Sarah Maria Samaniego
Sarah Maria Samaniego is a dancer, choreographer and teacher in-dance. Sarah began taking ballet lessons in Baguio City, Benguet province, Philippines. In 2003, Sarah was granted a full scholarship with Ballet Manila, and the following year was promoted to Company Scholar.
From 2001 to 2008, she has performed in all of Ballet Manila’s full-length productions. She was mentored by the Philippines’ “Ballerina of the People” Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, by the Russian Ballet Master Victor Savaliev, as well as the eminent Russian teacher Tatiana Udalenkova of the Academy of Russian Ballet, and choreographer and People’s artist of Russia Sergei Vikulov.
She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman with a Bachelor in Music major in Dance (cum laude) under the mentorship of Basilio Esteban Villaruz. An Alumnus of the UP Dance Company, she has essayed vast major roles of the company’s repertoire in the Philippines and abroad. Her training with the UP Dance Company has paved way for her to imbibe contemporary dance. A prize winner of the 2012 Wifi Body Dance Festival New Choreographers Competition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with her work “Nalaruan” (In Playing) which was featured at the 2013 Yokohama Dance Competition X DanceShowcase in Yokohama, Japan. In 2014, she attended the Southeast Asian Choreolab hosted by Rimbun Dahan Space organized by the World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is also a recipient of the Asia, Africa & Latin America Dance Exchange.
2018 residency program, hosted by Seoul Section of the International Dance Council CID- UNESCO, organized as a part of Cultural Partnership Initiative by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea. Her dance research work “Paagos” (Drift) was presented at Tangente Winter-Spring Season 2019 in Montreal, Canada.
Currently a dance faculty member at the Guang Ming College-Manila, she is finding and harnessing the potential of dance and dancers to express truths in myriad ways and forms.