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Relive the thrill of the theater. Be a part of Acts Manila’s annual production at the CCP Main Theater ‚Äď Once Upon An Ever After. Visit an Acts Manila affiliate school today. Enrollment ongoing year-round. See you at the CCP this 24 April 2014!

Duyan ng Magiting

Acts Manila will have its second company show entitled “Duyan Ng Magiting”. It will feature the tender side of heroism with choreographies by Herbert Alvarez, Zyda Baaya, Jun Saagundo, Pia Paderes, Melvin dela Cruz and Jayson Austria. Onstage at the CCP Little Theater on June 9, Sunday, 2013. Show starts 630pm.

 

Photo credit: Tes Pedrosa-Tirol

Note: My first attempt at Amorsoloesque. Wanted to achieve that vintage painterly look for this layout.

We had the opportunity to display some of our Everything Ballet products at the CCP Lobby last month. I found a lot of inspiration online on how to set up our display table. I wanted to do a little shabby chic inspired tablescape much like this one from Such Pretty Things.

Here’s our version of her lovely table:

Everything Ballet cupcakes

Everything Ballet cookies

We displayed a lot of products on our table aside from the pastries above. We had bags, cards, stationery and anything and everything ballet-related. It was a fun experience and hopefully we can plan a better setup next year. I think I’m going to look into those point of purchase displays to see how we can step it up a notch next time. Thank you to all who purchased from our table. Until next time!

Its been over a year since I started teaching ballet. ¬†Since then, I have lost about 30 lbs. ¬†For a lot of people, its really the lack of physical activity that leads to being overweight or obese. The best weight loss supplements can’t beet engaging into physical training. It forces the individual to take ownership of his or her weight problem. Whatever the nature of the training is, it has to be something you really like. ¬†For me , Dance works best because there is a level of performance I push for. ¬†You experience a certain level of¬†frustration¬†when your body fails to achieve the artistic expression you desire. Its not just looking good but being able to communicate your thoughts and feeling somatically.

Its summer in the Philippines and you have found a good place for your child to start training ballet ( or any other dance for that matter).¬† Have you ever thought about what you should be doing in preparation for the 1st class?¬† First order of business is to get your kid in the right attire.¬† Before the 1st class, you should ask the teacher about the attire.¬† In ACTS Manila ballet schools we have a prescribed uniform ( fuschia sleeveless leotard and a skirt of specified length ) so it would be a waste to buy something other than what is called for.¬† You should also ask about how the hair should be done.¬† Second item would be teacher’s gender. I’ve had some kids refuse to join my class because I was male! (As if they didn’t have any fathers!) If you know before hand that the teacher is of opposite gender to your child, you may want to prep the him/her.¬† Thirdly, be ready with food and water.¬† Kids can get really hungry and thirsty after class.¬† Fourth, make sure your child has gone to the bathroom prior to class.¬† Lastly, prepare for things that need to be paid for. Uniforms, tuition, registration, etc.¬† Don’t forget promotional items or coupons giving you discounts or free classes.

Ballet is a wonderful experience for little girls and boys.  They get to dance out fairy tales instead of just reading them. I wish you and your child the best in your ballet experience.  If you live in the Sta. Rosa, Laguna area, you can reach me at 09083020319 for ballet classes.  Mention this blog for a free class.

In my last entry, I blogged about our recent ballet pictorial.¬† As my wife does the post production part of the shoot, we have been staring at all the student’s photos for quite a while now.¬† In so doing we noticed a few more items worth some attention.¬† First and foremost, would be the smiles.¬† As I stated in my previous entry, we had to constantly remind kids to smile.¬† It was not a surprise to see good shots getting archived because the kids were not smiling.¬† Second would be jewelry. Just because your kid has a pictorial, doesn’t mean that you have her wear all your loose diamonds.¬† You have to follow the artisitic direction of the producer.¬† Its funny if your kid has the role of a simple village girl and her ears sparkle.¬† Lastly, the weight! Please STOP your children from always going to McDonalds or eating¬† chips and chocolates.¬† If you don’t think their fat, look at their pictures. It even gets worse when they get on stage.¬† The worst thing that could happen is if they won’t fit in their costumes come recital time.¬† Give them real, nutricious, high quality food.

