Halili-Cruz Dancers Snatch Grand Slam in International Dance Competition

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The Shirley Halili-Cruz School of Ballet's reaped grand slam honors in the recent 13th Asia Pacific Dance Competition held at the Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. The delegation won most of the major contests in the different categories.

This was however a very familiar territory for them having won the grand slam titled for the past 10 years. This year, they were awarded "The Most Outstanding Ballet School in Asia," an honor preceded four wins at the "Dance Excellence 2011" in Los Angeles, California.

What is indeed amazing is the dedication and talent of the Halili Cruz Artistic team led by Artistic Director Shirley Halili-Cruz, ably assisted by ballet teachers and choreographers Grace Garalde-Perez, Anna Tuazon-Balmadrid and Anna Kathrina Halili Cruz. They are all dynamic and very enthusiastic in training the 93 dancers who participated in the 13th Asia Pacific Dance Competition.

The number of trophies tells it all: Two Aggregate Trophies, eight Perpetual trophies, 36 gold trophies, 32 silver trophies, 20 bronze trophies and 64 medals in the different categories they participated in. Among them are Classical Ballet, Neo Classical, Demi Character, Modern, National and Lyrical Category where more than 800 dancers from 34 professional dance companies and dance schools from the Asia Pacific showed up in fighting form.

The Australian adjudicator was stunned by the performance of the Philippines that she went out of her way to meet Shirley to express her appreciation. She said, "These Filipino ballet dancers are well-trained and all of them performed with excellence - the technique is very strong, the concepts and choreographies are very creative, the costumes are well designed, appropriate and elegant, the music are well selected, the dancers are graceful and very confident."

The Philippine Ambassador to Thailand, Linglingay F. Lacanlale, sent them a congratulatory note, saying that the success of the Shirley Halili Cruz School of Ballet in the competition is "an affirmation of the hard work, dedication and years of experience in participating in different international dance competitions and festivals. …