Makati City Bakuna

A not-so-ugly retelling of ‘The Ugly Duckling’

A neo-classical version of the literary fairy tale The Ugly Duckling takes shape in the form of online film The Not So Ugly Duckling, which encapsulates the beauty of ballet as performance art.

A not-so-ugly retelling of ‘The Ugly Duckling’
Yella Carlos from Academy One Music and Dance Center and Benilde Dance.
The dance showcase follows the journey of Cacciatore, a duck from a small town in pursuit to reach her Hollywood dream. The modern interpretation of the iconic story speaks of self-love, acceptance, and appreciation. It highlights the importance of embracing the value of individuality and the different facets of beauty in the 20th century. 

The film seeks to curate a one-time theater-like experience. Though films can be recorded through videos, it still embodies the philosophy of dance: an art form that is always and can only be of the moment. 

The Not So Ugly Duckling is written by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Dance Program Chairperson Nina Anonas-De Santos, ACBE, former soloist at Ballet Philippines, principal dancer at the Manila Metropolis Ballet and Junge Ballett Compagnie, Frankfurt and featured international artist at Ballett Frankfurt. 

The show is directed and choreographed by contemporary dancer and Australian Conservatoire of Ballet teacher Ruthame Hurtado, who is currently a Dance Program major at Benilde. 

The production is a collaborative effort between Hurtado and fellow homegrown Benildean artists including Dance alumni Cariaso and Mariella Lia Carlos, Multimedia Arts student Lois Laylo, Music Production undergrad Raphael Padua, and Theater Arts student Anthony Peñaranda.

It features emerging classical ballet dancers and performers including Halili Cruz School of Dance’s Nika Villarin, Academy One Music and Dance Center’s Yella Carlos, Ballet Philippines’ Jireh Cariaso, and Damian School of Ballet’s Anthony Peñaranda. 

It likewise spotlights the talent of promising primary ballerinas Agatha Yulo, Jessa Aquino, Jharexa Myze Carvajal, Trisha Galang, Esabel Galang, and Athena De Guzman.

It will be livestreamed for free until April 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on its Facebook page (

Topics: The Ugly Duckling , The Not So Ugly Duckling , ballet , performance art
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.
AdvertisementGMA-Working Pillars of the House