The year began with a “first” of sorts in Aliw Theater — the first time where all the three major ballet companies (Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theatre and Ballet Manila) came together in Dancing La Vida Edna, a special fundraising event for dancer, choreographer, writer and ballet educator Edna Vida-Froilan to help her fight cancer. I had just recovered from my double ankle operation and was able to dance Norman Walker’s Summer’s End with Rudy De Dios. We were coached by Edna’s husband, Nonoy Froilan, who partnered me in the same piece on my first year as CCP Artist-in-Residence exactly 25 years before.
Injury continued to hound me. But despite the fact that I ruptured my plantar fascia during the stage rehearsal prior to four performances in London’s Shaw Theater, I think the BM Tour of London and Ireland (where we danced in the cities of Cork, Limerick, Derry and Dublin) was the most fun part of the year. My entire family tagged along for this “East Meets West” tour that ended with meeting up with the rest of the company in Singapore for Ballet Under The Stars, where we held joint performances with the Singapore Dance Theatre. (It was a partnership that began with two performances in Aliw Theater earlier this same year, billed Masterpieces In Motion.)
To cap the year, I began my Swan Song Series with my final full-length performances of Swan Lake (with former Royal Ballet principal David Makhateli as Seigfried) and Romeo and Juliet (with Rudy De Dios). This three-year retirement plan was designed so that I can dance my favorite full-length classics for the last time, but it almost didn’t happen because within a time frame of seven months, I had had three surgical procedures done to prolong my dancing. I couldn’t feel an eighth of my left foot when I danced Swan Lake but still completed my 32 fouettes as Odile. Another silent vow, no more going under the knife. It would be retirement before another surgery from now on.