May the Ballet Force Be With You Ballet Manila @23

It’s time to watch and enjoy more ballet shows these days…
Ballet Manila opens their 23rd performance season, Tour de Force, with a presentation of the company’s most iconic performances. In a two-weekend affair, Iconic 1.0 and Iconic 2.0 will revisit some of Ballet Manila’s most memorable collaborations, selected from a repertoire of over 200 ballets performed since 1995.

Iconic 1.0 draws mostly from the strength of Ballet Manila’s global network, with highlights such as Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Bloom. The Colombian-Belgian choreographer’s work is sought after in operas, musicals, and even in fashion—this piece is her first work ever for an Asian dance company. There’s also Sotto Voce by Augustus “Bam” Damian III, one of the most prolific Filipinos in European ballet. And as nod to Ballet Manila’s Vaganova roots, it is restaging a version of Romeo and Juliet by Russian legend Sergei Vikulov.

Meanwhile, Iconic 2.0 digs deep into the wealth of Ballet Manila’s homegrown talent, with gems such as Gerardo Francisco’s fantasy-filled Ibong Adarna, Osias Barroso’s lifelike Ecole, the late Ballet Manila co-founder Eric V. Cruz’s sensuous Carmen, and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s timeless Fur Elise.

We’re reliving the past in a very special way, because our company has seen many changes happening—most especially in our roster of dancers. It is such a fantastic learning experience to have some of our most loved and successful original ballets handed down to the new generation that is Ballet Manila today,” shares Ballet Manila CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

Seventeen different ballets, 14 featured choreographers, and the country’s premier classical dance company – the Iconic series is Ballet Manila’s biggest gala yet and promises to be a different, daring, and diverse season opener. With a single ticket valid for two shows, dance fans are in for two weekends’ of Iconic performances!

“This series is also an introduction of what Ballet Manila can do – and we can do it all, from the classics to contemporary pieces. We curated this series in such a way that we show as much variety and versatility as possible, so there’s a performance for everyone,” adds Lisa.

Tour de Force gets the ball rolling for Ballet Manila’s silver year on 2020, and the best is always yet to come for the company. With the perfect season opener in Iconic 1.0 and Iconic 2.0, this season promises to be a world-class and highly entertaining run that everyone in the family can enjoy. Don’t miss the opening gala dear all!

 

Show schedules:

“Tour De Force” kicks off this September with “Iconic 1.0,” which will be on September 1 and 2, 2018, and “Iconic 2.0,” which will be on September 8 and 9, 2018. One ticket will be valid on both weekends.

 

For more information about the shows, including ticket prices and schedules, you may visit http://www.balletmanila.com.ph or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tickets are also available through all TicketWorld outlets. Please call 891-9999 or visit http://www.ticketworld.com.ph for more information.

In addition, those who are planning to watch all the shows may take advantage of the company’s Season Subscription Programs, which offer up to 50% discount on ticket prices.

For more information, you may visit www.ticketworld.com.ph/balletmanila/Online/ and click on ‘View Details’ under ‘Season Subscription Program’.

 

 

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Ballet Plus More at the Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila

For those with artistic inclinations, enrolling in ballet classes makes perfect sense. Institutions like The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila offer a perfect environment for nurturing the love for the craft. There’s a supportive community for learning, a safe venue for training, and the guidance of the best in the region; CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Co-Artistic Director Osias Barroso, and other world-class trainers.

But there’s more to ballet than just strength and grace. Beyond the Vaganova technique, students also learn about passion, hard work, determination—the list just grows longer at every stage in life.

Contributing to Childhood

Studies have shown that cultivating a child’s creativity improves their mental ability later on in life. Most children develop an interest in music and dance from an early age, so parents nurture it by enrolling them in special ballet classes that are lighter, more playful, and fit for their attention span. Interaction with other children at this stage also means that their social skills receive a big boost.

Ballet is best learned while a child’s mind and body are at their most limber. Age-appropriate classes for older kids maximize these by teaching not only all the basic movements and concepts, but also discipline and focus early on. An increase in concentration reaps benefits outside the studio—don’t be surprised if their grades in school get better.

Aiding Adolescence

Teenage life can be tricky, but with ballet, they’ll be able to train discipline and determination along with the arts. More advanced combinations are taught in ballet lessons for this age segment, where they build strength not only in their pointe work, but also in their mind. They get a chance to perform in front of an audience, which develops confidence and self-esteem during this very crucial part of life.

Most students already have the hang of ballet at this point, with some even considering a career in the arts. At the very least, they’ve already developed an appreciation for a healthier lifestyle, as is the case with exposure to any physical recreation.

