took on various roles during daily shows at the Star Theater and Aliw Theater.
Upon her return, Christine will perform the lead role in the full-length staging of "Swan Lake," Ballet Manila’s 10th season opening, at the Aliw Theater this August.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #2
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This thread is dedicated only to the professional artists. Particularly the ones who gathered international recognition or passed the standards of performing abroad.

To cite a few:
Lea Salongga
Monique Wilson
Leo Valdez
The Original Miss Saigon Casts
Cecile Licad - Pianist
Lisa Macuja - Ballet Dancer
The Madrigal Singers
Bayanihan Dance Troop
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Old July 9th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #3
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More on Christine Roca



Christine Rocas

Poised to fly

By Rome Jorge

MENTOR and protégé mirror one another as they stretch and practice on the dance bar. With their outstretched toes they draw perfect circles in the air. With their arching backs they form a symmetry that is beyond human. Their synchronized feats of contortion are both discipline in motion and grace made kinetic. Christine Rocas, a young lady at 18, stands in front of Lisa Macuja, an impossibly youthful mother at 40. But while Macuja looks on to her pupil, Rocas looks ahead, her eyes shining bright, full of hopes and dreams.



Christine Rocas is on pointe at the crossroads of her life; the young ballerina pirouettes amid new paths opening before her. A young girl with a bright future and an enormous potential, Rocas now must decide her next step. She chooses between loyalty to the local school that honed her or the foreign company that now offers to expose her to a new standard in her craft. As rarified as her craft may be, Christine’s choices mirror those her generation faces in these troubled times: should I stay or should I go? Ironically and naturally, it is the motherly mentor who encourages her to step forward whom she may have to leave.

Macuja, Ballet Manila’s artistic director, says, “As a mother I’d rather transfer my family to Chicago to be with her or else forbid her to go. But as her mentor I would say she should not turn her back on this opportunity and go for it.”

Christine Rocas has won a one-year contract with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago when she garnered both the Arpino Award and the silver medal at the recent New York International Ballet Competition (NYIBC).

The NYIBC is premier contest held every three years with a unique selection process. Competitors are taught and coached by world-renowned dancers to perform a repertoire three pas de deux for two weeks. Then dancers are judged. Those with the highest scores advance. Winners perform at a gala performance with NYIBC alumni and veteran dancers. So stringent are the standards of the NYIBC that this year no gold medal was given for ballerinas; the silver medal performance of Rocas is this year’s best.

“I heard they chose me because they saw my smile didn’t look like it was just plastered on my face,” she reveals. Rocas genuinely loves dancing. “I live to dance. I dance to live,” she proclaims.

Choices

Milagros Rocas, Christine’s mother, feels her daughter who just turned 18 is too young to pursue a ballet career in the United States. For his part, Adam Skulte, ballet master for the Joffrey Ballet, states in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, “We will continue to talk to her over the next couple of years.”

Macuja states, “I hope she can stay to perform Swan Lake for our season opening. It will be her victory performance.” Ballet Manila’s Swan Lake is set to premiere at the Aliw Theater on August 5.

But it is the young lady who decides her own destiny. “I’m leaning toward Chicago,” she says. “I would like to go.” But she is also agreeable to dancing for Swan Lake, where she can alternate for Macuja in the lead role of Princess Odette. On stage, as with real life, the two mirror each other.

For Macuja, the recent triumph of her protégé is also the dance company’s own; it vindicates Ballet Manila’s much-criticized Vaganova methods.

Controversial pedagogy

“The old guard in local ballet say the Vaganova technique is only for the ideal body; they say it’s not suited for most Filipino dancers. But I demand it from all my pupils. They accuse me of pushing my students to injury,” confides Macuja. “But why stop if the child can do it?”

