Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Reimagined Miracles

Life is so hard these days that I have a tendency to treat theater as my happy pill. Safely embraced by comfortable seats in a glamorous theatre, I let my mind go and escape into a different realm. I come out somewhat rejuvenated by the mere sight of talent on spotlight.  Himala did the exact opposite of that yet I have not an ounce of regret watching it. There is a brooding melancholy in me. As I type this, I still feel remnants of the musical in my blood stream. I left the theater trembling. I walked out of the theater with silent tears replacing the river of tears I left in the theatre. I had so much to say but I couldn't coherently converse with anyone because I was stuttering, still reeling from the impact of what I had just seen. I had to take a moment to recognize what shook me to the core.

Himala the Musical ( See Link : Himala the Musical Teaser) is an adaptation of the epic movie that Nora Aunor starred in. It was about a story of a peculiar town (Barangay Cupang) who was drowning in tragedy. A heroine is borne when their Elsa reveals that she  had an encounter with the Virgin Mary. She starts healing the people and the town is changed for good. I knew the story, I knew the characters but what I didn't know was that despite this, it was still capable of puncturing me with constant punches of difficult truths being revealed scene after sceneThe story I had expected to see was a retelling of Nora Aunor's role, Elsa, but what I witnessed was a retelling of the town's story.  In an intimate setting, I entered Barangay Cupang and became a spectator of their life.

The performance started with sounds of the howling wind quieting down the audience The small black box theatre was transformed into a sunken garden with the audience surrounding what would be the provincial town of Cupang. Bamboo fences and minimal nipa structures separated the audience from the performers. Glistening in sweat, parched with poverty, the actors disturbed the silence. Soon, Elsa personified by Aicelle Santos, was introduced. Santos early on differentiated her performance from the iconic Nora Aunor as she deviated from the very mysterious glass-eyed Elsa. She came out early on as the most "unremarkable" almost "invisible" member of Cupang. To be honest, I was looking for her just like Nanay Saling (Bituin Escalante). There was an awkwardness to her steps and a tentativeness in her initial approach. It was much later that I completely grasped that Santos' Elsa was a clean canvass of nothingness. Her initial scenes were so intelligently laid out that at the end of the musical her transformation was poignant yet powerful. Santos succeeded in portraying a simple woman tested by burden, conflicted with a taste of unexpected fame, bruised by immorality and loss. At the end of the musical, she stood there in her sacred ground and addressed her people, totally changed by the experience. Santos was victorious in unfolding Elsa's humanity and redemption. Truth be told, I was impressed with her voice during the press conference but her stripped down interpretation of the songs gave so much meaning to the music and lyrics created by Vincent De Jesus. I didn't just hear the songs, I felt them.

Aicelle Santos as Elsa
Photo by : Kyle Venturillo

Nanay Saling is played by Bituin Escalante who broke my heart each time she came out. She was a picture of a mother who understood the concept of unconditional love. Her portrayal was so sensitive that it reminded me of how self-sacrificing a mother can be. Despite doubt, despite fear, despite conflicting beliefs a mother can hold her child's hand to weather the storm to protect her. Escalante's usual belting booming voice was replaced with evocative softness. Every lyric pronounced with crystalline emotion. I dare say this is one of her best stage performances.

The town who depicted the different voices of weakness in desperation was spectacular. Kakki Teodoro as Nimya was gold. As the antagonist, she was abrasive yet endearing and her voice was ringing above everyone else's. Neomi Gonzales as Chayong was the perfect contrast to Teodoro's boldness and Santos' meekness. She was delicate and immaculate in song and in characterization. David Ezra's tenor voice has a moving quality. His guilt-ridden portrayal as Orly was so pivotal to the story. Sandino Martin's intensity as Pilo was brilliant. He never let go of any scene. His silent moments were priceless and were just as marvelous as his notes. Floyd Tena as the voice of reason in this musical was solid. His anguish was affecting.

Sandino Martin as Pilo
Photo by Kyle Venturillo

Floyd Tena as the Priest
Photo by Kyle Venturillo

This musical is proof that there are no small roles, only small actors. The whole cast of this production was visibly invested in their individual characters with very specific motivations for each scene. I credit Director Ed Lacson for allowing the actors to give liberating performances that I'm certain will stay with them for a very long time as it will to the audience who witnessed their moments. Particularly memorable to me was Onyl Torres as one of Elsa's patients. He took us in a one minute journey of pain, healing and hope. Joshua Cabiladas' light and dark moments were pronounced. Many others in the ensemble made me weep. It was a full cast who left themselves at home and brought only their inner lights and darks on stage. I dare say this production is one of the best ensemble casts I have ever seen. The collective sound was haunting, their portrayals as real as it could get. 

