Wednesday, September 20, 2023



Crizza Jayne Acosta Urmeneta

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity knocked on the doors of young dancers from the regions Crizza Jayne Acosta Urmeneta, Alyanna Dexel Torte, Chris Jay Malipot, Maron Mabana, and Erica Patoc, as they would be working under National Artist Alice Reyes and performing with the artists of Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Professional Artist Support Program (PASP)

Chris Jay Malipot

The CCP PASP - Regional Dance Training Program (RDTP) is designed and operated by the CCP as part of its commitment to reach out to the regional network and assist the growth of dancers situated in the regions through online dance technique lessons provided by the CCP.

Chosen CCP PASP – RDTP participants and endorsed dancers from the regions are then selected to participate in the CCP-PASP Regional Dancers’ Residency Program (RDRP). The program provides dancers from the regions the opportunity to train at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and other venues with the Artists of the CCP PASP.

Maron Mabana

Working and performing alongside professional dancers in daily dance technique classes and rehearsals in classical ballet, modern and contemporary dance; and mentorship under guest artists, teachers, and choreographers, including National Artists for Dance, in the study of original Filipino dance repertoire, will expose them to the highest standard of a professional dance career.

Erica Patoc

The Regional Dancers' Residency Program culminates in the presentation of its participants in professional dance production performances with the CCP PASP Artists at the CCP or alternate venue/s. During the residency training program in Manila, participants get stipends.

“At the end of the six-month program, the participants performed in full dance productions. And they go beyond the program and expand their horizons. The goal is to provide opportunities for regional artists and dancers to experience and perform on professional stages with fellow professional dancers and choreographers on Filipino masterpieces and productions,” shared CCP Arts Education Department Associate Artistic Director Eva Mari Salvador.

Urmeneta and Torte were participants of the CCP PASP- RDTP, meanwhile Malipot, Mabana, and Patoc were newly-endorsed scholars. 

Urmeneta, a freshman at the University of the Philippines-Tacloban and a graduate of the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA), began dancing when she was six years old. She honed her abilities, was exposed to several genres, and competed in dance competitions. She was accepted to PHSA in 2017 and majored in folk dance. Urmeneta has opportunity to broaden her knowledge and receive exposure to major national events while at PHSA. 

Torte, on the other hand, is a Laguna dancer. When she was eight years old, she enrolled in formal dance classes at Ava's School of Dance. She was given the opportunity to join the Maquiling Ballet of PHSA, the school's resident dance group, and she is currently a member of PHSA Senior High.

Malipot, a Waraynon, is another featured regional dancer. He continued his passion for dance and became a scholar at Guang Ming College in 2018, graduating in 2022 with a Bachelor's Degree in Performing Arts concentrating in Dance. He has studied modern, ballet, and contemporary dance, and he particularly enjoys improvisational dance. During his time as a dance scholar, he was featured in a number of performances, including "Encantada (2023)" as "Kalikasan", "Guardia Civil", and "Taong Bayan" under the direction of National Artist for Dance Agnes Locsin, and "We Men" by Lester Reguindin and "Asong Ulol" by Denisa Reyes in "Pulso Pilipinas I (2022)"

Lastly, Patoc is a dance artist from Camarines Sur, Bicol, and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Performing Arts majoring in Dance. Her piece “Santigwar '' won first prize in the WifiBody: New Choreographer’s Competition from the CCP Choreographer Series last October 2022. She has been part of JM Cabling’s “I Wanna Say Something” during Alice Reyes Dance Philippines’ Premieres and Encores and is an active member of the Guang Ming Dance Project. Recently she entered the field of being a dance teacher for children. 

In 2021, the CCP initiated a special program, the CCP Professional Dance Support Program, to support professional dancers in the Philippines. It aimed to address the probable deterioration of skills, techniques, and performance excellence of Filipino dancers while providing continued employment and discouraging their shift to other occupations due to absence or reduced opportunities to do their art.

Professional dancers were allowed to continue dancing and training thanks to grants, while emerging choreographers developed new works. The program's dancers were able to create 11 dance films as well as a culminating production titled "DANCE ON!", which was streamed online and seen by over 30,000 people in two weeks.

The program was rebranded and enlarged from the CCP Professional Dance Support Program (PDSP) to the CCP Professional Artist Support Program (PASP) the following year, in 2022, to support the country's other performing arts genres other than dance.

Urmeneta, Torte, Malipot, Mabana, and Patoc are just a few of the new and upcoming Filipino artists who have been chosen to perform in Rama Hari, which took place last week on September 15 and 16 at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila City, and this week on September 22 and 23 at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Circuit Makati. Dance trainees from Guang Ming College, PHSA, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, and other freelance performers are also featured in the production.

Rama Hari, which debuted in 1980, includes hit songs like as "Magbalik Ka Na, Mahal," "Tagistis ng Ulan," "Iisa ang Tibok," and "Awit ng Pagsinta," among others.

The rock opera ballet, which was last performed in 2012, stars Gian Magdangal, Arman Ferrer, and Vien King as Rama, as well as dancers Ronelson Yadao and Ejay Arisola. Sita is played again by Karylle Tatlonghari, with alternates Shiela Valderrama-Martinez and Nica Tupas, and dance counterparts Monica Gana and Katrene San Miguel.

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