The Vaganova technique—named after a ballerina of the Imperial Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia who developed the method in 1919—is uncompromising. For example, it demands a dancer’s turnout—how she points her toes while standing perfectly straight—to be a full 180 degrees. Macuja adopted the methodology from her studies as a scholar in Russia. Rocas, like all students of Ballet Manila, now benefit from the school’s Russian and other foreign instructors.

“When I was being coached in New York, they corrected my turnout,” a perplexed Rocas recalls. Even the Americans found the Vaganova method too extreme. But is this very competition in New York that now validates Rocas’s favored dance method.

Macuja explains, “It makes perfect sense. There is a logical progression in its exercises. The body is not shocked. It promotes longevity.” Macuja, at 40 years of age, is still principal ballerina as well as artistic director of Ballet Manila. “All my contemporaries have retired; I still dance,” Macuja attests. The same training may also benefit all her dancers such as Rocas. She’ll need it; at 18 years of age, this girl has a long way to go.

Not a doctor

“I can’t imagine doing anything else. Ballet is life,” attests Rocas. And it shows. She is supposed to be in her third year of her bachelor course in Medical Physics at De La Salle University. But her leave of absence has been so long she now needs to start as a freshman should she decide to continue her studies at all. “I’m still young. Studies can always wait,” says Rocas.

The young ballerina, who enjoys the support of a beau, declares: “Dancing comes first over my boyfriend.”

Rocas is the younger of two siblings. “Our parents enrolled us into a lot of fields: karate, gymnastics and ballet,” she recalls. Like her brother she also received gymnastic training at an early age. But unlike her brother, she fell in love with ballet.

Now that she is 18, a lady, Rocas must make her own decisions on life. Fortunately for her, no doors are closing any time soon. Like the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, ballet Manila is also willing to wait for her. “She will always have a place among us,” says Macuja.

Rocas stretches her hands like wings as her body echoes that of her mentor on the mirrored hall of the dance studio. Lithe and seemingly weightless, she is a bird posed to fly.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 01:00 PM   #4
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GIOVANNIE PICO

of "ER"
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Old July 11th, 2005, 06:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amigo32
GIOVANNIE PICO

of "ER"
Who's he? I've been watching ER since the beginning and I don't recall anyone with that name.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 02:38 AM   #6
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She's in the Philippines right now, appearing on local TV.



*booked role as recurring med student LUDLOW on NBC's ER
lumabas bilang Ludlow sa 11th season ng TV series na ER) .
TV Guide

*booked as Principal Performer in The Vagina Monologues at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco March 2005

*American Yearbook won the Audience Award at the Santa Monica's Dance with Films Film Festival!

*featured in FILIPINAS Magazine

*cover story in Asian Journal

*featured stories in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Philippines Today, Manila Times, People's Tonight

http://www.giovannie.com/
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Old July 12th, 2005, 03:48 AM   #7
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ohhh... so she's that lady that appeared in SOP (GMA7) last Sunday?.....

not familiar with her...
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Old July 12th, 2005, 04:08 AM   #8
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Yeah, and she could speak Filipino well.




How about Lalaine Paras of "Lizzie McGuire" (2001) TV Series .... Miranda Isabella Sanchez
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Old July 13th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #9
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What about a list of all National Artists of the Philippines and their achievements.

The few ones I know are Lino Brocka (film), Nick Joaquin (literature), Alejandro Locsin (architecture), Carlos "Votong" Francisco (visual arts) to name a few.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 01:11 AM   #10
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Filipinos win gold in Blackpool Dance Festival

By JOJO PANALIGAN

Regardless of dire political and economic situations here, local artists continue to light up the name of the Philippines internationally by bringing home honor in their respective fields.

This was again proven recently when Filipino dance couple Edna Ledesma and John Co clinched Gold in the Blackpool Dance Festival in London that’s equal to the Olympics in the world of ballroom dance.

The only Asians in the list of victors, the two bested tough competition from Belgium, Italy, Czechoslovakia and even perennial winner, Spain. It is the first time Edna and John triumphed totally in the Latin Dance category following runner up clinches in the same competition in 2003 and 2004.

