Originally from Manila, Philippines,
Ms. Mañago-Alexander culminated her twenty-two year full-time
professional dance career with the world renowned company Doug Varone
and Dancers ("…a company of daredevils, profoundly
human super humans who dance on a dime – wheeling, darting and
slicing the air at lethal looking speeds" - New York Times).
She performed with Mr. Varone for five years and in 2001, she retired
from full-time dancing and went back to school. She received her degree
in Dance and Anthropology from SUNY Empire State College in 2005. Although
she no longer performs with a company, she continues to stay active
in the dance world through her own choreographic work, a vibrant teaching
career, and occassional performances with choreographers whose work
Ms. Mañago-Alexander began formal
ballet training at age 5 with Effie Nañas (one of the top classical
ballerinas of the Philippines in the '70’s). At ages 9 and 10,
Ms. Mañago-Alexander was featured as "Clara" in Ballet
Philippines’ productions of "The Nutcracker Ballet,"
two years in a row. After that Ballet Philippines, under the direction
of Alice Reyes, invited her to apprentice and because she showed great
talent and enthusiasm, was promoted quickly to principal roles in three
years time. She danced leading roles in ballets such as "Swan Lake,"
"Sleeping Beauty," "Carmen," "Paquita,"
"Giselle," "Napoli," "La Bayadere," "Don
Quixote," and many other neo-classical and contemporary works by
local and guest artists.
At age 18, The University of the Philippines' President's Committee
on Culture and the Arts gave her the recognition of "Outstanding
Student Artist Award" in 1986 for representing her country at the
Third International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. She moved to
New York that same year and has since danced with
Feld Ballets/NY (Ballet Tech), Dennis Wayne's Dancers, Connecticut Ballet,
Ballet Hispanico of NY, Elisa Monte Dance Company (Monte/Brown), Pepatian,
Doug Varone and Dancers, Cherylyn Lavagnino and many others. She has
performed and taught extensively in North and South America, Europe,
North Africa, and Asia. Ms. Mañago-Alexander has also presented
her choreographic work at Dixon Place, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Free
Range Arts, Dance Plus - Rutgers faculty series, and at John Jay College.
Ms. Mañago-Alexander is currently
on faculty at Sarah Lawrence College teaching ballet, and at 92nd St.
Y teaching both ballet and contemporary dance. She has also taught at
The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Rutgers University’s Mason Gross
School of the Arts, Marymount College in Manhattan, Hollins College
(Roanoke, VA), NYU-Tisch School for the Performing Arts (New York, N.Y.),
Cleveland State University and Cleveland City Dance Center (Cleveland,
OH). Merceditas co-authored the curriculum of the First Steps program
at The Ailey® School and taught there for seven years. She ran her
own contemporary movement class at Sandra Cameron Dance Center (Soho,
NYC) for two years (2002-2004), and before then, also taught at Danspace
Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, Movement Research, and Orchestra of
Merceditas Mañago Alexander's