“But everyone is beautiful at the ballet. Every prince has got to have his swan. Yes everyone is beautiful at the ballet.”
This iconic line from the musical extravaganza Chorus Line comes to life as dance students from the Halili-Cruz School of Dance (HCSD), Halili-Cruz School of Ballet (HCSB), and HC Conservatory showcase their talents in two different grand concerts.
Entitled Summer Dance Divertissement and Diversifiera 2022, the concerts are held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
Ballet has always been my fascination since puberty. It took some time for me to wear my dancing shoes and workout clothes. All that happened when I became an employee of the Manila Metropolitan Theater as part of its PR and Production Office. I took formal lessons in modern jazz and basic ballet, even had the chance to dance and perform in two recitals at the Tanghalang Conchita Sunico then.
Sitting down inside the Newport Theater and watching the students perform their many numbers, what was most evident, the classical ballet foundation, discipline, and training. And to see them dance in different genres such as jazz and classical.
It cannot be denied that Diversifiera was a concert born from the hard work and passion of the teachers and students of HCSD. It’s an outstanding showcase of talents, high level of energy, and production value with numbers that highlighted the choreography and the expression and emotions, the technique and synchronicity, the elegance, and the power of all the dancers on that massive stage.
Adding more color, drama, and flair are the costumes worn. The ballet tutus are opulent. They were most appropriate and fitted the dancers well in their varied repertoire. The large screens at the back transported the audiences to the number’s original setting, giving us not just the visual feast, but all the feels.
My top picks in the dance concert are the grand opening with 32 ballerinas on pointes wearing elegant tutus in Valse Fantastique, an excerpt from Marius Petipa’s Raymonda.
The Dream Girls portion was a slick and sophisticated modern jazz rendition of a medley of songs from the musical drama. The tap number from the Broadway musical comedy, Anything Goes, with 21 sterling toe tapping dancers was a powerful display of discipline and terpsichorean skills. Indeed a very exciting piece performed with strong technique.
“She Used to Be Mine,” a sentimental ballad from Waitress, turns the musical into a more emotionally riveting experience and the finale. The entire cast did “I Got Rhythm” from the musical, Crazy for You — a fabulous mix of ballet, lyrical, hip hop, jazz, and tap dance that showcased the world-class talents of these Filipino dancers.
Superlatives will never be sufficient to capture the magic and power of these young dancers. The HCSD teachers and their students, the choreographers, and the backstage crew, clearly worked with their hearts and souls at 100 percent which is why it turned out thoroughly entertaining and enchanting.
Congratulations to the Halili-Cruz School of Dance under the direction of multi-awarded Artistic Director, Shirley Halili-Cruz and its equally outstanding Associate Directors, Grace Garalde-Perez and Anna Kathrina Halili-Cruz Bueno for continuing to inculcate the love of dance to everyone, young and old.
Well, thanks to Diversifiera 2022, we all know now why everything is beautiful at the ballet.