MANILA, Philippines – Candice Adea, principal dancer of Ballet Philippines, took the silver prize in the senior women’s division in the 2010 International Ballet Competition held in Jackson, Mississippi from June 12 to 24.
Adea is the first Filipino dancer to make it to the finals of the event, one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the world.
She participated in the grueling two-week, three-round competition, doing classical and contemporary pieces with partner JM Cordero, also of Ballet Philippines.
This year’s competition was divided into men’s and women’s divisions for seniors (dancers aged 19 to 26) and juniors (dancers aged 15 to 18). The women’s senior gold medal was won by Cao Shuci of China, who also took the couple’s gold medal with partner Zhang Xi.
No gold medal was awarded for the men’s senior category; the men’s silver medal went to Kosuke Okumura of Japan.
The International Ballet Competition, which seeks to allow dancers to “test themselves against recognized international standards of dance excellence,” was first held in Varna, Bulgaria in 1964 and in Jackson, Mississippi in 1979. The Jackson competition was designated the official US ballet competition by virtue of a joint resolution of Congress in 1982.
This year, 119 dancers from all over the world competed in the first round, which required competitors to do a pre-selected classical piece. Adea and Cordero performed the technically demanding pas de deux from Marius Petipa’s “Don Quixote.” They will perform this again at tonight’s winners’ Gala.
From here, 50 dancers were chosen to go on to the next round, where they each performed a contemporary number. Adea and her partner Cordero showed off the challenging “Evacuation” choreographed by former Ballet Philippines artistic director Augustus Damian III.
The 34 dancers chosen as finalists were required to perform both classical and contemporary pieces in the final round. Adea did “Diana and Acteon” by Agripina Vaganova for the classical number, and “Sapin-sapin” choreographed by coach Victor Ursabia for the contemporary.
The 13-man international jury, headed by Bruce Marks, artistic director of the Orlando Ballet, noted Adea’s technical excellence as well as outstanding showmanship.
Adea was a ballet major at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Mount Makiling, and joined ballet competitions at an early age. She and sister Carissa are principal dancers of Ballet Philippines.
Interviewed backstage at the Thalia Maria Hall, official venue of the competition, after the winners were announced, Adea said she “treasured every moment” of the competition, but “I can’t wait to go home to share all that I’ve learned here.”
But before she gets on the plane there is one thing she is dying to do: “Go shopping!”
Choreographed by Adam Alonzo
Limited Edition (Manila)
Artist: Up Dharma Down
Song Title: Oo
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