Japanese danseur featured in BP’s ‘Sleeping Beauty'

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Yay! My article on the danseurs of Ballet Philippines' upcoming staging of "Sleeping Beauty" was published by Philippine Daily Inquirer in its Nov. 21, 2011 issue.

Japanese danseur featured in BP’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’
By Walter Ang

Japanese ballet danseur Nobuo Fujino will play Prince Desire in Ballet Philippines' staging of "The Sleeping Beauty" this December. He alternates with BP principal dancer Jean Marc Cordero.

BP principal dancers Carissa Adea, Candice Adea and Katherine Trofeo alternate as Princess Aurora, who is cursed as a baby to die. However, good fairies soften the curse and replaces death with a long, deep sleep, which will end with the kiss of true love.

Fujino will perform in only two performances. He will partner Candice Adea, 2011 USA International Ballet Competition silver medalist, in the Dec. 2 fundraising gala for the benefit of the Noordin Jumalon Dance Scholarship Fund.

Jumalon was the CCP Dance School director and passed away last Sept. 24, 2011. He had been with Ballet Philippines for more than 30 years, mentoring hundreds of dancers.

This is Fujino's first time to perform in the Philippines. Fujino is a principal dancer of the Hong Kong Ballet and was formerly a senior artist of the Australian Ballet.

Fujino has portrayed roles such as the Prince in "Cinderella," "The Sleeping Beauty," and "The Nutcracker;" Albrecht in "Giselle;" Solor in "La Bayadere;" among others.

He had been performing the role of the Prince from "The Sleeping Beauty" when he was promoted to principal dancer for Hong Kong Ballet.

"Technically, it is always challenging to work through all partnering and solos in pure classical style," he says.

Cordero became the first Filipino male to reach the semifinals at the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition (touted as the Olympics of ballet) and won best male in a lead role in a Russian Ballet performance category at the 2011 Boston International Ballet Competition.

He partnered Candice Adea at the 2011 BIBC and they both have been invited to by the artistic director of Chelyabinsk State Academy Opera and Ballet Theater to perform lead roles in a full-length production next year.

He won the 2010 Gawad Buhay! Outstanding Male Lead Performer in a Modern Dance Production for his work in BP's "Crisostomo Ibarra."

Since then he's moved up the ranks in BP and has performed in all of BP's productions including principal roles in "La Revolucion Filipina," "Coppelia," "The Nutcracker," "Peter Pan," and "Don Quixote" among others-a long way from when he started ballet training at the late age of 16, just to pass the time while waiting for his girlfriend Candice.

Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa with music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the duo also known for "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker," "The Sleeping Beauty" is based on Charles Perrault's fairy tale "La belle au bois dormant."

BP staged "The Sleeping Beauty" in 1983 with Japanese Prima Ballerina Yoko Morishita and Cecile Sicangco, Nonoy Froilan and Brando Miranda; and in 1988 with Sicangco, Froilan, then CCP Artist-in-Residence Lisa Macuja and Latvian danseur Aivars Leimanis.

BP ballet master Victor Ursabia is restaging the production. Music will be performed by the Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Jeffrey Solares.

Holiday option
Candice Adea invites the public to try watching a ballet this holiday season for a change. "It's a different kind of magic," she says.

"December is a time when there will be many forms of entertainment to choose from, in this fast-paced world we live in, it's good to have the chance to watch a live performance with the whole family and revel in a show with grace and beauty."

"The Sleeping Beauty" runs Dec. 2-11, 2011 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines. Visit www.balletphilippines.org. Contact Ticketworld at 891-9999; Ballet Philippines at 551-1003, 624-5701; CCP Box Office at 8323704.

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