AFTER his brilliant performance with Philippine Ballet Theater (PBT) last June, 29-year-old Joseph Phillips, Golden Boy of Ballet, will dance again with PBT on September 26 and 27. This announcement by PBT President Sylvia Lichauco de Leon will delight dance lovers, particularly balletomanes, because of several distinctions Phillips holds.
Currently, he is the only American dancer in Russia, the principal danseur of the State Primorsky Opera and Ballet in Vladivostok wherein he is partnered with prima Irina Sapozhinkova in three major classic ballets; incidentally, Irina is his fiancée.
Phillips who was, and still is, a member of the American Ballet Theater, started ballet lessons at ten in his native South Carolina under Stanislav Issaev, named People’s Artist by the Russian Republic, the country’s highest artistic honor. Earlier, in 1984, he garnered the Vaslav Nijinsky Prize as the year’s most distinguished male dancer in the world. As a master teacher, Issaev was recognized as Outstanding Teacher at the Youth American Grand Prix in 2002.
Issaev says that when Phillips performed the variations from Flames of Paris at the Seoul Competition, the youthful dancer showed the prowess of a finished and polished artist.”
Phillips declares: “There is a passion that comes with dancing which can only be described as an almost spiritual experience or expression.” He confesses: “I may be nervous when I go onstage but once I hear the music, I’m one with the dance and all else falls away. It’s just me, the music and the audience for which I perform—and when they won’t let you go off the stage with their applause, that’s an indescribable feeling.”
The outstanding danseur is consistently invited to perform as principal guest artist throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. He is delighted to dance once more with PBT ballerinas whom he finds willing and able.
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