NEW YORK – Miguel Braganza II, known to the Filipino community as a long-time Broadway performer, is celebrating his 30th anniversary in dance and theater this year with an evening of music, dance, and fashion billed “Salamat, Salamat, New York” (Thank you, New York) on May 2 at Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel in Flushing, New York.
Originally from the Philippines, Miguel Braganza II, was a Walter Terry scholar in the dance performance and choreography program at Harvard University in the ‘80s, and an assistant to Tony Award-winning director John Dexter in the original Broadway production of “M. Butterfly” from 1988 to 1990.
He joined the cast of the U.S. and international productions (Germany, Canada, UK, and Portugal) of Cameron Mackintosh’s megamusical “Miss Saigon” for 14 years. He considers this experience a feat that made him feel so blessed, and has prompted him to donate his time, talents, and resources by teaching young and up-and-coming artists, build libraries, and promote arts programs both in New York and in the Philippines to this day.
Braganza urges his friends in the entertainment industry, both longtime and new supporters, or anyone who has the heart for the arts to join him and his friends to celebrate his 30 years in the biz, at the same time, raise funds for his various advocacy projects.
“For the last three years, besides supporting about 40 musical theater and dance scholars at Julie Borromeo Performing Arts Foundation in Manila, I’ve also been collaborating with various foundations and nonprofit organizations in the Philippines, giving out free arts workshops for Filipino youths. I’m also thrilled that my pilot project “Street of Dreams: Library and Arts in the Park for the Youth” in Santa Ana, Manila will also be adopted by more than 10 libraries in nearby neighborhoods,” says Braganza. “But I need your help to sustain these projects.”
He adds, “Part of the proceeds from the dinner show will also go to various arts programs developed by FilinArts for Filipino American youths in the New York tri-state area.”
“Salamat, Salamat, New York’s” cast include opera, Broadway, cultural, and pop singers: Ionie Bernstein, Anna Penchuk, Daphne Mamoulides, Karl Scully, Cameo Humps, Lisa Villamaria, Kay Habana,Virna Yao, Mark Roska, Yiling Li, Cathy Jiang, Joel Inocencio, Jordan Sese, Sanagustin Quartette, and Gail Banawis; dancers: Natallia Sheptalova, Ikuma Takashi, Kyler Breed, McGough Sisters, Christine Liwag, Mi Yeong Mendonca, Qi Min and “Dancing with the Stars” Junior Champions Craig and Samantha Abaya-Campos; models: Jiaju Shen (pipa player), Katerina Giannakopoulos, Marvee Sanagustin, Tatiana Sheptalova, and Kiko Cajoles; and pianist- vocalist Jordan Addison and Jason Matamis.
Additionally, past and current MB2 New York Musical Theatre Lab participants Jillian Sese, Katarina Ladaga , Ryan Paqueo, Nikole Inocencio, Marvi Cajoles, Maroll Cajoles, Eloise Macapagal, Julia Owens,Christine Morales, Marcus dePompies , Stephanie Quimbao, and Matthew Marano will perform.
Braganza has conceptualized, will direct and choreograph the show, featuring lighting design by Alex Denevers and sound design by Edmundo Quinones. Qi Min, Rowena Bontor O’Mary and Rolly Postadan will create additional choreography.
Produced by the nonprofit organization Filipinos in the Arts in America, Inc. (FilinArts), in cooperation with Queens Asian Fest, “Salamat, Salamat, New York,” featuring an international cast and fashion designer Arielle Agasang’s haute couture collection. The dinner show will take place at Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel (135-20 39th Ave., Flushing, NY) on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. For dinner show tickets ($65-$125), call Debbie 551-998-84455 or Myrna 917-502-9887, or email email@example.com.
Braganza, who currently works at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, is the founder and president of Filipinos in the Arts in America, Inc. (FilinArts) and program director-instructor of MB2 New York Musical Theatre Lab.
FilinArts is dedicated to the promotion and presentation of the works of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. It is involved in training young artists, creating performing opportunities, and community development through cultural exchange programs and professional productions in music, dance, theater, and fashion.
Theater and dance teaching credits include the Police Academy League (Manhattan), Graham-Wyndham (Bronx), the United Nations International School (Queens), and Julian Curtiss School (Greenwich, Connecticut). He has also conducted dance and musical theater workshops all over the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, and Portugal.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech and Theater Arts from Silliman University in the Philippines; he has been a recipient of various scholarships in dance and theater, which include studies at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Madame Youskevitch, Nat Horne Musical Theatre, and Harvard University.
In 2008, Braganza conceptualized, directed, and choreographed “Filipinos in America,” produced by PACBC of New Jersey. During the 2010 New York Fashion Week, he presented “Danzfabrique.” In 2011, FilinArts created and produced “Aurus Mindanao” (The Gold of Mindanao), a dance theater fashion show, which featured the jewelry collection of Romana Haar, a gemologist, jewelry designer, and official jeweler of the “Miss Earth” pageant.
Awards include 2010 Who’s Who Among Sillimanians, East Coast, USA, 2011 PACCAL Awardee (Performing Arts), 2012 PAMANA Award Presidential Nominee, and 2013 Outstanding Zambosurian.
PHOTO CAPTION AND CREDITS
Photo 1: Miguel Braganza II (Front row, right)
Photo 2: Miguel Braganza II (Photo by Rolan Gutierrez)