Master classes at the Cultural Center of the Philippines
Battery Dance Company’s debut in the Philippines was put in place after the other sectors of the Asia Tour were planned, anchored by an invitation to perform in the country’s premiere theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the generous offer of complete hospitality support by the local Renaissance Makati City Hotel.
The U.S. Embassy staff, with Cultural Affairs Specialist Tony Perez as point person, did an outstanding job of organizing a full roster of outreach activities and performances during the company’s stay of fewer than three days in the Philippines. On the first day, three master classes were taught at the CCP’s studios – ballet by Lydia Tetzlaff, modern by Stevan Novakovich and hip-hop by Sean Scantlebury – and offered free of charge to the very gifted members of Manila’s dance community. The ballet class was attended by approximately 30 students, ranging from teens to young adults; the modern by 40 very advanced dancers; and the hip-hop, a small group of 10 highly professional dancers who are members of the local performing ensembles.
Matinee performance and gala evening performance for the American Embassy at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)
Cultural Affairs Specialist Tony Perez and ACAO Stephen Ashby also assisted in organizing the Company’s two performances, a matinee and evening performance on the same day, which were noted as the first performances at the CCP by an American dance company in nearly a decade. The afternoon show was attended by a majority of young people; the evening show by members of the general public as well as a contingent of VIP’s. Nestor Jardin, Executive Director of the CCP, and U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney gave introductory speeches and the Ambassador hosted a reception in the lobby following the show.
Agnes Caballa, one of the Embassy’s press specialists, did an amazing job of attracting representatives of all major media outlets, television as well as print media, to cover the master classes as well as the performances, greatly expanding the public awareness of BDC’s activities.