Onyl Torres as a Patient
Photo by Kyle Venturillo

The cast was brilliant, the immersive staging was effective. Undoubtedly these made the musical powerful. But this show is relevant because of its shift in perspective. This production took the simple concepts of herd mentality, hypocrisy, crab mentality, greed, tolerance and even stupidity and molded it into one single concept that is communicated with so much power. These are not ills you see in other people. Finding blame for something bad, treating everything as destiny, justifying actions, pretending to be good, remembering to pray only when things go your way- it happens in moments in our lives. It is intrinsic to the Filipino (and perhaps the rest of the world). These define us as a people. The delivery of Ricky Lee's relatable colloquial dialogue was so organic and familiar that I realized that even a generally positive person like me have echoed them several times over. We have all been compromised one way or another. What Director Ed Lacson Jr. was able to do was to prompt for understanding by highlighting the blistering image of humanity's imperfection. When the rain finally came, so did my tears. In a smothering black box, the normality of it was puncturing, disappointing, bothersome yet it was truthful. Surprisingly there was no feel of judgement in the staging. This staging made sure that the message was brought down to most personal level possible. The impact was for the audience to determine.

Lacson mentioned earlier in his interviews that the show was a stripped down version of the glorious material crafted by Ricky Lee and Vincent De Jesus. Contrary to how everyone else is describing it, I believe that it wasn't quite a stripped down version. It was a built up version because it empowered all the characters to come alive to efficiently allow art to imitate life. Yes it was accompanied by a single piano, yes the set was minimal, yes only natural voices were allowed on stage. However, replacing the frills was a stronger more diverse collective voice and a multifaceted delivery of stories. For me it was more of a story flipped over and presented in a new perspective with new aspects to think about and new nuances to salivate over.

Himala is  truly a gift. It is a collaboration that sets the bar for everyone else. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Three Dancers Rise to the Top

Last Sunday was a milestone. Lisa Macuja announced that three of her homegrown talents were to join her roster of Principal Dancers. Congratulations are in order for Joan Sia, Elpidio Magat and Romeo Peralta  who now join Katherine Barkman, Rudy De Dios and Gerardo Francisco at the top bench.  Coming from an outsider's standpoint, it feels  pleasantly surreal. I'm having a "time-flies" moment. Wasn't it just yesterday when Magat was being introduced as someone to watch out for? Wasn't it just last week that Sia won in the Asian Grand Prix? Wasn't it just a month ago when Peralta took over Arachnida?  Hearing the news was pretty much like  taking a bite of a tasty desert. The sweet taste  lingers in your mouth and  reminds you of why the calories were so worthwhile. It's both satisfying and promising. I'm quite sure they feel the same way. The erratic but rich  journey of injuries intrigues, debuts and triumphs paid off and now they can look forward to better things ahead.  Surely if they keep on being loyal to their craft, the future will be nothing but great. But before we get too excited about what's to come, let's take a look at some of their past moments. #RoadtoPrincipal

Joan Sia and Romeo Peralta in Arachnida in Dance Manila 2016

Joan Sia in Giselle  Dance Manila 2016 

Romeo Peralta and Joan Sia in Bluebird Pas De Deux 2016

Joan Sia and Elpidio Magat Snow White 2017

Elpidio Magat as Benno Swan Lake 2017

Elpidio Magat as Prince Siegfried Ballet and Ballads 2018 

Romeo Peralta as the Second Prince in Ibong Adarna 2017

Joan Sia and Romeo Peralta El Adwa Ballet and Ballads 2018 

Sia started her BM story in 2009 when she was accepted as a scholar. She has enjoyed every role she has been given  but mentions  Giselle and Swan Lake as one of her favorites.  Truly these are the roles that have made an impression on people. Moving forward she dreams of dancing Carmen and La Bayadere with Ballet Manila. She also looks forward to more contemporary works. She has loved performing Arachnida by Agnes Locsin, El Adwa  and MAZN by Bam Damian. 

Magat has been with the Company since 2005. He started as a scholar. He was one of the few featured artists who performed in the World Stars of Ballet Gala alongside Sia  back in  2012. He hopes one day he'll get  to perform the full length of Don Quixote.  So far, Basilio is one of his favorite roles to play. (He has performed the grand wedding pas de deux).

