Guest written by Chelo B. Gemina, ACBA “We have always dreamed of having the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB) schools come together in a festival and this is finally coming true. Not only will we see the ACB Philippine ballet schools together but also ACB Australian dancers as well.” These are the words of ballerina and author of the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB) Program, Christine Walsh, A.M. who arrived recently with Filipino partner, Ricardo Ella, also a dancer himself. The ACB assessment exam program was authored by Christine Walsh, A.M. Walsh studied the Vaganova method/syllabus and fashioned it to become the 12-level assessment program that it is today. It has been in the Philippines for 20 years now, where hundreds of Filipino dancers are submitted to annual assessment exams by an Australian examiner. ACB Philippines is headed by Vella Damian, ACBF (Fellow), one of the pillars of Philippine dance. Among some 50 member Directors, four have been conferred upon the title of “Associate”: Nina Anonas, Chelo Gemina, Pam Bondoc, and Lillibeth Santos. Recently, Nina Anonas was also conferred upon the title of “Examiner” after training in Australia. The celebration will kick off with an intensive 2-day ballet workshop on July 16-17 to be held at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, a partner of ACB. International guest teachers include: Simon Crowther, Irina Sapozhnikova, Joseph Philips, and Christine Walsh, A.M. herself. Immediately after follows a grand performance on July 19, Sunday, 5PM, at the CCP Main Theater featuring a divertissement of carefully-selected dances from participating schools and excerpts from “The Nutcracker” ballet choreographed also by Walsh. Manila audiences will get to see Australian delegates who come from the ACB Professional Ballet School under Walsh and Ella. Participating Philippine Directors: Abigail Alvia, Nina Anonas, Venus Basas, Pam Bondoc, Mirella Clarete, Ianne Damian, Vella Damian, Elinor Dioko, Cherish Garcia, Chelo Gemina, Brezhnev Larlar, Melanie Motus, Pamela Ramos, Araceli Root, Katrina Santos, Lillibeth Santos, and Maritoni Tordesillas. Surely Manila will have a feast from the dance world this July! Tickets are available at Ticketworld.