Saturday, June 7, 2014

Three Dancers of Ballet Philippines All Set to Compete in International Ballet Competitions

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Ballet Philippines, the country’s premier classical and contemporary dance company proudly announces the participation of three company members to compete in two prestigious international ballet competitions in USA and Bulgaria.

Victor Maguad and Jemima Sanielle Reyes will represent the Philippines in the USA International Ballet Competition to be held in Jackson, Mississippi from June 14 – 29, 2014.

Monica Amanda Gana will represent the Philippines in the 26th International Ballet Competition - Varna 2014 to be held at the Open theater Varna in Bulgaria from July 15 - 30, 2014.

Victor Gamosa Ursabia, director of the Ballet Philippines Dance School is coaching the three dancers and will be accompanying them to both competitions abroad.

Jemima Sanielle Reyes started dancing at the age of 3 at the Lilibeth C. Trinidad Dance and Exercise Center in Cabanatuan City. She graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts, Majoring in Ballet, in 2011. She joined the company as an apprentice at the age of 16 and was promoted to junior company member a year after. She performed the principal role of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty for the CCP Dance School. For the company she has essayed significant roles such as Princess Florine in Sleeping Beauty, Prinsesa in Crisostomo Ibarra, and Gintong Usa in Alice Reyes' Rama Hari. Jemima was a finalist at the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 2009, she placed 8th at the first Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2011 in Hong Kong, and she was a semi-finalist at the 2012 Rudolf Nureyev International Ballet Competition in Budapest, Hungary.

Victor Maguad started dancing at the age of 7, training under the supervision of Luther Perez, Tony Fabella and Eddie Elejar at the Manila Dance Center where he was given a chance to join Ballet Philippines' production of Shoes++ in 2000. He played Michael in Edna Vida's Peter Pan in 2001 and essayed John when the production was restaged in 2010.

He joined the CCP Dance School in 2004 as a full scholar at the young age of 11 under the tutelage of Noordin Jumalon. His passion for dance and his exceptional technique brought him to dance various male variations such as Basilio in Don Quixote, Prince Florimund in the Sleeping Beauty and the male variation in Paquita. In 2007, he competed at the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and won 3rd place in the Juniors Ballet category. Later that year he performed in the Philippine Festival in Japan.

Monica Amanda Gana started her formal dance instruction at the age of 8 under the guidance of Toni Lopez Gonzalez. In Steps Dance Studio she continued to train in Contemporary Modern, Jazz and the classical ballet syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). She was trained and took classes with Sofia Elizalde, Raul Sauz, Eurica Balagtas, Jeffrey Espejo, Anna Villadolid, Jun Saagundo, James Laforteza and Max Luna III. Monica placed first in the Junior Category of the 2011 National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) Ballet Competition and eighth in the 2012 Asian Grand Prix International Ballet competition in Hong Kong. Monica attended Alvin Ailey’s 2011 Summer Intensive Workshop and the 2012 American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive Workshop in New York City. She is now studying in the College of Saint Benilde taking a degree in Dance.

Ballet Philippines’ Candice Adea and her partner Jean Marc Cordero competed at the 2010 USA IBC. Candice Adea won the silver medal in the senior women's division and won first place at the 2012 Helsinki International Ballet Competition.

THE USA INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION which has been held every four years since 1979, provides an opportunity for dancers to test themselves against recognized international standards of dance excellence; to showcase their technical skill and artistic talent; to provide a forum for communication and intercultural exchange; and to educate, enlighten and develop future artists and audience support for the art of dance. The two-week competition is where tomorrow’s ballet stars vie for gold, silver and bronze medals, cash awards, scholarships and jobs. It can be an invaluable stepping stone to a dancer’s career.

For this year, there will be a total of 99 dancers representing 20 countries composed of 57 senior competitors (ages 19-26) and 42 juniors (ages 15-18).

Established in 1964, the INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION - VARNA is one of the world’s first professional ballet competitions. In spite of the many ballet competitions created in the world, none other can rival the Varna Competition in terms of quality and prestige, well illustrated by its discovery and consecration of stars such as Vladimir Vassiliev, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Patrick Dupont and Sylvie Guillem. The quality of the performances throughout the event, the high degree of technical skill from the competitors and the demands of the jury are so great that the competition has been nicknamed “The Dance Olympics”.

Good luck to Jemima Sanielle Reyes, Victor Maguad and Monica Amanda Gana!

For inquiries, visit, send an email to, or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:

Twitter: @balletph
Instagram: @balletphilippines

Photo credits: The headshots were taken by Jojo Mamangun and the performance photos are by Victor Gamosa Ursabia.

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