Peralta has served Ballet Manila the longest having started with the Company as early as 2000 as a scholar. He enjoys  both classical and contemporary dancing. Particularly memorable to him was the role of Albrecht in Giselle which he performed at the CCP Main Theatre as a tribute to the great Mrs. Felicitas Radaic. He enjoys intense roles whether they are classical or modern. Among his favorites are Arachnida by Agnes Locsin, Velvet Wings by David Campos and Widmung by Bam Damian. 

The three seemingly have enjoyed every bit of their career. I am certain they will just love everything about tomorrow and beyond. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

CCP 2018 Season, Breaking the Boundaries

The conclusion of the very colorful ASEAN once again put the Philippines in the global map as a center of robust art. All of a sudden social media is filled with #pinoypride posts about how much talent exists in our country. But you see, we've been glorious all along. We just occasionally need a bit more spotlight directed towards the red white and blue. So let's talk about how great 2018 will be.

Living room of art

Last January 26, 2018 the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) set up a homey press conference. Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado was quick to say think of the CCP as the living room of arts. It is self explanatory, the CCP is a home that opens the doors to anyone and everyone. It is a venue for conversation prompted by the art that fills the space. It is a place to entertain and be entertained. Lastly it is a place that collects memories and snapshots of life much like the picture frames we can see in homes. Quite appropriate was the similarity of both places. I was inspired however by news that for 2018 it will go beyond the basic parallelism. It seems our living room of art came alive when it was completed by the nurturing heart of a parent. Incorporated in the 2018 CCP Season are worthy projects that heal the soul.

CCP President Nick Lizaso
Photo courtesy of CCP

CCP President Nick Lizaso addressed the press highlighting some of CCP's prioritized projects. 
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), one of the resident companies of the CCP, has worked several times with UP-Philippine General Hospital and Philippine Cancer Society with performances dubbed as Songs for Healing. Lizaso lauded the collaborative efforts of these organizations and announced that it is a project that he intends to strengthen. Continuity is a certainty. Just recently the PPO finished their first performance of the year at the PGH grounds filling the hospital with symphonic melodies meant to create a healing and soothing energy for the patients and the employees present. It truly was a wonderful way to start the year. Nothing beats the rush of art in an unexpected place.

Sining Para sa Kalinaw is an art for peace project organized by the CCP Cultural Exchange Department for the victims and evacuees of the Marawi war. Activities like art therapy and culture education are done hitting two birds with one stone. The victims are provided an escape from their otherwise dreadful present and they come closer to knowing about their cultural heritage.  In 2017 when the project started, there were fifteen CCP satellite councils at work to bring joy through art in depressed areas. There are now twenty six CCP satellite councils that are able to support the project (and others). In 2018, Lizaso reported that they are expecting another ten satellite councils to be fully activated. Warms that heart to see nurturing efforts that go beyond the boundaries of the CCP.

Another event that is worthy of attention is Marawing Salamat that will be held at the CCP Main Theatre on April 6, 2018. It promises to feature the very best of Philippine Opera and Fashion. The net proceeds are intended to support the rebuilding of Marawi City, the artistic and cultural  mecca of Muslim Mindanao.

Breaking Boundaries 

Millado updated everyone about the progression of their expansion project. Everyone is quite thrilled to find out that the ground breaking of the artist center will be happening in the near future. A space with forty rehearsal studios and a few galleries will surely elevate the Filipinos into a higher level. I'm just hoping that this time around ALL the resident companies get their own space to call their NEW HOME.


Dance Season 

2017 was a bit disappointing because efforts that have been gaining support and interest were discontinued. It seems 2018 will follow suit. Dance Manila was created in 2016 and was launched as the first and widest collaboration of Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines and Philippine Ballet Theatre as well as other relevant dance groups. It was a festive showcase of Filipino talent. It was a wonderful collage of our range. Unfortunately it was not continued in 2017. I initially thought maybe it's a biennial activity but was disappointed it was still not included in the CCP 2018 dance calendar. It seems there is little to no chance of fulfillment considering the full calendar at the CCP.

International Dance Day which has been a tradition for years was also discontinued in 2017. While there still might be hope that the CCP would resume sponsorship of the celebrations, probability seems low. On the bright side NCCA just might team up again with generous Ballet Manila?! Storming heavens for that.

What is happening though is a comeback of Pulso which was last seen in 2012. This show is a celebration of Filipino dance. It exemplifies the diversity that exists here in the Philippines and presents the differentiation of dance genres. Pulso is tentatively scheduled in the CCP calendar on June 26-30, 2018.

