Ballet Manila went on its third US Tour and this time, I brought my kids along. After performing in Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, St. Louis and Nashville, I snuck in three days in Disneyworld before heading back home. My age was starting to show: I fell asleep in between dances backstage in Pittsburgh fighting jetlag! It was the first time this has ever happened to me.
One of the company highlights of this year was when BM sent a delegation to the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland, where our dancers performed in the cities of Aberdeen, Arbroath, Ballater and Stonehaven. (I didn’t go. Remember that I swore never to leave my family behind ever again.) Nevertheless, what made this extra meaningful for me was because I had participated in this youth festival as part of Dance Theater Philippines in 1979, and I was happy that the young dancers of BM had a similar opportunity.
A personal highlight was organizing and performing in An Evening of Tchaikovsky with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Vikulov at the CCP Main Theater. Engaging a live orchestra is very expensive so to be able to dance to one continues to be a rare opportunity for most dance companies worldwide. Savoring the moment, I remember sitting in my dressing room and reveling in the full theater atmosphere created by the cacophony of sound emanating from some 60 musicians tuning their instruments in the pit.