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Glorious Twists and Turns—and Tutus

Pride of culture and country underscores Michel Cinco’s interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in celebration of Ballet Philippines’ 50th anniversary


By Tina Hidalgo-Jacinto

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“Success is the manifestation of a vision.” A grand evening of glitz and fashion exploded into a crescendo of paparazzi flashes as le tout Manila’s crème de la crème made their grand entrance to Ballet Philippines’ 50th anniversary sold-out gala. The fashion and dance show was held early this week at the Grand Ballroom of Marriott Manila. Dynamo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo said that her brainchild started two years ago when she met the celebrated Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco in Paris. Margie’s achievements through the years attest to her highly honed commitment to her goal, which inspired Michael. She broached the idea of a stylish collaboration—of Cinco’s fabulous gowns interspersed and infused with memorable scenes from Swan Lake by Ballet Philippines dancers.

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GRAND FINALE From left: Model Marina Benipayo, Ballet Philippines artistic director and National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes, Dubai-based and featured Filipino designer for the gala celebration Michael Cinco, and former Ballet Philippines president, head chairperson of the anniversary gala, and CCP chair Margie Moran-Floirendo

enough, this show will go down in history as one of the most spellbinding fashion extravaganzas of our time, if not in fact the only truly spellbinding. Together they pulled this extraordinary feat—a 50-piece Swan Lake-themed couture collection. With the assist of Marriott Manila’s cluster director Michelle Garcia and their teams, they delivered a seamless and sensational production with showstopping effects in dance, lights, music, and fashion that blew the minds of the well-dressed guests.

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PAST PRESENT FUTURE Margie Moran-Floirendo with Ballet Philippines artistic directors and choreographers Denisa Reyes, Agnes Locsin, Edna Vida, National Artist Alice Reyes, Cecile Sicangco, Alden Lugnasin, and Paul Morales, and Ballet Philippines board member Maan Hontiveros.

At the cocktail reception, the pop-up photo booths were a flight of fantasy with their dazzling lights and all white background that beguiled the glamorous attendees. Margie floated in her black Swarovski-studded gown by Michael Cinco and so did National Artist for Dance and Ballet Philippines current artistic director Alice Reyes, dressed in Cinco’s indulgent design, replete with feathers inspired by the black swan. “On Pointe,” a masterpiece by world-acclaimed glass sculptor Ramon Orlina in the shape of a dancer’s pointe shoe, along with a Ballet Philippines citation, was awarded to former mentors and artistic directors of the ballet company, Alice, who founded it in 1969, included.

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AA Patawaran, Margie Floirendo, Nedy Tantoco, Babette Benoit, Ernest Escaler, Nes Jardin, Dulce Cepeda, and Ana Tirol

After the performance, guests crossed over to the next ballroom for the impressive gala dinner with executive chef Meik Brammer at the helm. Main course was a choice of grilled U.S. Angus beef or salmon with king prawn paired with Barefoot cabernet sauvignon. This Ballet Philippines milestone, according to its president Kathleen Liechtenstein, is “an indication that contemporary art, more specifically dance, is alive and thriving.” Central to Ballet Philippines’ philanthropic efforts is its scholarship and outreach programs to train young dancers and to give them employment opportunities. Co-presentors were Oishi, Manila Marriott Hotel, and Metro Society. Major sponsors were Bench, Emirates, Globe, Sta. Elena Construction, Sun Life, Universal Harvesters, and Uratex.

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Mitch Garcia

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Bea Roxas, Dee Zobel, and Doris Ho

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Louie and Mellie Ablaza, the author, and David Lim

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Joel del Prado, Mayenne Carmona, Audrey Zubiri, Mariquita Yeung, Marieliese Evaristo, and Edna Lhuillier

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Milka Quin, Mark Higgins, and Gianna Montinola

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Frannie Jacinto and Mario Katigbak

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Tita Trillo, Merci Padolina, Ihoko Haneda, and Ambassador Koji Haneda

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Joy Rustia, Eni Alba, and Carolyn Tan

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Ching Cruz, Fe Rodriguez, and Susan Joven

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Dedes Zobel and Raul Manzano

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Philip Rodriguez and Marvi Sala

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Naty Pappas, Gemma Araneta, Ping Valencia, and Roulette Esmilla

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Aiza Diuco, Robina Ko Tan, Connie Haw, and Agile Zamora

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Manolyne Taylor, Gina Ronquillo, and Vivian Yano

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