Dance Icon: Alice Reyes
Alice Reyes is the visionary founder of Ballet Philippines who propelled the company into a national arts institution we can all be proud of. In the Philippines, she established regular season concerts, professionalized dance as a career, and played a major role in the phenomenal development of dance in the country.
Reyes began her dance training at an early age and it continued undiminished even while she worked for a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Foreign Service at the Maryknoll College and did postgraduate studies at the Ateneo de Manila University.
With a background in ballet, folkdancing and jazz, Reyes ventured into the challenging and exciting realm of modern dance. Through a grant from the John D. Rockefeller III Fund, she went through an extensive training period in the United States at the Colorado College under a Hanya Holm scholarship. She was subsequently awarded a grant from the Music Promotion Foundation of the Philippines, which enabled her to study further under leading exponents of the medium and earn a Master of Arts in Dance from the Sarah Lawrence College under its scholarship program.
Upon her return in 1969, she staged her first modern dance concert at the CCP. Its success made her decide to remain in the Philippines and develop the great potential of dance in the country. Since then, her outstanding performances on stage have provided artists an enriching example to emulate. The sheer diversity of her choreographic talent has produced highly acclaimed works ranging from the classics like “Cinderella” and “Romeo and Juliet”, to Filipino modern works like “Amada”, “Itim-Asu”, “Bayanihan Remembered”, “Mga Babae”, “Tales of the Manuvu”, and “Rama Hari”. Through her efforts, dance has become among the country’s respected careers and distinguished professions. The Filipino dancers have emerged as an indispensable part of our cultural heritage.
In June 20, 2014, Alice Reyes was declared National Artist for Dance by President Benigno S. Aquino III through Proclamation No. 807.She was conferred at Malacañang Palace on April 14, 2016.