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STEPPING ON TOES?

By DOM GALEON

National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes has been replaced as artistic director of Ballet Philippines, which she co-founded in 1969 with Eddie Elejar.

An official memo dated Feb. 8, 2020 and signed by Ballet Philippines president Kathleen Lior-Liechtenstein announced the appointment of the company’s new artistic director: honored artist of the Russian Federation Mikhail Martynyuk.

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Misha, as he’s known among peers, has performed a couple times with Ballet Manila as a guest soloist.
He will hold the position as artistic director at Ballet Philippines for two seasons, from 2020 to 2022, the memo says. His appointment is confirmed by Ballet Philippines’ board of trustees.

The news comes as a surprise to many, even to former Ballet Philippines artists, including Nes Jardin who couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“I am appalled to learn that National Artist Alice Reyes who is currently artistic director of Ballet Philippines did not get the full support of its board of trustees and president causing her to resign from the company she co-founded with Eddie Elejar. And more appalling is that she was not at all consulted on the choice of her successor,” the former Ballet Philippines president and administrator (also former Cultural Center of the Philippines president) posted on his Facebook, Sunday evening. “When the board of trustees exercises its legal power over artistic matters, it is bound to kill a performing arts company. I do hope this doesn’t happen to Ballet Philippines.”

Some members of the company’s board of trustees said that Alice was not removed or “caused to resign” because of lack of support. “She wanted to retire after this season,” said one board member. It is not clear whether she will continue to assist Ballet Philippines in a consulting capacity.

Alice was reappointed artistic director of Ballet Philippines in 2018, during the company’s 49th season, until its 50th anniversary in 2019.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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