Fil-American prima ballerina and American Ballet Theater to perform in Manila for charity
Internationally acclaimed Filipino-American prima ballerina Stella Abrera, together with eight other American Ballet Theatre (ABT) stars are set to perform in Manila for a series of whimsical performances that are sure to excite ballet fans of all ages.
The exceptionally talented Abrera—who made her Manila debut in Ballet Philippines’ 2014 production of “Giselle”—will be joined onstage by fellow ABT stars Alban Lendorf, Arron Scott, Blaine Hoven, Catherine Hurlin, Gillian Murphy, Isabella Boylston, Roman Zhurbin, and Jose Sebastian.
Dubbed as “An Intimate Evening with Stella Abrera and American Ballet Stars,” it will be staged at the Maybank Performance Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City on April 5 to 7.
The first partnership between the ballerina and Ayala Foundation, the show is for the benefit of Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX)—the foundation’s flagship education program—, which also celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The school provides a holistic learning experience for bright students from underprivileged families, as well as their parents and public school teachers. To date, over 1,500 students have graduated from its two campuses in Tondo, Manila, and Bauan, Batangas. It has also helped enhance the skills of more than 800 teachers and principals from 20 public elementary schools through a teacher-training program.
“Dear CENTEX Scholars, it is my honor and privilege to work for your school. Your determination and grace are so inspiring and I look forward to meeting you soon!” Abrera said in a letter.
She also reminisced her last performance in Manila where she had set up a small charity—“Steps Forward for the Philippines”—to help a school that been destroyed by super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), visited the school in Guiuan, Samar and met many of the students which proved to be one of the most moving and inspiring experiences of her life.
For Abrera, ballet is as challenging as it is rewarding. “A career in ballet is difficult. It takes an incredible amount of dedication, perseverance, grit and luck—and most especially support…. Not everyone will have a successful dance career, but the lessons we learn from our training in ballet are invaluable tools that help us in other facets of life.”
Bigger than ballet
Meanwhile, for Sofia Zobel Elizalde, committee chair for the benefit performance and founder of STEPS Dance Studio, they are grateful and excited to have Abrera for this unbelievable opportunity.
“She’s not only an amazing dancer and artist, but a true lady in every way. I am thrilled that our Filipino audiences will get a chance to see her live and be inspired by her spirit,” said Elizalde in a media conference.
“I am also excited because it involves two things that I love very much—education which is so important in the world and dance which is something I’ve grown up with all my life. And this event merges the two together. I am a believer a part from academic, I truly believe that arts incorporated with education is so important. It gives children a very well-rounded experience in their school—a strong discipline, learn a beautiful art form, and build their self-esteem,” she added.
Ruel Maranan, president of Ayala Foundation, on the other hand shared, “This wonderful gesture from Stella Abrera and her fellow American Ballet Stars provides a much welcome boost for the continuing development hundreds of students and teachers participating in the CENTEX program. We at Ayala Foundation are excited to see a world-class Filipino-American talent performing with all her heart on stage, while also providing our students the opportunity to become world-class professionals and Filipinos.”
Tickets for “An Intimate Evening with Stella Abrera and American Ballet Stars” are now available at ticketworld.com.ph.