The Director

Maritoni Rufino Tordesillas


Maritoni - Director

As a Principal Dancer for the Philippine Ballet Theatre (PBT), Maritoni was hailed by critics as a “versatile, wide-range actress,” having “turns securely centered,” and regarded as “one of the finest dancers this country has ever produced.” She has performed most of the classical and neo-classical ballets in the company’s repertoire. Her most notable roles where: Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet choreographed by the late Thomas Pazik, the lead roles in Cinderella and Raymonda by Jean Paul Comelin and Carmen by Eric V. Cruz, Gregoria de Jesus in Andres KKK by Gener Caringal, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Giselle. She likewise worked with the country’s top choreographers, oftentimes originating the roles that have remained in PBT’s repertoire to this day. She danced as Dysebel in Gener Caringal’s Filipino Komiks and in his Prism and Vinta, in Tony Fabella’s Beautiful Girls, Buklog, The Company, Mantones de Manila, Kundiman and Hanggang Sa Dulo Ng Walang Hanggan; she was Josephine Bracken in Steve Villaruz’s La Lampara, and the Japanese in Edna Vida’s Thatness Thereness. She was coached by Gelsey Kirkland and Cynthia Gregory, two American Prima Ballerinas for the roles of Kitri and Odette/Odile, respectively, and has been partnered by international guest artists Wes Chapman, Parrish Meynard, Timothy Melady, and Charles Askegard. With the PBT, she has performed in the U.S., Mexico, Japan and Singapore. In 1995, she was a member of the Basel Ballet of Switzerland under Youri Vámos, and in 1989 she danced with the Eglevsky Ballet of New York under the direction of Michael Vernon.

Maritoni’s dance training started when she was 8 years old with Sony Lopez Gonzalez, and then later on with Tony Fabella and Eddie Elejar. In 1986 she trained in New York under a merit scholarship at the Neubert Ballet Institute in Carnegie Hall. She studied under Stefan Hoff, a contemporary of Mikhail Baryshnikov at the American Ballet Theater, Elena Kunikova of the Leningrad Maly Theatre, Nina Popova of the Ballet Russes, and Jenny Chiang of the Ailey School. She took the Royal Academy of Dance examinations in 1993 and received Honors in Elementary, and Highly Commended in the Intermediate Majors examination with Sonia Domingo as her coach. In 1995, she started teaching for the Philippine Ballet Theatre Conservatoire and became its School Principal from 1998 to 2000. In 2000 she founded Danspace and remains the school’s principal teacher and choreographer.

Maritoni’s theater credits include: Cordelia’s spirit in Anton Juan’s King Lear; Cinderella in Cinderella; Mimi and the Silver Rose in Beauty and the Beast for Repertory Philippines’ Children’s Theater; Louise in Carousel; the Ghost of Christmas Past, Isabel, Mrs. Cratchit and the ballerina in Rep’s A Christmas Carol.

Maritoni taught Music and Movement at the Philippine Opera Company for three summers. She also choreographs musical numbers for corporate shows and various projects.

She is an attendee to the National Ballet Syllabus year’s I-IV and was PRO and Secretary of the Association of Ballet Academies, Philippines.

At almost the same time she started Danspace, Maritoni discovered Asthanga Yoga. In 2006 she graduated from the Centered Yoga Institute in Koh Samui, Thailand, under Paul Dallaghan. She is also one of the founders of Yoga Manila, a pioneer yoga school in the Philippines with branches in Alabang, Makati, Ortigas and Quezon City. She is also a Yoga Ed teacher, teaching yoga to kids in grades K-8.

Maritoni promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages her students to go beyond their capabilities. Her teaching style is nurturing and revolves around a good foundation. She is committed to their growth and well-being. Maritoni aims to produce students who are well trained, hardworking and disciplined, while at the same time allowing their unique personalities to shine through.