Unifying dance activities for me is quite essential to growth because it's a time that competition with each other is set aside in favor of enjoying the inspiration that different flavored artists provide. It is my hope that there are more events to look forward to.

Ballet is Life

Balletomanes can look forward to mix of classical, neoclassical and all out contemporary shows this 2018. Ballet Philippines will begin the year with their season ender Don Quixote scheduled to run from February 9-18, 2018. This will be followed by the Young Choreographer's Showcase on June 8, 2018. National Artist for dance and Artistic director Alice Reyes will herself mentor 6 aspiring choreographers and have the company perform the their pieces in full. Neo-classical Carmina Burana will be performed on Sept 7-9, 2018. Mixed bill Carmen and Other Ballets will be shown on October 5-7, 2018. Lastly their Christmas Offering will be Snow White  which runs from Nov 30- December 9, 2018.

Philippine Ballet Theatre will have a few re-runs for 2018. Merry Widow will make a comeback and so will Martin Buczko (formerly from Staatsballet Berlin). A revitalized restaging of Cinderella will run from September 28-30, 2018. Ronilo Jaynario will re-imagine the ballet to adapt to the technical facilities of the dancers. PBT will again stage their family favorite The Nutcracker from November 16-18, 2018.

Line up seems fairly entertaining but I keep hoping for NEW and original Filipino ballets. 

Contemporary Flavors 

Aside from Ballet Philippines' possibly contemporary line up for the Young Choreographer's showcase, Neo-Filipino will again provide a platform for established choreographers to show their hopefully new  work on August 21- 27, 2018.

Healthy Competition
2018 is competition year with international and local  ballet competitions happening outside the CCP premises. Adding to that is the CCP Ballet Competition happening on Nov 14-17, 2018.

From inspiring advocacy projects, thrilling infrastructure possibilities to innovative unique dance line ups, I think the CCP will be breaking boundaries this year. If the idea is to reach out to new audiences  beyond the loyal and give opportunities to create new art, then I think it's gonna be a productive year. Looking forward to seeing and chronicling everything this 2018. Care to watch with me? Take a step into the living room of art  and enjoy the experience. See you at the theatre.
AMADA to be performed by Ballet Philippines at the "KING GALA, Tribute to Lucresia Kasilag"

AMADA to be performed by Ballet Philippines at the "KING GALA, Tribute to Lucresia Kasilag"
Dancers Candice Adea and Ronelson Yadao

Isay Alvarez for Triple Threat Concert
Isay Alvarez and Robert Sena for Triple Threat Concert

Dennis Marasigan talking about the rerun of "Ang Pag-uusig"

Impressive cast of Pag-uusig 

Jimmy Lumba and Kim Abrogena
Philippine Ballet Theatre's " Merry Widow"

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Finding a Miracle in Himala

All eyes on Elsa (played by Aicelle Santos)

Himala the musical will be returning to the stage thirty years after its conception. The musical is an adaptation of the Ishmael Bernal film that tells the story of Elsa who is said to be blessed with divinity and ability to heal. The movie revolves around the  effect of her miracles to Cupang, her poor unfortunate town. I attended their press conference and it was fascinating to witness how much interest still thrives after all these years. The energy in the room was palpable considering there were only a handful who have seen the movie and the previous stagings. It could be the novelty of it all or the respect for previous success. Nonetheless, the dynamic was captivating and I was completely satisfied being the observer. It seemed ironic to me that a roomful of people were finding out for themselves (in context and without the help of the actual play yet) if miracles were real. The actors even obliged and told their own touching stories about their lives. I remember thinking we seem like the perfect parallel to Elsa's Cupang (her community), awaiting for something convincing to hold on to. Thankfully, I did see something unravel that day. I can't quite call it a miracle yet because I have yet to see the show  but there is something enticing that has me rooting for cast. 

Miracle of Truth 

The esteemed scriptwriter and novelist Ricky Lee was present and he shared with us the  beginnings of the film. With his story clutched in his hand he pitched this project thirty years ago to so many directors only to be rejected over and over again. He finally won himself a chance when his script was given a second glance by the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines  who gave him a grant to start the project. It's easy to understand why it was so difficult to pitch this story. It was depicting the Filipino in such a negative yet truthful way. With characters who embody altruism, materialism, deception and yes even stupidity, it is difficult to present the film as inspiring. The fact that it was produced and loved by its viewers was a miracle. The fact that it was translated into a musical and a concert is a blessing. But the real gift is that the newest staging comes so timely  when it is necessary to remind people what  the nature of the herd really is. The musical after all these years is still about truth and  the downfall of humanity. Its relevance should be a good reason to watch the show. If people go beyond interest and actually come then that would be miracle #1. 

