Paul Morales and his Davao
(The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Paul Alexander Morales, artistic director of Ballet Philippines, dancer, choreographer, theater director and independent filmmaker, studied in London, worked with top European choreographers and received both national and international acclaim for his many talents.

Yet, he and his family remain close to their Davaoeño roots, considering the beautiful and bountiful city their hometown.

“My great-grandfather Anastacio Campo migrated to Davao before World War II and was provincial commander of the City of Davao when war broke out,” he says. “There is a book about our family titled Davao War Diary, written by my mother Maria Virginia Morales and published by the Ateneo Press.”

Paul, who was born in Quezon City, lived and studied in Davao from grade 3 to high school, grew up around acclaimed artists like choreographer Agnes Locsin, musician Joey Ayala, writer Aida Rivera Ford and painter Vic Secuya.

“I fell in love with dance and theater in Davao,” he recalls. “Working with my fellow students in school (cinematographer Yam Laranas, DOT regional head Art Boncato, and ABS-CBN’s Art Bonjoc were batchmates) as well as with the local theater company influenced me a lot.”

Paul went on to graduate from the University of the Philippines where he majored in theater directing and pursued dance with Ballet Philippines as a scholar. With the support of former BP director Denisa Reyes, the CCP, and the British Council, he became a scholar at the Laban Theater in London, where he received a diploma in Advanced Dance Theater Performance.

He founded Dulaang Talyer upon his return to the Philippines in 1994, where he was artistic director until 2002. From 2003, Paul served as artistic director of Airdance, the Aliw Awards’ Best Modern/Contemporary Dance Company in 2007 and 2008.

As an independent filmmaker, his feature film Concerto, is based on wartime stories from his family. Concerto celebrates how a family’s love of music and friendship can survive a war, and how beauty and compassion can grow even in the harshest condition. It won the Best Screenplay Adaptation in the 6th Golden Screen Awards and the Bamboo Camera Award from Kidlat Tahimik.

As artistic director of Ballet Philippines since 2009, Paul recently choreographed Tales of the Manuvu and the contemporary ballet Crisostomo Ibarra, which received the Outstanding Dance Production Award at the 2010 Gawad Buhay Awards.

Here, he takes us around his Davao and his SM.

 

ADVANCED DANCE THEATER PERFORMANCE AGNES LOCSIN AIDA RIVERA FORD ALIW AWARDS ANASTACIO CAMPO ART BONCATO ART BONJOC ATENEO PRESS BALLET PHILIPPINES DAVAO
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