The people of Samar and Leyte in the central Philippines mourned the death of Odon Sabarre, a church worker and dance icon, on Wednesday, January 27. He was 69.
“We will always be grateful for his dedication,” said Monsignor Erlito Maraya, parish priest of the Sacred Heart Jesus parish in Tacloban City.
“We share the sorrow of the family at this difficult time with deep sympathy,” said the priest.
A native of Calbiga, Samar, Sabarre rose to stardom in the 1970s, along with his late brother Tommy when they forme the dance duo Sabarre Brothers.
Sabarre was the first Filipino dance scholar to Russia through the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
“[Sabarre] was a mentor to many ballet and jazz enthusiasts in the region and throughout the Philippines and abroad, and truly, one of Samar’s pride,” said Professor Jhonil Bajado, head of Samar State University Museum and Archives.
Bajado described Sabarre as “Samar’s Premier Danseur,” having trained and studied in Moscow, Copenhagen, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and New York.
He had several performances together with the Philippines’ prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.
The late dancer was one of ten children of the late Judge Tomas Sabarre and Josefina Salva-Sabarre, a pianist and musician.
Known as the first artist-in-residence of Eastern Visayas region, Sabarre was awarded as the Most Outstanding Samareño and Most Outstanding Taclobanon.
He was also nominated as National Artist of the Philippines in 1997.
Before his death, Sabarre dedicated his life teaching dance to underprivileged youth in Samar and Leyte provinces aside from performances in the country and abroad.
Leave a Reply