PH ballet theater presents ‘Ballet’s Golden Boy’

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Rosalinda L. Orosa

Rosalinda L. Orosa

At this time of writing, Philippine Ballet Theater, headed by Sylvia Lichauco de Leon, will present at CCP main auditorium “Don Quixote” starring Joseph Phillips, hailed by the international press as “Ballet’s Golden Boy.”

On July 4 at 3p.m. and 8p.m., Phillips’ partner will be Lobreza Pimentel; on July 5 at 2p.m. and 7p.m., Regine Magbitang, both PBT ballerinas.

Phillips, former soloist of American Ballet Theater, is currently the principal dancer of the State Primorsky Opera in Vladivostok, Russia, where he performs as the only American in its new, state-of-the-art theater.

In New York as ABT soloist, he garnered high praise from critics, among them NY Post’s Clive Barnes who referred to him as “a powerhouse performer”.


Phillips started studying ballet at ten in South Carolina under the Russian Stanislav Issaev, winner of the Vaslav Nijinsky Prize as the “year’s most distinguished male dancer in the world”. When Phillips joined ABT in NY, his mentors included such celebrated dancers as Melissa Hayden and Edward Villella.

The young Phillips holds more internationally prestigious gold medals for dance than any other American dancer. Early in his career, he was awarded the Les Etoiles de Ballet in Cannes and Paris. In 2006, his brilliant accomplishments were already recognized when he was chosen to light the Olympic torch in the USA International Competition Opening Ceremonies.

His Russian teacher in South Carolina, Stanislav Issaaev, started him at age 23 in principal roles. In Vladivostok, he was danseur to prima ballerina Irina Sapozhinkova in Don Quixote, Le Corsaire and Swan Lake. He then danced 20 times with her in Le Corsaire, and after the “pas de deux-ing” tour, the two fell in love.

Phillips leaves Manila on July 7 to perform in New York. Best of all, on July 19 he and his girlfriend, Irina will be back in Manila to perform excerpts from the “Nutcracker Suite” with the Australian Ballet Company, as the duo’s ensemble. The local theater is still undetermined but the announcement will be done in due time.

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