Hazel Sabas

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Hazel Sabas-Gower is a known choreographer, dance educator, former principal dancer and Fulbright Specialist.

Early Life and Education

Hazel holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Major in Dance Performance and Choreography. A former Principal Dancer of Ballet Philippines, Hazel essayed lead roles, most notably Kitri in Don Quixote; Lisa in Ang Pilya (Filipino adaptation of La Fille Mal Gardee); Carmen in Carmen; Myrtha in Giselle; Gamzatti in La Bayadere, among others. Hazel earned her Diploma in Creative and Performing Musical Arts from the University of the Philippines College of Music. She is an alumna of St. Theresa's College, Q.C. She began her formal ballet training with the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus under Felicitas Radaic. Having performed internationally since 14 years of age with DTP and BP, Hazel worked or studied with world-renowned artists William Morgan, Vakhtang Chabukiani, Armin Wild, Luminita Dumitrescu, Norman Walker, Michael Vernon, Laura Alonso, David Blair, Fernand Nault, Lawrence Rhodes, Lucas Hoving, Betty Jones, Alice Reyes, Basilio Villaruz, Cora Iñigo, Sony Lopez-Gonzalez, Leon Koning and Lane Gifford. She also had the privilege of performing alongside famous dancers Yoko Morishita, Fernando Bujones, Alicia Alonso, Patrick Bissell, Martin Van Hamel, Leslie Brown, Joyce Cuoco, Julio Bocca and Wes Chapman. In 1987, Hazel was one of the featured Ballet Philippines principal artists in a gala with Stars of American Ballet Theatre.

Teaching and directing credits include: Faculty, Texas Christian University (ballet, pointe, international dance forms), Texas Ballet Theatre academy, Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dance Lecturer, University of North Texas and University of the Philippines, Ballet Mistress of Ballet Memphis and Artistic Director of Ballet Lubbock. Hazel also completed teacher's intensive training in STOTT Pilates Mat (beginning-advanced) & Reformer (essential-intermediate) plus Mat II at the Oasis Mind-Body Conditioning Center in Texas. She recently attended the Teachers Workshop at the prestigious Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet led by Marcia Dale Weary and Darla Hoover. Other teaching/ choreographic credits: CPYB Summer Workshop, Boulder Ballet/ Boulder Arts Academy, Ballet Philippines, Ballet Manila, Ballet David Campos (formerly Ballet Ciutat de Barcelona) in Spain, Steps Dance Studio, University of Colorado in Boulder, Texas Tech University, Dance West, Youth Ballet Colorado, Westlake School of the Performing Arts and University of the Philippines.

Recipient of the esteemed Fulbright Specialist grant, Hazel was also awarded grants from Asian Cultural Council of New York; Colorado Council on the Arts (Director's Grant); Cultural Center of the Philippines Young Artists Foundation; CCP Choreographers Showcase; University of the Philippines(Madame Luva Adameit Choreographic Award in Dance); Distinct Alliance in National Choreographic Endeavors(Gem of the Race Award); and the Theatre Institute of Germany and the American Dance Festival in North Carolina(International Choreographers Workshops). Hazel was an "A" student at NYU, a College Scholar at U.P., member of the prestigious Muphi Epsilon International Music Sorority and, along with another dance major, topped her Music Theory class comprised of music majors. Her choreography was selected by the UMass Dance Department to represent them in the 2009 American College Dance Festival, New England Chapter.

Hazel's critically-acclaimed choreographies include Dracula, Daragang Magayon, Deconstructing Gershwin, Firebird, Nutcracker, Rite of Spring & Carmen suite (video recordings of choreographies and a paper on Daragang Magayon from the 1991 Manila International Dance Conference are represented in the collection of the New York Public Library's Dance Division). As one of only seven Finalists in the 1st International Competition of Classical Choreography sponsored by the city of Paris, dance critic Rene Sirvin, singled her out in his review in France's premiere newspaper, Le Figaro, saying: "from the seven competitors, only one showed real invention and originality, Hazel Sabas-Gower, whose six excellent dancers of Ballet Memphis performed the ingenious choreography Deconstructing Gershwin..." . Choreographed recently, "Green", is now in the repertoire of renowned dance institutions Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet(ChoreoPlan 2011 & June Series 2011), Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Steps Dance Studio and now, Ballet Manila. Her latest creation “Synchronicity” was choreographed for Ballet Academy East and will premiere at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York in 2012. Hazel is also scheduled to be a guest ballet professor at the Taipei National University of the Arts to complete her second project as a Fulbright Specialist Awardee; first one was accomplished at the University of the Philippines College of Music Dance Program.

