Last time we saw Rita Winder, she was ripping out hearts in Gabby Barredo’s Valentine-perfect ballet, Opera. This time around, the contemporary ballerina that the Opera production team dubbed “Preying Mantis” is giving us serious spinal shaking as she stretches in and out of Loewe menswear in perfect form for an exclusive editorial in L’Officiel Manila’s April 2016 issue. We already know what you’re thinking: damn, those calves.
Are you interested in fashion?
Since high school, I’ve been interested in editorials of local and international magazines. I get some inspiration on what’s hip or not, who’s famous and the people on the up and up. Also, I mix and match the different styles of clothes I see that suits my taste and my body. I’m not an expert in fashion, but when you’re in the world of arts, it will come to you.
What is fashion for you?
Fashion is being true to yourself and your adaptability to change. It’s not about the brand of clothes you wear and the glamour that the clothes will bring to you. It’s all about the confidence you bring into the table and the manner you present yourself in anything that you wear. There is right clothing in every right moment and you only need yourself in every right moment, because whatever you decide to wear, your instincts will always be right.
How and where do you think fashion and dance merge?
Dance and Fashion will always merge. In dance, you don’t just do the step, but you move with the step, you bring interpretation to the dance and link it with how you do your movements. We do different dance styles of dance and it will not matter if you are not aware on how you use your body and how comfortable you are, just like in Fashion.
Tell us about your experience with costume designer James Reyes for Opera.
Opera (choreography by Redha) was the first time I worked with the costume designer James Reyes. To start off, the choreographer usually show dancers a peg from a magazine so we expect that his designs will be somewhat in line with that. So when James Reyes finally had his designs, there were a lots of adjustments since there are so many things to consider when creating clothes to be used onstage for dancers. But in the end, his designs fit each one of us. Personally I really like my costume. He really made me look good onstage and it was made especially for me.
What is a dancer wardrobe/uniform for you?
In a daily class and rehearsal, we usually wear leotards (we usually play with different colors and style, depending on the dancer), tights or cycling shorts and ballet skirt for women. Dancers make sure that the things we wear are comfortable and fit well. We have to make sure that it not fall off since we do a lot of movement studies with our body. And of course we have our soft shoes usually made of canvas and pointe shoes for women.
Who is your dance icon?
It is really hard to choose a particular dance icon. I am inspired with a lot of good dancers here and abroad. Each one has his/her own inspiring stories to tell. You can learn from anyone of them.
Where do you see performance art in Manila in the near future?
The art scene in Manila will continually move forward towards the best that all of us can offer. We artists will continue to perfect our craft. People will be more supportive since we do a lot of developments for them to be more into on what we are doing. We are making efforts for people to appreciate the value of art and our culture.
Styling by Patrick Galang
Styling assisted by Philippa Andren
Makeup by Omar Ermita of shu uemura
Hair by Bryan Barayuga of Jing Monis Salon
Fashion by Loewe
Worn by Rita Winder of Ballet Philippines