Born on July 24, 1917, in Jolo, Sulu, Leonor Orosa was born to a family of physicians – Sixto Orosa and Sevedna Luna as her Parents. In College, she attended the St. Scholastica’s college, where she earned a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education. In order to pursue her interest in the feld of Theater and Arts, She went to Columbia University and Teachers College in New York City and took up graduate courses in Theater craft, Drama, and Music.
Hailed as the Trailblazer, “Mother of Philippine Theater Dance” and “Dean of Filipino Performing Arts Critics”, Leonor started dancing at an early age. She started off as a ballet dancer under the guidance of several professional dancers like Francisca Reyes-Aquino, a National Artist for Daance. Surrounded by these people, Leonor started to experiment as she created her own choreographies. In 1939, she produced circling the globe and afterward, dance panorama. From these styles, she began to create a name in the field of dance until she produced several unique and original choreographies. Some of her greatest works were ” Return to Native”, “In a Javanese Garden”, “Sports”, “Vinta!”, “In a Concentration Camp”, “The Magic Garden”, “The Clowns”, “Firebird”, “Noli Dance Suite”, “The Flagellant”, and “The Creation”.
After the Second World War, Leonor organized the Philippine Ballet where the characters of Dr. Jose Rizal’s novel were brought to life. In 1958, she founded the Filipinescas Dance Company, which brought her masterpiece to different parts of the globe. Due to her conributions and achievements in the development of dance in the Philippines, she was proclaimed as the National Artist in Dance on March 27, 1976
“Leonor Orosa-Goquingco,” n.d http://www.orosa.org/leonor_orosa%20bio.htm.”National Artist – Leonor
Orosa Goquingco.”Accessed October 8, 2020. http://gwhs-stg02.i.gov.ph/~s2govnccaph/about-culture-and-arts/culture-profile/national-artists-of-the-philippines/leonor-orosa-goquingco/.
Justine M. Arguelles