At age 10, Marian Faustino was a competitive gymnast. Her mom put her in a ballet class to help improve her floor routine. At age 13, Marian was uprooted from her hometown in Virginia when her parents decided to move to the Philippines. Although she was unhappy about the change at the time, she soon began to discover the Filipino culture and language through dance.
She began training as a professional dancer in the Philippines. She performed soloist and principal roles with Ballet Manila and Ballet Philippines, and was also a Philippine representative in several international ballet competitions. Marian returned to the U.S. to dance in Nashville with Dance Theatre of Tennessee.
Since joining Ballet Nouveau Colorado last August, Marian has been pushed to try new things.
“I really loved BNC+Redline: A Shared Experience in Art. Working with Maurya Kerr was a really interesting experience,” says Marian. “While she was creating her piece, I remember feeling almost uncomfortable, and that I had never been asked to more that way ever in my entire life. But it was a good discomfort, in that it made me try something new.”
Although the show forced Marian to step outside her boundaries, pushing her limits is exactly what Marian loves most about dance.
“I love that dance presents you with new challenges everyday,” she says. “You have to push the limits of your body, or find different ways of expressing yourself through movement. I love that it seems to slow time down and allows people to examine life, relationships, and emotions a little more closely.”
When Marian isn’t dancing, she leads a low-key life spending time at home, reading books or articles, catching up on TV shows, watching movies or enjoying good food. One thing she misses about the Philippines is the delicious food. Her favorite dish is called ginataang kalabasa, a combination of squash and string beans cooked in coconut milk with ginger and shrimp.
Marian also has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of the Philippines. If she wasn’t dancing, she would look for work as a preschool teacher. But putting in up to 50 hours a week in the dance studio, Marian’s free time is limited.
Right now Marian and the other dancers are preparing for Rock Ballets in April. She says that although she didn’t grow up listening to Queen, David Bowie, or INXS, she is enjoying connecting with the piece.
“I didn’t really grow up listening to these artists, so I don’t really have a emotional connection to the music, but it is definitely a cool process developing that connection and getting to know all of the songs as we dance to them and hear them more and more,” she says.
Come see Marian’s performance in Rock Ballets on April 13-15 at the Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School.