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BAYANIHAN RETURNS TO BELGIUM AFTER 50 YEARS

 

In 1958, Bayanihan, the national dance company of the Philippines made its international debut at the Brussels World Fair where it received recognition and acclaim from critics from all over the world.  So impressed was Sol Hurok, the famous American dance impresario, that he brought the dance company to perform in the United States.  Thus, in 1959, a month-long performance by Bayanihan was staged at the Winter Garden in Broadway.

After 50 years, Bayanihan returns to Belgium to perform for the folk festival in St. Ghislain, Belgium.  The festival will gather various artists, singers and dancers from all over the world.  St. Ghislain is a municipality in the Belgian province of Hainaut.

Throughout the years, Bayanihan broke new grounds as it redefined Bayanihan and the bayanihan performer.  The company runs full circle, this time fueled with the approaches, more researches, distinctive works in progress and transformative and value laden “school” for young people. 

With Suzie Moya Benitez as executive director and the dance company’s great team of Ferdinand Jose, Melito Vale Cruz and Isabel Santos, Bayanihan soared to new heights winning two gold temples (2002 and 2005), a premier group in folk dance gold prize (2007) and the World Prize (2007). 

Says Benitez:  “I would like to direct Bayanihan towards a sustainable future, going beyond theater performance.”  Thus, it is a 24/7 work for the Bayanihan with invitations to perform locally and internationally already in its itinerary. 

Aside from its commitment to perform for the folk festival in St. Ghislain, Belgium from May 26 to June 4, Bayanihan will participate in a gala show in Hotel de Paris under the auspices of Dr. Stephen Zuellig in Monaco, Monte Carlo on June 5.  The dance company will also be featured in a gala show on June 7 at the UNESCO Hall in Paris to be hosted by Philippine Ambassador to Paris Jose Zaide, after which it will return to Brussels for a gala show on June 9 under the auspices of Minister General Angelina Sta. Catalina and Consul Marichu Mauro.

   

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