Glitterless is more. 

Designer-Director Ed Lacson Jr. will be directing this musical. After three years in the making he is ready to share with the public his vision of what "Himala" should be. What is nice about Ed Lacson's point of view is that he doesn't seem to think that he is part of the equation. He humbly expressed that he has very high respect for the story and the music. He does not find the need to interject anything distinctly  "Ed Lacson" because the material is already gold. It seems he does not feel the pressure to make it his story or version. In fact he makes it  a point to discuss his process of distilling the theatrics to allow the words and the melodies to be heard with no distractions. It's safe to say there will be no frills, fireworks and glitter. There won't be any distinct choreography. While most people's mantra is build build build on the material, he goes break break break. Break the mold and allow people to see what is in the core of  Himala. He desires nothing but to  simply introduce the concept of humanity through the characters of the story. He moves to engage the mind. 

I have seen a couple of his sets and I am familiar with his very well rounded aesthetic sense. So far I have seen nothing but  intricate gorgeous fusions of contemporary and surrealist sets. That being said, I'm super curious to know what he means when he says his overall visual approach will be minimalist. I am likewise excited to get to know how he will bring the characters to life. With a fluff-free approach all that's left is a showcase of raw talent. Consequently, the actors will  put on the spotlight. His pivotal role is to ensure that there is a deep understanding of the complexities of each role. 

This millennial looking lad really impressed me during the press conference because he very clearly sees this production as art and nothing commercial. His propensity towards authenticity is quite promising. Perhaps he might be the miracle worker and if he delivers in his staging that would be miracle #2

Vince de Jesus is a genius

Vince De Jesus is a musical genius. When words fail, he seamlessly creates melodies that echo what otherwise cannot be explained. His melodies are always sensitive and textured with life. Having said that, the excerpts that were performed are telling of how great this show CAN be. If all his songs are sung as beautifully then perhaps that can be a glorious miracle #3 


I've mentioned  what-if miracles  of the formidable triad  but I do know of one certified miracle that has already happened. Himala is a product of a collaboration between two very different entities. Sandbox Collective and Nineworks Theatrical  have joined hands for the first time to produce the show. Avid theater goers will tell you that while the two teams are practically sister companies, they represent different brands of thought. Sandbox Collective is an edgy company who concentrates on fresh ideas presented with a contemporary feel. Nineworks Theatrical on the other hand presents the big Broadway hits dressed in theatrical glamour.  Now that is what you call a miracle. With producers like that you know Himala will be something to look forward to. It's a wedding with something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue.  

So far, Himala is a promising project with plenty reasons to draw people in. How about buying that ticket so we can both find out if there's hidden miracle to be found? See you at the theatre everyone. 

Ako ay tinawag ng Birhen
Minsan, nagpaangap kung minsan
Floyd Tena as the Priest 

Pano nalang kung hindi totoo?
Bituin Escalante as Elsa's Mother 

Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao.
Walang Himala

Check The Sandbox Collective for more details 

Cast : 

  1. Aicelle Santos as Elsa
  2. Kakki Teodoro as Nimya
  3. Neomi Gonzales as Chayong
  4. Sandino Martin as Pilo
  5. David Ezra as Orly
  6. Bituin Escalante as Elsa's Mother
  7. Floyd Tena as the Priest

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Conversation with Joseph Gatti

 All Photos Courtesy of Ballet Philippines
A beautiful breeze is coming to Manila bringing with it gusts of wind  from different parts of the world.  It seems almost unrealistically lavish at  first glance but  it's about time our flourishing local dance world is  interrupted and  given another push to perform at par with the best of the best.  Our usually uneventful Manila is scheduled to open its arms to back to back foreign ballet artists. The first installation is generously provided by Ballet Philippines who will be bringing  millennial favorite  Joseph Gatti to perform the Principal role of Basilio in their season-ender "Don Quixote". While our local artists are perfectly capable of entertaining locals with the colorful story ballet, I would have to say they made an excellent choice in Gatti. He will prove to be more than just a good dancer visiting Manila. He is guaranteed to inspire people. 

