Ballet superstars come to Manila

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Stella Abrera

By Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman

An Intimate Evening with Stella Abrera and American Ballet Stars
April 6 and 7, 7 p.m.
Maybank Performing Arts Theater,
BGC Arts Center, 26th St. cor. 9th Ave.,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

IT STARTED over a guacamole dinner and became a gigantic project for a cause: a two-night ballet performance for the benefit of deserving but indigent Filipino kids. Bonded by their love for dance, former ballet dancer and founder of STEPS Dance Studio Sofia Zobel Elizalde tapped Filipino-American ballet dancer Stella Abrera, who in turn tagged eight friends from the American Ballet Theater (ABT) to perform in Manila.

Called An Intimate Evening with Stella Abrera and American Ballet Stars, the one-hour-and-30-minute show will be held tonight and tomorrow at the Maybank Theater in Bonifacio Global City.

“We are excited to have Stella Abrera join us for this opportunity. I am thrilled that our Filipino audiences will get a chance to see her live,” said Ms. Elizalde during the event’s launch on April 3.

The show is “practically sold out,” Ruel Maranan, president of the Ayala Foundation, told BusinessWorld.

The Ayala Foundation’s Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) program will be the beneficiary of the show.

CENTEX, which provides a holistic education for the economically disadvantaged, also supports after-hours education of children interested in performing arts.

Among the highlights of the show are a dance number featuring the ABT dancers together with six STEPS Dance Studio scholars from the CENTEX program.

Ms. Abrera, who has been a dancer for 22 years, developed the show. She said the repertoire will highlight all the strengths of the ABT dancers, while showcasing excerpts from ballets like Don Quixote and Romeo and Juliet.

A principal dancer at the ABT, Ms. Abrera will be joined by Gillian Murphy, Isabella Boylston, Blaine Hoven, Roman Zhurbin, Arron Scott, Jose Sebastian, Catherine Hurlin, and Joowon Ahn.

A career in ballet is difficult, said Ms. Abrera, but in order to last for more than two decades is a matter of passion, she said. “It takes an incredible amount of dedication, perseverance, and support,” she said.

“In the end, it’s something we’re born to do,” she added.

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