Monday, February 23, 2009

The News About Mary

Washington Ballet Studio Company dancer Mary Saludares, 20, was killed Friday night when she was struck by a car in Harford County. The ballet company has canceled the remainder of its tour, including its Sunday performances at Howard Community College in Columbia. (photo courtesy Washington Ballet Company/Tony Powell)

Mary Saludares, a 20-year-old member of The Washington Ballet Studio Company, was struck and killed by a car Friday night in Edgewood, State Police said.

The award-winning company was scheduled to perform Sunday at 4 and 7:30 at at Howard Community College's Smith Theater as part of the Candlelight Concert Society's Family Series, but The Washington Ballet announced in a release that it had canceled the remainder of its tour. The release said the group was on tour in Harford County when the accident occurred.

According to the State Police, Saludares was crossing Route 24 at Edgewood Road just after 10 p.m. when she was struck by a southbound silver Chevrolet Impala driven by Robert Kane of Abingdon. Saludares was pronounced dead at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

State Police were investigating the accident.

“No words can describe the pain of losing Mary,” said The Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre. “She was not only a beautiful dancer, but a radiant soul who emitted peace and joy. The entire TWB family mourns her passing and extends its thoughts and prayers to Mary’s family.”

Saludares began dancing at the age of 6 under Sofia Elizalde and Raul Sauz at Steps Dance Studio in Manila, Philippines. In 2006, she received the highest Royal Academy of Dance Award, the Solo Seal. She had the honor of being the first Filipino entry in the 2006 Adeline Genée International Ballet Competition.

In 2004, she received the Luva Adameit Award in the first NAMCYA Ballet Competition in the Philippines. She later attended the School of American Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet's Release Time year-round program. She was selected to join The Washington Ballet Studio Company for its 2008-2009 season, achieving one of her dreams of moving from student to professional.

Saludares is survived by her father, José M. Saludares Jr.; her mother, Marissa S. Saludares; and two brothers, Patrick Vincent Saludares and Bryan Joseph Saludares.

Students and staff are being offered grief counseling services. A memorial service is being planned for early March in Washington to honor Saludares. A private family funeral will be held in the Philippines in the coming days.

*lifted from a Multiply blog; source unspecified.