This experienced professional has been a winner from the start of his career. He won the Youth American Grand Prix with a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London in 2003. He became the first American male dancer to win the prestigious gold medal at the New York International Competition in 2005 . In 2006,  he became the bronze medalist at the USA International Ballet Competition  and silver medalist at the Seoul International Ballet Competition. In 2007  Gatti bagged the gold medal in the prestigious World Ballet Competition.  His  time with companies like  American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet, Corella Ballet and Boston Ballet are reflective of his well rounded experience. His success tells the  story of an artist who has had a spectacular journey with wonderful output. Google Gatti and you will see that he has the capacity to stun people with what he can do with his body. That's enough reason for ballet fans to be elated that he is dropping by Manila. Surely he will deliver athleticism and artistry in a silver platter. However there is another side of him that was revealed to me through our quick correspondence.   Sharing with you snippets of our conversation that will easily distinguish him as a good role model for artists.

  • Gatti has always been very vocal about his gratitude towards teachers. When asked    about his parents' role in his success he had this to say. 

" I couldn’t have had my success without my parents. They  would always do anything for me up to this day. They have sacrificed a lot. Driving me to and from the school always so I would get my ballet classes in. They supported me through every moment of my training and career as a dancer. We were never a wealthy family but they made sure somehow to get the money needed for me when I went to the Royal Ballet School in London. My brother was the same, he would come to all my shows and constantly support and believe in me. We are all still super close to this day and we all live nearby in Orlando. It’s nice to be able to take care of my parents now when they need me after all the things they gave us it’s time to give back. I couldn’t be happier. And yes! My mother bribed me to take my first class I think it was 20 dollars "
His humility is safely locked in his system allowing him to move forward with an          attitude of gratitude.  
  • With all his achievements, you would think he would be complacent by now. However his social media presence clearly shows that he is all about  continuously striving for more. I asked him how he remains ambitious and driven. 

" I think it’s a combination of learning and experience and just having the love and passion for the art. My parents always taught me to never give up. If you really want it and your hungry for it you can accomplish it. I just have this mentality of always tying to learn and improve no matter my age or how many competitions or awards I have won. Once you stop that you might as well retire. I’m always striving to do better in my dancing and artistry constantly just as a person as well. I want to dance for a long time healthy and strong. I believe I can do it with the proper balance and care for my body."

He is completely focused on the craft and he has  the capacity to see beyond what is already good and he works steadily on achieving bigger things.

  • In recent times it was announced that Joseph Gatti would assume the role of founder and Artistic Director of United Ballet Theatre. It is a company that is dedicated to preserving the artist through creating an environment that ensures the health and happiness quotient is at an all time high. This new endeavor reflects how deeply he cares about the dancers' welfare. He explained his vision.
"United Ballet Theatre Company will have a schedule like no other company has had before. I have learned this from being in professional companies and freelancing as well. I truly believe having the proper rest time and balance of rehearsals and cross training makes the dancers stronger and healthier than ever. It will show onstage and the audience will be able to enjoy stronger, powerful artistic dancers who are happy on stage and feel they are in the best shape ever"

He seems to genuinely care for artists and is not afraid to go the extra mile so that others can enjoy their careers. He shares not only opportunities but mentorship as well. 

  •  He believes in the health and happiness quotient and so I asked him what advise he could give to to others to sustain it on their own. 

"You must be true to yourself! If your unhappy at a place you must have the courage to stand up for yourself and move on. You need to  seek a place that you feel respected. When you have a company that believes in you, it will do wonders for the dancers. You can work them hard and all but to have that respect and belief towards them and care. That will make the dancers have longer healthier and happier careers. So for the dancers, it’s being strong, always seeking that respect and being able to communicate with each other and have that camaraderie  towards each other. Constantly learning."
He believes in the preservation of dignity in an artist's life.That just means he believes that dance should be and could be a sustainable career. 

It seems to me that Joseph Gatti is a shining example of a simple person who succeeded because of the right attitude.  He looks at his past with gratitude and keeps it in his pocket to keep him grounded.  He works hard everyday so that he can ensure that dance will be still his tomorrow. He demands respect but gives it willingly to all those who work with him. He cares about the art but he also cares about sharing it to people. He is sure of what he wants for himself, sure of what he wants to offer others and most positively certain about how he wants to contribute in the world he lives in. His clear mindset is inspiring. Perhaps this  is what has allowed him to achieve so much.  Truly a lot of people can learn a thing or two from him. I can't wait to see him share his art to the Philippine dance community.  See you at the theatre. 

Check my page for updates about Joseph Gatti, Ballet Philippines and other dance news in the Philippines https://www.facebook.com/artaturningpointe/