On June 3rd, 1961, Rosendo embarked on an international tour as music director for the 38-member Filipinescas Dance Troupe. This now legendary tour was the creation of pioneer director-choreographer, Leonor Orosa-Goquinco. Entitled, “Filipinescas: Philippine Life, Legend, and Lore in Dance,” evolved from Orosa-Goquinco’s interest in the folk dance, it is a symbolic and truly artistic 5-part stage presentation depicting Philippine life and its rich cultural traditions.
The group first performed 4 evenings in the Vieux Colombier Theater in Paris, France; next to the Nueva Caceres dance festival in Spain winning first prize; then onto the Teatro Español, Madrid, performing for a capacity house of 3,500;
and finally onto Dusseldorf, Bonn and Scandinavia.
These performances commanded enthusiastic sell-out audiences throughout their tour, drew multiple curtain calls, and even compelled the attention of high-profile personalities such as Philippine President Carlos Garcia, Spain’s First Lady Señora Carmen Franco,
and movie and TV director Günther Hassert.
Doña Carmen Polo de Franco told Leonor in Madrid: “Please come back soon so that more of Spain can see the beauty of your dances.” On that same trip, Filipinescas won the Grand Prize at the IV Hispano-Americano Festival Folklorico in Caceres, under the category “inspiracion folklorica”.
In 1961, after Nick Joaquin saw a rehearsal of Filipinescas, he wrote in the Philippine Free Press what sums up the foregoing testimonies: “Tomorrow’s Philippine dancers will be specially indebted to Leonor Orosa who showed how Philippine dance can express the drama of our lives, and who created the mold in which it is now presented. Filipinescas is the peak. In this resumé of Philippine culture from pagan to modern times, the native dance has been brought to its highest stage of development. No further progress in this direction seems possible.”