The weekend was quite busy for us.¬† It was the pictorial of ACTS Manila ballet schools.¬† While Saturday was not so bad as it only involved my wife, Sunday engaged all four of us.¬† We woke up very early to be at the pictorial site at 730am.¬† The shoot started around 830am, with my daughter’s ballet class. About an hour later, it was my son’s ballet class. At around 10:30am,¬† it was the turn of my students to be photographed.¬† The whole morning was practically a family affair.¬† After lunch, it was back to my wife’s monopoly of things to do.

Perhaps your kid is about to have look into that Canon camera in a ballet pictorial setting. Here are some practical tips:

  • 1.) Come early! – In a production pictorial setting, you have to put on a costume or wear special make up.¬† For this reason, call time is usually 1hr before the scheduled shoot.¬† By coming late, you run the risk of not wearing the costume properly or putting on the best make-up.¬†¬† In some cases, you may even damage the costume.
  • 2.) Wear make-up before getting to the site. – If your circumstances permit and no special make-up is required, you should have your kid wear make-up before arriving at the photoshoot.¬† This way, you can focus on his/her costume.
  • 3.) Keep the kids busy. –¬† Do what you can to keep your kid preoccupied while sitting down.¬† Bring books or games that will keep him/her from running around and destroying his/her costume. Pictorials usually take long because of the number of kids to be shot, so you have to bring quite a number of books and games.
  • 4.) Bring food. – Because of the long wait time, bring along some snacks.¬† However, don’t let your kid eat brownies or other dark colored stuff unless you want his/her teeth to have stains.¬† You should also stay away from messy stuff like cream pies as they may spill on the costume.
  • 5.) Bring a good container for the costume. – Bring a container that keeps the costume from being damaged during transport or storage.
  • 6.) Practice your child’s smile. –¬† It’s interesting that we had to nag kids to smile. Have your child practice smiling the night before. It would even be better if you have a mock pictorial!

Hopefully this makes your pictorial experience more memorable in a positive way. Smile!

Its that time of the year, when school is about to end and parents are scrambling to get their kids into activities.    A lot of parents would try to get their kids into dance.  What style should they get into? Where do they train? The answers really depend on what your goals are for your kids.

When choosing a style for your child you should consider the what of the following aspects you want to develop:

1.) Musicality

2.) Acting/Character on Stage

3.) Expression and creativity

4.) Physical control/flexibility

5.) Physical strength

If you want musicality, then jazz, tap and hip-hop. The dependency of these styles on beats and syncopation makes them ideal for this goal.  For character and acting, the classical is the best.  It teaches you to carry yourself like a prince or princess.  If you want to foster creativity and expression, then nothing beats contemporary.

As far as physical training is concerned,  Classical Ballet and Contemporary develop great control over muscle groups.  Classical leg battements and port de bras define peripheral muscles.  Arabesques and pirouettes develop the back and abdominals.  Contemporary contractions and releases develop the core. Think about contemporary dancers rolling like on the floor like rugs.   Hip-hop is known for exposive moves.  Jazz is notable for pelvic and hip isolations.

Among the styles, contemporary appears to confuse some people.¬† A co-teacher of mine in ballet commented that contemporary is like jazz.¬† They are actually not.¬† To understand what contemporary, we go back to its roots.¬† In the early part of the 20th century,¬† dancers hated the “fairy tale” like quality of ballet so they developed a more realist, earthy style known as Modern Dance.¬† In this style, dancers would use the floor and contract their bodies.¬† In the 60’s some dancers emphasized that natural movement was dance.¬† Improvisation and natural movement marked what is known as post-modern dance. The combination of Modern and Post-Modern¬† is now called Contemporary.

After choosing the style, you then consider the teacher.  Is the teacher really a dancer? How long did he/she dance? Where did he/she get the training? Is he/she part of a guild or network of teachers that oversees the quality of instruction? Are the rates reasonable? In my case, I danced for about 3 years before working in industry for 15 years.  After that I returned to ballet as a teacher.  I am part of the Christ centered  ACTS Manila consortium of teachers and ballet schools.  You can call me to compare my rates with other teachers in my area.

Only after considering the teacher should you consider the studio. I have taught ballet in small kindergarten classrooms.  A good teacher should be able to improvise teaching methods to meet the needs of the students.  I teach in 60 sq. m. church hall at Laguna Bel Air 2, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Philippines.  You can call me at 09083020319 for a free ballet or contemporary class.

Have you seen GMA 7’s latest videoke singing game show? If you haven’t then you should! Of course, I am biased because one of the band members is Michael Gemina! I’ve seen him when he was still a little boy and now he’s all grown up (nope, I don’t recall him having any acne treatment) and making a name for himself and doing what he loves to do most. Play music!

It was just a few months ago when we were believing God to send Michael to Berklee. Now, God has opened up doors for him in the music industry. I know that God will do wonderful things for him in the coming days and his future is definitely bright. Not only is he an excellent musician, he also has a good head on his shoulders and more importantly, a heart that wants to honor God. Bravo, Michael! More! More!

Here’s how the show went :

watch?v=uYm8yQaOhU4

We took our kids to CCP today to watch Philippine Ballet Theater’s adaptation of La Fille Mal Garde√© and of course because we wanted to support Acts Manila (Teacher Chelo B. Gemina’s ballet company). We also brought with us 3 of the husband’s ballet students and crammed all of them in our car. Imagine 5 kids all talking at the same time at the top of their lungs non-stop! Teribl√©! But it was still worth it. It turned out to be like a mini field trip for two of them because it was their first time to watch a performance in CCP. I’m glad they enjoyed the show and that they weren’t bored with it. I think it’s rare to find kids nowadays who appreciate theatre performances. What with psp’s, xbox’s, wii’s and video games, not to mention pre-occupation with teen stuff online chatter on friendster and multiply, instant acne treatments and remedies for those unwanted zits that pop up during the most-awaited gimik day, fashionista talk – how many have time to sit down for two hours and watch a classical ballet performance? Sadly, not too many. That’s why even if we were squished like sardines in our car and even if the noise level was beyond the allowable decibels the human ear can handle, it was still worth all the effort because I know that the children left the theatre inspired and challenged.

I was just browsing around for Vaganova Ballet Schools in California specifically in the SFO Bay area or Los Angeles and I found one this one in L.A.  Р> Masterpiece Dance Theatre. Check out their ballet mistress!

Nadezhda (Nadya) Koscuik has been teaching the “Vaganova” ¬†syllabus for over 30 years and she is the only recipient from ¬†both the Russian Ministry of Culture and the Vaganova Ballet ¬†School, St Petersburg, Russia to be officially endorsed to not ¬†only teach the authentic and complete Vaganova curriculum ¬†but also to teach all nine levels. Her extensive international ¬†training, performance experience, and professional contacts ¬†and relationships make her an authority in the world of ¬†Classical Ballet.

Nadya received official permission from the Russian Ministry ¬†of Culture to write her book titled “The Vaganova Legacy”. In ¬†addition to her extensive training, receipt of the entire and ¬†complete Vaganova Curriculum from her friend and mentor ¬†Ninel Kurgapkina (former pupil of Vaganova) further ¬†establishes Nadya as an international authority on the ¬†Vaganova system of teaching. Nadya is now in the process of ¬†editing the first complete draft of the textbook named “The ¬†Vaganova Legacy” which will also serve as a reference manual ¬†on the subject.

Isn’t that impressive! Of course, if ever the kids decide to pursue ballet professionally I wonder what it would cost to uproot ourselves from here and get the service of moving companies Los Angeles Hollywood style? hmmm… that’s still a half a decade away so for now, I’ll settle for Vaganova on youtube. LOL

Just popping in to say that we are about to have one hectic week ahead. Kids recovering from sudden cough and colds due to the erratic weather, a death in the family, visiting grandparents from Davao, visiting family relatives from Cebu, a just concluded summer dance workshop in Sta. Rosa, an unfinished article, layouts to finish, a costume to paint, a surprise party for a dear, dear person, technical dress rehearsals and a photoshoot, of course the first two-day Noah’s Ark ballet recital of my kids at the CCP no less, costumes and makeup to attend to and would you believe after 10+++ years of not dancing, I and a few of my dance ministry friends will brave a dance for a friend’s birthday…. whew, are you still breathing while reading all this? ¬†All of that in 7 days!!! I feel like I’m riding a tiny little scooter and am about to have a head on collision with a ten-wheeler truck in the middle of the freeway! Get me an Oakland motorcycle accident lawyer, pronto!

With a gazillion more things I might forget, I know that God’s grace is sufficient for me. To my mind, I need buckets and buckets of it but it is amazing how He can quiet down your soul and order your world if you let Him. I heard someone say this long ago ” I have too much to do today, I think I need to spend more time praying.” And so I shall.