Ayala Foundation, the social development arm of the Ayala group of companies and an advocate in community development, teams up again with STEPS Scholarship Foundation and internationally acclaimed Filipino-American prima ballerina Stella Abrera for another series of classical ballet performances to raise funds for Centex, Ayala Foundation’s flagship education program.
This year, Abrera will be performing alongside fellow American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Principal Dancer James Whiteside and the ABT Studio Company under the direction of Sascha Radetsky for “Stella Abrera & Rising Stars of American Ballet Theatre Featuring James Whiteside, Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre” at the Maybank Performance Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City on November 7 and 8.
Since Radetsky, Abrera’s husband, became Artistic Director of the ABT Studio Company, she has grown more aware and proud of the important work the company does.
“I see a parallel in the missions of CENTEX and ABT: both organizations offer a sanctuary where young people can be nurtured by passionate mentors to go on to bright futures,” Abrera shares. “These lucky dancers spend one or two years, not only honing their technical skills, they also have a safe place for artistic exploration — reaching for the ultimate goal of finding employment with either ABT or other notable ballet companies,” Abrera noted.
It’s especially brilliant that the Filipino audience can see this mission in action once again on stage — joining Abrera and Whiteside will be six newly appointed ABT apprentices Leah Baylin, Kanon Kimura, Melvin Lawovi, Joseph Markey, Duncan Mcllwaine, and Chloe Misseldine who have just graduated from ABT.
Also performing are ABT Studio Company dancers Tristan Brosnan, Teresa D’Otorne, Cy Doherty, Glatz Tillie, Seon Mee Park, Gabriel Rajah, Andrew Robare, Yoon Jung Seo, Shino Tsurutani, Aleisha Walker, and gifted Filipino dancer and former Centex Tondo Scholar Elwince Magbitang.
This year’s stellar fund-raising event features numerous young, bright talents like Magbitang and the ABT apprentices — a new breed of dancers who are sure to speak to and attract support from a lot of hip, young, artistically inclined Filipinos who are captivated by not just ballet, but the art of dance in general.
“Philippine audiences will get the chance to watch this young and incredibly gifted group of dancers who are rising stars and the future of the American Ballet Theatre. They will showcase classical ballet at its best and feature in exciting programs thoughtfully pieced together by Mr. Radetsky,” Elizalde said.
President of Ayala Foundation, Ruel Maranan added, “Through this continuing partnership, we hope to nurture a new generation of talented dancers from Centex, just like Elwince, who is starting to make a name for himself.”