Updated May 30, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Ballet Theatre will be having its regular season performances at the Main Theater of the CCP.

This year, PBT will open the season with the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet from July 7 to 10. This will be staged and directed by the world-acclaimed prima ballerina and an original member of PBT, Maniya Barredo. This was the signature work made for her when she was the principal dancer of Atlanta Ballet Company by Tom Pazik who is one of the leading choreographers of the American Ballet Theatre.

Next would be the classic Cinderella from Sept. 15 to 18. Ending the season would be the perfect pre-Christmas entertainment The Nutcracker Suite from Nov. 17 to 20, 2011.

Founded in 1987, PBT is the country’s premier classical ballet company. It was formed out of an alliance of the leading dance groups in the eighties but instantly won recognition as a resident ballet company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

PBT’s neo-classical works have been led by some of the country’s best choreographers who top-billed PBT’s productions like Julie Borromeo, Felicitas Radaic, Inday Gaston Mañosa, Eddie Elejar, Ron Jaynario and Gener Caringal. The company also have some of the well-known leading prima ballerinas like Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Maniya Barredo perform in their shows. They have performed numerous outstanding classical ballets such as Swan LakeGiselleNutcracker and Raymonda.

PBT also launches original ballet presentations like Filipino epic Darangen ni Bantugen by Gener Caringal, which is included in the “43 Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity of UNESCO” and Julie Borromeo’s Mir-i-nisa, a tale of a Muslim Princess ready for betrothal according to Muslim custom, which is the only classical ballet presentation featured in the inaugural festival of CCP in 1969.

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PBT president Chacha Camacho and chairman Chingbee Kalaw, along with the board of trustees are committed to making ballet available to everyone through various outreach programs, educational tours and scholarships called CORE (Cultural Out-Reach in Education). CORE started with performances in Metro Manila at the Araneta Coliseum filling the 25,000-seat capacity with public school children.

One of the programs of CORE is called Community Development through the Arts (CDTA), which aims to provide physical education teachers of public schools with quality Arts Programming and Professional Development Training in Dance.

PBT wants to enhance the teaching skills and techniques of the PE teachers so they may in turn pass these on to their students. The PE teachers will be provided with 16 sessions of professional development training in the areas of choreography, classical ballet, modern jazz, interpretative dance, and street dancing, music appreciation in relation to dance. PBT will also provide the stage for these home grown talents to showcase their learned skills and capabilities with a public performance at the CCP Little Theater or Meralco Theater.         

Not only will PBT bring ballet performances of classical productions as well as original Filipino choreographies to the countryside but they will also be able to contribute to community development and nation building by improving the education of the Filipino youth.

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