Forever a Fit

If you think ballet is only for those who started as children, think again because it’s never too late to pursue the arts. Places like Ballet Manila offer classes for all ages and skill levels, whether it’s for fun, for fitness, or a mix of both. Even complete beginners can feel right at home, as Ballet Manila fosters a friendly and supportive environment that accommodates every learning pace.

Whatever your creative or fitness goals may be, it’s a good idea to pursue them at The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila—the only ballet school in the Philippines with direct links to the Russian Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia.

For more information regarding rates, program details, and schedules in both Pasay and Quezon City branches, just visit www.balletmanila.com.ph.

 

Ballet And Ballads Combo, Why Not?

Ballet Manila’s 22nd performance season is set to close with the most star-studded installment of “Ballet & Ballads” yet. With final preparations underway, the audience should also prepare for a full showcase of the company’s storytelling prowess and mastery of the Vaganova technique.

Ballet Manila CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde shares that it’s almost like a tradition in the performance season repertoire. Not only that, but also this format of combining a singer and ballet numbers makes their style of storytelling more appealing and more accessible to the audience. “It’s all about what the audience enjoys and what they would love to go back to,” shares Lisa.

The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra has accompanied us in many past productions. And it is always a joy to perform with them.

Snapshots of a recent rehearsal of the orchestra with the singers. For Ballet & Ballads, the orchestra plays under the baton of guest conductor, Maestro Joshua Dos Santos.

Other guest performers are Christian Bautista, international baritone Andrew Fernando, scholars of the Klassikal Music Foundation, special participation of tenor Dr. George T. Yang.

“Ballet & Ballads” goes onstage at the Aliw Theater, Pasay City with the following remaining shows:

February  17 6:00 p.m.
February   18 3:00 p.m.

Tickets available at all Ticketworld outlets, call ‎891 9999 or online at www.ticketworld.com.ph.

 

 

Are You Ready for Ballet Manila’s “Don Quixote”?

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Ballet Manila Opens 2017 with a Classic Masterpiece

I personally always look forward to every shows and productions mounted by one of the country’s premiere ballet company, Ballet Manila. Most especially their year opener of a well loved classic—- DON QUIXOTE which I haven’t seen or watched in full on the ballet stage.

Happening on February 24 and 25, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. and on February 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at Aliw Theater, Don Quixote is known in the ballet world as one of the most technically challenging pieces ever created, with some of the choreography raising the already high international standards when it first premiered in 1869at the Tsar’s Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. It is especially known for its compulsory quick and strong movements, high vertical takeoffs, one arm lifts, quick fouettes, quadruple pirouettes, and Kitri’s signature move, the Plisetskaya head-kick.

Don Quixote is the closing act for Ballet Manila’s 21st performance season.Set in Spain, the story tells the tale of Don Quixote,who decides to become a knight and embark on a journey to find Lady Dulcinea, a lover that he has only made up in his head.  The ballet places special focus on the love story between Kitri and Basilio, a pair he encounters during his adventures.The production combines great acrobatic feats, lively music, colorful sets and costumes, and a lot of comedic elements. Specially for this run, Ballet Manila will bring in Kremlin Ballet Theater star and principal danseur, Mikhail Martynyuk, to play Basilio.

“Our 21st performance season, Revenge of the Classics, has allowed us to mark so many milestones not just for Ballet Manila, but for the country as well,” says Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Ballet Manila’s CEO and Artistic Director. “Therefore, we only find it fitting to close it with a true classic—one that’s opulent, captivatingly elaborate, and serves as a true testament to the strength, passion, and skills of our dancers, who are all trained in the Vaganova Academy Style of dancing.”

She continues, “Don Quixote is kind of like my signature ballet. It’s the ballet that reallybrought me to the spotlight, and Kitri is my most performed role. I’m so excited for this production because I feel like this is me handing down the role to Ballet Manila’s next generation of principal dancers.” Alternating for the role of Kitri are Katherine Barkman, Pia Dames, andDawna Mangahas, who will be partnered by Martynyuk,

Lisa adds that the public should also watch out for the ballet’s production elements. “We are revamping some elements of our staging from previous ones. We are going all out with stage designs, props, and costumes. We’re not holding back for Don Quixote. Everyone should really watch out for it.”

Don Quixote is co-presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company, Star City, and Aliw Theater. Other sponsors include ACS Manufacturing Corporation, First United Corporation, Papa John’s Pizza, Hot Star Chicken, Oasis Paco Park Hotel, Microtel Wyndham Hotels, Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas, City Garden Suites Malate,Island Rose, and Philcom. Official ride partner is Grab Philippines. To learn more about it, visit http://www.balletmanila.com.ph or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tickets are also available through all Ticketworld outlets. Please call 8919999 or visit http://www.ticketworld.com.ph, for more information.

