Like fine wine, women get better with age.
And Philippine Ballet Theatre’s Beautiful Girls are among the finest imaginable.
In celebration of Philippine Ballet Theatre’s thirtieth anniversary, the company recreated productions to pay homage to people who have contributed to their success.
PBT’s Darangen ni Bantugen, which ran from September 23 to 25, was a tribute to former artistic director and choreographer Gener Caringal.
On the second day of the production, the PBT alumni — who, from hereon in shall be called Beautiful Girls — performed at a pre-show to showcase their journey as dancers.
Beautiful Girls, a piece choreographed by the late Tony Fabella, is a signature PBT piece. The instrumentalized version of Jose Mari Chan’s equally timeless song has been the central piece to the choreography passed on from generation to generation of the company’s dancers.
The piece was first danced by seven of the company’s previous dancers that included Guada de Leon – Bas, Liza de la Fuente – Castaneda, Maritoni Rufino – Tordesillas, and Rosalie Carreon – Zarate. The four revisited Beautiful Girls in the thirtieth pre-show performance with other PBT Alumni Erica Marquez – Jacinto, Cathee Lee- Roslovtsev and Therese Arcinas- Jaynario.
Clockwise: Rosalie Carreon, Therese Arcinas- Jaynario, Erica Marquez – Jacinto, Liza de la Fuente – Castaneda, Guada de Leon – Bas, and Cathee Lee- Roslovtsev.
“Beautiful” is an adjective rendered impotent by the power and majesty of the women (no longer girls) who danced this timeless piece. They were not just beautiful, they transcended the limits of what can be humanly breathtaking.
The dance begun with each member, statuesque and preternaturally regal, posed to begin their flirtation with the music. Initially, the dancers were like silk flowing with the notes; elegance flowing from the tips of their fingers down to the toes. As the rhythm progressed to a livelier cadence, their movements became equally sprightly, but always graceful. Here, the playful girls within came out and frolicked.
L-R: Liza de la Fuente – Castaneda, Guada de Leon – Bas, Maritoni Rufino – Tordesillas, and Cathee Lee- Roslovtsev.
As if that weren’t exciting enough, each danced their solos with amazing precision and execution that complemented the youthful vibe they all projected. Guada de Leon – Bas was a powerful sprite that swept across the makeshift stage, carefree yet deliberate in her extensions. Maritoni Rufino- Tordesillas was a magnificently fragile crystal forming all the graceful movements where she both reflects light, and becomes the light that shines on the floor. Rosalie Carreon- Zarate was the epitome of confidence and playfulness — she is the bamboo tree that teases you with her soft touches when you pass by her way. Liza de la Fuente- Castaneda was a force of nature: you won’t know whether she is the tree that commands the wind to make her movements flawless and fluid, or she is the wind itself that spins all our heads with masterful moves. Cathee Lee- Roslovtsev was a thespian with her execution, she tugs at your heartstrings as she commands the music with her movements. Therese Arcinas- Jaynario was innocence personified, the feather-lightness of her feet and the angelic smile made her seem like the cloud drifting effortlessly on a clear day. Of course, there was Erica Marquez – Jacinto, in perfect form, her grandeur glides with her extensions; fairy-like in her grace and graciousness.
Watch the video below:
Beautiful Girls was truly a timeless piece, and was performed during the Philippine Ballet Theatre’s 20th Anniversary as well.
Here’s a video from that performance.
Performance after performance, these beautiful women have shown what immortality looks like, through dance. From then until now, the change is apparent: the girls turned into beautiful women. Better. Finer.
And a lot more intoxicating.