On Pointé : Ballet Manila’s 24th performance season features Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and the grand finale Carmina Burana and La Traviata

It has been 2 decades since I last watched a ballet performance, and that was Ms. Lisa Macuja's performance for the Swan Lake in CCP last 1999. Never did I imagine that I will meet her again, this time not as a ballerina but as the CEO of the most solidly trained classical ballet company in the Philippines - Ballet Manila.

Ballet Manila, founded in 1995; will once again stage a series of breathtaking shows filled with graceful dancing for its 24th season.

With the theme "On Pointé," Ballet Manila highlights the most iconic element in a ballet performance – the pointé shoes which make a ballerina stand and dance daintily on her toes. The theme is also fitting for the ballet company’s upcoming performances as it is also a play on being “on point” which defines something to be excellent and perfect – the kind of shows that Ballet Manila consistently gives to their audience. 

According to Ballet Manila CEO and artistic director Lisa Macuja Elizalde, the decision to go with the theme is related to Ballet Manila’s Russian Vaganova style of training and dancing. "It defines what classical ballet is – being able to dance on pointé," Macuja Elizalde said.

This season, Ballet Manila will be staging a thoughtfully curated line up of four shows. The first one is the restaging of Snow White, the second installment in Macuja Elizalde's Princess Trilogy, which will run from September 7-8, 2019. Giselle, a romantic ballet in two acts, will follow on October 19-20, 2019. Sleeping Beauty, the last installment in the Princess Trilogy, will have its world premiere on December 7-8, 2019. Lastly, the season’s finale will be Carmina Burana and La Traviata, a collaboration of opera, ballet, and orchestra, which will be staged on February 29 and March 1, 2020.

“When I plan a season, I first program the full-length classical ballet that we need to present every year. My teacher and mentor Tatiana Udalenkova told me that I should always have a classical warhorse every season to strengthen the company," Macuja Elizalde spoke of their decision to perform Giselle.

She also wanted to revisit the earlier installment of her Princess Trilogy and present Snow White before the premiere of The Sleeping Beauty, which will be the company’s Christmas production, to factor in continuity.

"I love the fact that we are opening our 24th season with Snow White because it captures the fun everyone needs to have when watching and dancing ballet," she said.

After the first two installments of the trilogy, Macuja Elizalde said that the best is yet to come with the final production. "I am saving the best for last. The Princess Trilogy is going to conclude with a bang!" she said.

Talking about the last show, Carmina Burana and La Traviata, Macuja Elizalde said that the back-to-back presentation is a fitting finale to their 24th season.

"I have always wanted to choreograph to the music of my favorite opera – La Traviata – and am excited to collaborate with my long time “partner in crime”, Ballet Manila co-artistic director Osias Barroso. Rudy De Dios, recently retired principal dancer of the company, will be making an auspicious choreographic debut in his first full-length evening work with Carmina Burana," she said.

With the start of the 24th season just around the corner, Ballet Manila is all set to once again capture the hearts of their audiences and showcase a production that reflects their refined techniques, dignified artistry, magnificent storytelling, and genuine passion for dancing.

All of Ballet Manila’s 24th performance season shows will be staged at the Aliw Theater, Pasay City. To buy tickets, visit any Ticketworld outlet, call 891 9999, or go to their website www.ticketworld.com.ph. For more information, visit https://balletmanila.com.ph/ or https://www.facebook.com/BalletManilaOfficial/.

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