"It’s a dream come true," Edna, who used to be a licensed real estate broker, said during a one-on-one interview. "Considering that all the dancers were so good, we were lucky to have garnered top prize."

But luck had little to do with it. Instead, discipline, keen interest on details and passion bordering on obsession for the sport were keys to their success. According to Edna, dancing is akin to boxing in that you need to build up incredible stamina and dedication to perfect your "footwork"—something only hours of demanding practice could yield.

"Practice, more importantly, attunes you to your dancing partner’s body," Edna explains. "One develops muscle memory in relation to each other. After a while, you get a sense of how far you should stretch your arms, spread your legs, tilt your head, etc., to get form correct. Like with any sports, dancing is more of a mental thing than physical; focus is integral. You know what the tricky part is? You have to make it look effortless."

She should know. A dancer since the age of eight, though she was into ballet and jazz then, Edna had been doing the cha-cha, rhumba and pasadoble since 1997. One day, while doing aerobics, renowned ballroom guru Beck Garcia, who had a studio upstairs from the gym Edna puts time in, enticed her to enroll in one of the former’s classes.

There was no turning back since. After just a year of lessons, she was convinced by Becky to join a competition.

So Edna did. She lost.

"I was terrible then," Edna recalled, giggling. "It was my first time so my technique was not quite honed yet and I had little mastery of international standards in dancing compared to the competition. Still, the point was to get a feel for competition; to develop a hunger of becoming as good as the others."

That she did well. Eventually, Edna began winning all over including competitions in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia. In recent years, Edna had brought home trophies from the U.K. and British opens.

What sacrifices did she have to make in lieu of these?

"Time for golf," she joked. "Seriously, dancing is a lifestyle. It covers even choosing the right kind of shoes because if you get the wrong ones, you might injure your feet. Obviously, watching your weight is a must, too. You can’t be too skinny because it won’t look good. Or fat because you’d get backaches all the time. You aim for voluptuousness para sexy and fluid tingnan when you execute your steps. So there’s doing time in the gym and some more for stretching every day to make your muscles supple"

Edna continued, " Money, too, can be a problem sometimes. Like in our case, we had to get a British coach—Paul Harris— to improve and guide us with our techniques. Very few are the sponsorships we get and there are hardly incentives."

"Lastly, you have to think like an actor every time. It’s like taking on a role; you put yourself in character for dancing. This is the reason why dancing is a profound experience. You are not you when you dance. You become someone else transported to somewhere else."

Fortunately, being Filipino makes dancing a lot easier. Edna cites the natural rhythm of the race being so musically inclined. She also said being small in frame is an advantage since you can move faster. Lastly, she noted our penchant for learning quickly then improving on what was imbibed.

"This is important because most of the time, you only have a few minutes to impress the judges," she revealed. "One dance and they know if you have the stamina, the consistency and the inventiveness to move on to the next level. So aside from the basics which everybody does, you need to develop your own ‘secret weapons’ or special flair in choreography to get the judges’ nods."

Next time, Edna wants to join in the dance category of waltz, tango and fox trot. Even though the prize might not be worth the effort (they only won an unbelievably low loot of R19,000 in Blackpool), the personal gratification she gets from the sports more than compensates.

"Dancing is always a profound and fun experience," Edna concluded. "As with bringing honor to one’s country."

Last edited by sandrin; July 28th, 2005 at 01:26 AM.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 01:27 AM   #11
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Edna Ledesma and John Co- Latin Dance Senior Category Winners of the Blackpool Dance Contest



Filipinos are known to be artistically inclined. Our culture showcases different kinds of chants and ethnic dances. Time and again, singers have made our country proud in singing contests held in different parts of the world. Recently, the dancing duo of Edna Asano – Ledesma and John Derick Co won the grand prize for best in Latin Dance in the senior category of the Blackpool Dance Contest held in Blackpool, England. That’s why they are our Global Pinoys for the month of July!


Winning Dance Move Moments






More details here:
http://www.globalpinoy.com/gpfeature/
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Old July 28th, 2005, 04:15 PM   #12
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I watched the show "So You Think You Can Dance?" (patterned after American Idol) last night with the auditios held in California. There were a lot of Filipino-Americans who qualified including a pinay jazz/ballet dancer, a hefty guy with a winning smile and personality, and a breakdancer.

Also in "Rockstar INXS", one of the contestants Migs Ayesa is an Australian-Filipino.

This only goes to show that arts and music run in the Filipino genes.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lili
I watched the show "So You Think You Can Dance?" (patterned after American Idol) last night with the auditios held in California. There were a lot of Filipino-Americans who qualified including a pinay jazz/ballet dancer, a hefty guy with a winning smile and personality, and a breakdancer.
Yeah, one of the contestants that auditioned (in Los Angeles) is a cousin of my classmate from high school, you might have seen him on the episode that aired last night on FOX, his name is Ryan Conferido. He's part of the three-man group, sadly his two friends didn't make it to the next round, but he did!
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Old July 28th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #14
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Yes, that Ryan with the spiked hair is one awesome dancer! He was the breakdancer I was referring to. Typical of the Filipino-American families, his parents just wanted him to concentrate on his studies and pursue medicine but he says he dances on the sly 'coz he just loves it.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #15
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My cousin Marie.
Her real name Marie Bernadette Gulmatico.
They made her shorten her name ( and butchered it ).
Her father is from Bacolod.
Her mom and my father are from Bulacan.
She grew up in OC, California.
She doesn't speak Tagalog or Ilonggo but understands some.
She was the female lead in Art of War opposite of Wesley Snipes.
She also played May in The Corruptor.
She now teaches acting and singing at her own school in LA.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #16
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^So your cousin is making waves in Hollywood!
Bakit wala atang masyadong news about her sa Pinas?

Will try to look for Art of war, what year ba to?
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Old July 29th, 2005, 06:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango
^So your cousin is making waves in Hollywood!
Bakit wala atang masyadong news about her sa Pinas?

Will try to look for Art of war, what year ba to?
She visited there years ago for the premier.
The movie came out in 2000.
Not a very good movie.
Everybody thinks Marie is of Japanese blood b/c of her screen last name.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 07:30 PM   #18
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i thought she was japanese since she had japanese sounding surname.

anyway, ive heard "The Great Raid" will be shown August
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Old July 30th, 2005, 10:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepwalker_uno
i thought she was japanese since she had japanese sounding surname.

anyway, ive heard "The Great Raid" will be shown August
...but as usual the bias is there. I watched CNN the other day and they had a segment regarding the movie "The Great Raid", it mentioned that it was the greatest ever rescue of American citizens at time of war by the American troops but there was no mention of Philippine Scouts helping the Americans with the rescue. Oh well!!
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Old July 30th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyIncali

My cousin Marie.
Her real name Marie Bernadette Gulmatico.
They made her shorten her name ( and butchered it ).
Her father is from Bacolod.
Her mom and my father are from Bulacan.
She grew up in OC, California.
She doesn't speak Tagalog or Ilonggo but understands some.
She was the female lead in Art of War opposite of Wesley Snipes.
She also played May in The Corruptor.
She now teaches acting and singing at her own school in LA.
Hey, I just saw Art of War on TNT last night. I saw your cousin Marie Matico there. She really looked Japanese. Landing the prime role is no small matter. Markadong-markado ang role niya. Actually the movie was good, not small-budgeted. It had good action effects and big stars including Anne Archer, Michael Biehn (of Terminator fame), etc. It's just that I'm not a fan of Welsey Snipes. I wasn't able to finsih watching it since I was too tired. Perhaps if the lead was not him, the movie might have done better at the tills. Marie should be given more breaks.
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