BALLET MANILA will be staging a classic, two fairytales, an opera and a cantata for its 24th season at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City.
The season’s theme, “On Pointe,” pertains to an important element in a ballerina’s performance — the pointé shoes which give the dancers their ability to stand and dance gracefully on their toes.
“It defines what classical ballet is — being able to dance on pointé,” Ballet Manila CEO and artistic director Lisa Macuja Elizalde was quoted as saying in a press release.
The dance company — known for its adherence to the Russian Vaganova style of training and dancing — will be restaging Snow White which will run from Sept. 7 and 8; Giselle on Oct. 19 and 20; Sleeping Beauty on Dec. 7 and 8; and Carmina Burana and La Traviata, a collaboration of opera, ballet, and orchestra on Feb. 29 and March 1, 2020.
“I always want to inject something new and completely unexpected from a ballet performance,” Ms. Macuja Elizalde told BusinessWorld, shortly after the press launch on July 15 at S Maison in Pasay City.
“In Snow White, I brought in an actual magician who [will give] the Queen options for fruits. Then the queen will approve of the apple. For Sleeping Beauty. I’m going to put in the dragon,” she said of the elements added to make the ballets appeal to young audiences.
“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,” Ms. Macuja Elizalde said in the press release, on the decision to perform Giselle, the 1841 romantic ballet of two acts.
For the finale, Ballet Manila will showcase a ballet adaptation of Carmina Burana, a cantata based on songs and poems composed by minstrels and monks in the 13th century, and La Traviata, a three-act opera by Guiseppe Verdi. It follows Persian courtesan Violetta who gives up the man she loves to save her family’s reputation.
Of all the season’s productions, Ms. Macuja Elizalde admitted that La Traviata is the most challenging. “For the first time, I’m tackling a tragedy,” she said, adding that the story deals with human emotions of betrayal, lust, and greed.
“I’ve been really lucky that the [previous] ballets have been successful. The goal for me as artistic director is to make something available for every kind of audience,” she said.
For tickets to the Ballet Manila productions, visit Ticketworld (891 9999, www.ticketworld.com.ph). For more information, visit https://balletmanila.com.ph/ or https://www.facebook.com/BalletManilaOfficial/. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman