The ABT Studio Company dancers


Flames of Paris performed by Sylvie Squires and Brady Farrar

IT WAS a full crowd of arts and culture loving Davaoenos, with some sitting on wheelchairs, who flocked to the Activity Center of the Ayala Malls Abreeza last April 23, 2023 at 7:00 pm.  Bravo! Filipino is a festival that celebrates our local heritage and culture in the fields of arts, food, fashion, and style.

Bravo! Filipino

  It was conceived by Ayala Chairman Emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala in 2018.  Don Zobel believed that Filipinos have a wealth of untapped world-class talent.  He was determined, through Bravo! Filipino, to discover and honor emerging and veteran artists in the country by getting national support that will eventually help catapult them to international recognition.


International concert pianist Cecile Buencamino Licad

     Indeed, Ayala Malls Abreeza admirably put up Pinoy talent at its best for its Bravo! Filipino program this year in its forcibly impactful comeback featuring the internationally renowned Filipina classical concert pianist, Cecile Buencamino Licad and the American Ballet Theater (ABT) Studio Company. Happily, it was a special occasion to rediscover what makes the country’s homegrown talented artists exceptional.  It was truly a special moment in Davao City to witness Bravo! Filipino.  The rousing standing ovation and loud applause of the audience during the curtain call just betrayed their enthusiastic response and showed how truly appreciative they were of the talented artists of Bravo! Filipino who came to Davao despite the stressful flight delay they had to endure.

     It was mentioned that Cecile Buencamino Licad came back to the Philippines to join Bravo! Filipino making it her first live performance since the Covid pandemic.  Cecile Licad is considered the foremost Filipino pianist of our time.  Dubbed as a “pianist’s pianist,” Cecile Licad won international recognition as one of the youngest musicians to ever receive the prestigious Leventritt Competition Gold Medal.  Her artistry is described as “a blend of daring musical instinct and superb training.”

Happy guests posing with Cecile Licad and the ABT Studio Company dancers

The international concert pianist started her piano studies at the age of three.  The piano prodigy moved to the USA by the age of 12 years old to study at the Curtis Institute of Music with three of the greatest mentors namely Rudolf Serkin, Seymour Lipkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski.  Cecile Licad is married to Brazilian cellist , Antonio Meneses with whom she has a child.

     The ABT Studio Company, the young professional company of American Ballet Theater, is comprised of 12-18 rising starts of the ballet world with ages raging from 17 and 21.  The ABT Studio Company prepares these exceptional young dancers, who come from all over the world.  The ABT Studio Company dancers perform masterworks of the classical and neoclassical canons, alongside contemporary and newly created works.  The dance company commissions a wide variety of choreographers to creat new, custom pieces on the dancers of each season.  In Davao, the ABT Studio Company presented Flames of Paris, Concerto, Raymonda, If it Ain’t Baroque, and Tatum Pole Boogie.  On the other hand, Cecile Licad who was dressed in a simple black dress matched with a sparkling strappy shoes played Tatuk Pole Boogie by Art Tatum and The Go Between by Domencio Scarlatti.

     Thank you, Bravo! Filipino and Ayala Malls Abreeza for such an unforgettable cultural show.


Source: Mindanao Times (