Aldrian Reifaus Ocampo, known as Ian Ocampo, is one of the most talented and expressive individuals in the world of ballet. He can deliver any scene, whether it is bliss or gloom. I am not surprised that he has many admirers especially with the passion he has for his craft- the craft that brings smiles to the faces of its audience even way after the performance.
In this PsstPh Part of the Story Series, Aldrian Reifaus “Ian” Ocampo talks to us about his ballet career and his experience in the industry.
Full Name and Alias: Aldrian Reifaus “Ian” Ocampo
Instagram : @akosireifaus
Education: College undergrad, CSB
Occupation: Professional Ballet Dancer
Guiding Principle : Its not in the hours you put, its what you put in the hours.
Genre of Ballet : classical/contemporary.
Tell me something about yourself that people don”t know:
I used to be a choir member when i was in high school. Singing is really close to my heart(next to dancing).
What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?
Peaceful. We just had a week off 😛
How long have you been dancing and when did you start?
I started when i was 13. I’ve been dancing for 11 years(3 years professionally)
Did you go to school to ballet? You mean proper ballet school?
Yes, i was trained by one of the pillars of Philippine dance, Miss Vella Damian.
What do people not know about the world of ballet?
This may sound cliche but, Ballet is beyond the pink tutus and ballet shoes/pointes. The amount of time that we have invested to be “Visually proper” is something that a person without passion and dedication for the craft would not understand. Its a never ending process of perfecting the craft even though you’re pretty much aware that “Perfection” is somewhat unattainable.
How long did it take you to become a professional danseur?
It took me a while to have the courage to pursue professional dancing. Because there are many factors to fathom before you enter in a ballet company. Are you ready to dance for 8 hours everyday? Are you technically and emotionally ready? Because professional dancing won’t wait for you to gradually grow. You have to be on your “A” game and understand every detail that company serves you.
What is the hardest thing about ballet?
In terms of technique, being consistent is the hardest thing to accomplish for us dancers. One show you’re completely in control of your Dancing(leaps,turns,etc) Then next show is the opposite of the first. That’s why we train everyday, to attain that consistency of technique
Who was your favorite pas de deux partner?
I don’t have a particular favorite, but i have favorite dances with my partners Ff:
Czardas with Gabby Quinto, Ngayon at kailanman with joni galeste, diana and actaeon with regine magbitang and Paquita pas de deux with loby pimentel
What are your favorite shows to see/be in?
I love watching musicales and straight plays. it brings something new to my eyes that helps me think of new things when dancing
Do you have any tips/advice for aspiring ballerinas?
Ballet will never be easy. it just keeps getting harder as you progress. but no matter how hard ballet gets, never forget to enjoy and live every moment especially onstage. Be a dancer that shares every everything that they have, be generous in terms giving something that the audience will bethink every time they see you perform.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Our production of “The great classics”… Dancing a Grand Pas de Deux is no joke. 10 minutes of jumping,turning,lifting and acting in one full dance. imagine dancing two of that in one night. that’s what i experienced last prod. what made it even harder for me is, i had to prove myself that i can manage to pull it off in five shows alongside with our guests. Thank god pulled it of.
Is there a certain way you and the other dancers have to/want to look?
I just always try to look neat and clean when i dance.
How ballet change your life?
It changed my life for the better. God knows how thankful i am to be in this in industry. If it weren’t for ballet and the people who helped me to be a dancer, my life would fall into a 9-5 job sitting for hours in the office. It really saved me from life that i know that i wouldn’t enjoy.
You’re the one of the good dancer in Philippine Ballet Theatre, can you tell me hows your experience in being a PBT?
If you really love what you do, you wouldn’t feel like its a “job”.. Thats my case in PBT. I was trained to be a classical dancer and i as went to college, i learned contemporary. The variety of repertoires that PBT offers fitted well with my dancing. Its an honor for me to be coached by Papa Anatoli and Sir Ronilo Jaynario. You wouldn’t expect less from them, judging by their resume…the first time that i set foot in the studio, i already knew that i am in good hands.
I know you been working with some of the famous and influencial people in the country but may I ask whom do you wish/dream to work with and Why?
Sir Ernest Mandap and Sir Dwight Rodrigazo. I think that will be a real challenge.
How do you see the Ballet industry 10 years from now?
I see the Ballet industry going back to its “Golden Age” call me too hopeful but its not impossible to do, especially now with help of social media. If mainstream can do it, why can’t we?
How do you see yourself 20 or 30 yrs from now?
I see myself still wearing dancing shoes. but by that time, i am imparting what i’ve learned through the years.
What’s the best advice would you give to those who might want to join the ballet industry?
“You are only limited by the limits you create” Do not let others tell you that you are not good enough for something that you really want. I wasn’t born with the perfect ballet body so i had to work smart.
For my perspective, working hard and working smart are two different things. Many dancers work really hard but aren’t getting the results that they want…Because they tend to overlook the corrections. Kumbaga parang kang nag sagwan sa buhanginan. Di ka na umusad, napagod ka pa.
Photos from the official facebook of Ian Ocampo