Lisa Macuja’s Take on the Well-Loved Classic Cinderella

Here are excerpts of my coverage of Ballet Manila’s latest classic take on CINDERELLA as choreographed by world class artist Ms. Lisa Macija-Elizalde ♥♥ with additional choreo from Osias Barroso.
Aliw Theater on November 26 2016.
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BALLET MANILA Sends Promising Dancers to Russian Fest

bmBMDance dreams can come true you know especially when you really work hard on it plus be in the company of rightful people who can help you make those aspirations happen.

Four young and promising dancers will represent Ballet Manila in the DANCE OPEN International Ballet Festival, to be held from April 16 to 25 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

BM junior company members Nicole Barroso, Marinette Franco, Alvin Dictado and Joshua Enciso, were all handpicked by their artistic heads to participate in the prestigious festival, which will bring to the fore the fruits of their years of rigorous training in the Russian Vaganova method.

Fourteen-year-old Nicole, the youngest in the group, is a silver medalist (Junior B category) of the 2015 Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong, where Marinette, 16, was also a finalist. “Having trained exclusively in the Ballet Manila School, they both exude the style and technique of the Vaganova-trained dancer,” observes artistic director and prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, who is also the BM School director. “However, as individual artists, they are complete opposites when it comes to strengths. Whereas Marinette is tall and long with beautiful lines and extensions that go up and away, Nicole is a compact soubrette who is fast, charming and a turner.”

On his selection of the male delegates, co-artistic director Osias Barroso points out that both have “marvelous stage presence.” Joshua, 16 and an AGP finalist, is described to have “a wonderful ballon” while Alvin, 15, is “light on his feet.” Adds the former ballet master and principal danseur: “Although they are young, these boys have a good working attitude and they deliver onstage. I am confident that they will treasure this experience and strive harder to improve on whatever  physical limitations they may possess.”

Now on its 15th year, the DANCE OPEN International Ballet Festival has become one of the most significant and highly-anticipated festivals in the international ballet calendar, featuring some of the brightest dancers, choreographers and companies in the world – from the keepers of the legendary classical tradition to the mavericks of modern dance. Gracing this year’s festival are ballet stars Tyler Angle (New York City Ballet), Alicia Amatriain (Stuttgart Ballet), Elena Algado (Ballet Nacional de España), Silvia Azzoni (Hamburg Ballet), and Yonah Acosta (English National Ballet), among dozens of other internationally renowned soloists. Participating companies include the Bolshoi Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, the Vienna State Ballet, among others.

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One of the integral elements of the DANCE OPEN is its Master Class program for young dancers, which gathers students from around the world for a week of rigorous training in the Russian ballet school tradition, which is considered to be the best in the world. “Since ballet is an art that is handed down directly from teacher to student, we know that our BM kids will gain invaluable experience training under legendary ballet professors such as Gennady Selyutsky and Elvira Tarasova, who are both esteemed national artists of Russia,” says Lisa, adding that at least two of the coaches – Igor Petrov of the Mariinsky Theater and Veronika Ivanova of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet – were her own contemporaries during the four years she spent studying and dancing in St. Petersburg.

On April 24, after completing their Master Classes, the four Filipino teens will join their international peers in performing at the “Young Stars Gala” scheduled at the historic Hermitage Theater, where they will be dancing on the very same stage where ballet icons like Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky took flight over a century ago. They will also participate in museum tours, as well as cultural and artistic exposure trips arranged especially for the junior delegates.

“I feel that this chance to train and perform in the very heart of Russian ballet will have a very positive impact on our young dancers,” Osias shares. “Given more opportunities like this, I am certain that they will all mature into able guardians of the BM tradition, which values excellence in the classics above all.”

Many thanks to Ms. Lisa and Sir Osias for sending a handful of your best. Good luck to all the promising four BM dancers. Make your mentors, coaches and families proud!

Follow and Like Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @balletmanila for the latest news and updates regarding classes, workshops and upcoming season shows.

BM21 by Ballet Manila Slated March 19th

12794514_10154009445904874_3890514080828259812_nWhat a year it’s been for Ballet Manila and the hardworking dance troupe plus staff of prima ballerina Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and BM20. Super congrats dear friend!

But before the season officially takes a break, here’s a closing season hurrah which features Ms. Lisa dancing for #Carmen by Eric V. Cruz and two other specially handpicked dances by Macuja.

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In  Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Bloom, Ballet Manila's   contemporary dance chops are highlighted

Save the date on March 19, 2016
8:00PM
Aliw Theater, Pasay City

Stay tuned for more information from this site! I’m pretty excited seeing #Carmen

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