Directing/ Teaching Career

She taught and directed at the following universities and institutions:

  • Ballet David Campos (formerly Ballet Ciutat de Barcelona) in Spain
  • Ballet Lubbock, artistic director
  • Ballet Manila
  • Ballet Memphis, ballet mistress
  • Ballet Philippines
  • Boulder Ballet/ Boulder Arts Academy
  • Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, guest faculty/ summer workshop
  • CCP Dance School
  • Dance West
  • Steps Dance Studio
  • Texas Ballet Theatre Fort Worth Academy
  • Texas Christian University, guest faculty
  • Texas Tech University, guest faculty
  • University of Colorado in Boulder, guest faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, assistant professor
  • University of North Texas, dance lecturer
  • University of the Philippines, dance lecturer
  • University of the Philippines, Fulbright Specialist
  • Westlake School of the Performing Arts, guest instructor
  • Youth Ballet Colorado

Performance Career

  • Ballet Philippines (Principal Dancer)
  • Dance Theatre Philippines (Soloist)
  • Second Avenue Dance Company (MFA program, NYU Tisch School of the Arts)

Choreographic Career

  • "Synchronicity", Ballet Academy East(Premiere at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York)
  • "A Different Kind of Beatles", The Dance Conservatory for the Arts(Dallas) and Ballet Manila
  • “Green”, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet(ChoreoPlan 2011); Steps Studio; Dance Theatre of Tennessee; and Ballet Manila
  • "A Different Kind of Beatles", Texas Ballet Theatre Fort Worth Academy
  • "Pinay", Five College Dance Department Faculty Concert, Amherst
  • "Tears in Your Bottle", UNT Faculty Dance Concert
  • "Deconstructing Gershwin(contemporized), UMass Amherst
  • "Le Fabuleux Quatre", UNT Faculty Dance Concert & Plano Dance Festival, Texas
  • "Dracula", Ballet Memphis
  • "Deconstructing Gershwin", Ballet Memphis (FINALIST, 1st International Classical Choreographic Competition in Paris, France)
  • "Firebird", Ballet Memphis
  • "Some Can Whistle", Ballet Memphis
  • "The Nutcracker", Ballet Lubbock
  • "Rite of Spring", Carmen Suite" & other works, Ballet Lubbock
  • "Let It B", Ballet Ciutat de Barcelona
  • "La Filipina", Ballet Philippines
  • "Illustrated Dialects", "Cry for Home", "I+N=D", "I am Telling You", "Nauseating Impressions" and other works at her one-woman show titled BREAKING POINTE, CCP Choreographer's Showcase
  • "Daragang Magayon", a multi-media project at CCP
  • "Six to Borodin", Neo Filipino, Ballet Philippines
  • "Tadyak, Padyak", "Papa" and other works, University of the Philippines Dance Program
  • "3 + 1", CCP Summer Dance Workshop
  • "Maria Makiling, Ballet Philippines
  • "Doodles", Ballet Philippines Summer Dance Workshop

Awards and recognitions

  • Fulbright Specialist Grant
  • Asian Cultural Council of New York Award
  • Colorado Council on the Arts Director’s Grant
  • Cultural Center of the Philippines Young Artists Foundation Award
  • CCP Choreographers Showcase
  • Madame Luva Adameit Choreographic Award in Dance from the University of the Philippines
  • Gem of the Race Award from Distinct Alliance in National Choreographic Endeavors
  • International Choreographers Workshop from the Theatre Institute of Germany and the American Dance Festival in North Carolina
  • “A” student at NYU
  • College Scholar at UP


External Links



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