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The Romance And Fantasy Of Ballet At Ballet Manila's 24th Season

For Ballet Manila’s 24th Season, CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde was proud to mention that this season’s theme would be On Pointé—referencing the shoes that classical ballerinas use to stand on their toes, and as word play on being on point. The season’s four shows hope to bring to fore the joy of watching and dancing ballet, and highlight the romance and fantasy that are such integral elements of why ballet fascinates as it does. 


Opening the 24th Ballet Manila season, Snow White.


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Almost every little girl’s dream is to don those ballerina shoes, and I’ve often wondered why—given this strong childhood and grassroots appeal, ballet companies still endure difficulties finding an audience, and eliciting general public support. Is it a matter of little girls “outgrowing” ballet? In the case of boys and comic books—as a parallel example—the popularity and box office success of superheroes films would seem to show how the fascination and need for escapism are retained even into adulthood—something to ponder on as these ballet companies try to broaden their audience and increase subscriptions.



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But back to this 24th season of Ballet Manila. BM, as Lisa explained, is very much a classical ballet company, using the Russian Vaganova style of training and dancing. This background and philosophy impact the choices of the four shows to be performed this season; namely, a restaging of Snow White, on September 7-8, followed by Giselle, a romantic ballet in two acts on October 19-20, Sleeping Beauty (the third of Lisa’s Princess trilogy) on December 7-8, and to close the season, Carmina Burana & La Traviata on February 29 and March 1st.


Giselle, the epitome of a romance Ballet. 


All to be performed at the Aliw Theater, Pasay City; it was rewarding to listen to Lisa and Osias Barroso, Ballet Manila’s Co-Artistic Director, expound on the choices of shows for the season. The choice of Snow White to open the season was to make the first show fun with a capital F—not only for the performers, but for the audience as well. As for Giselle, Lisa made mention how one of her mentors said that every season should have one classical warhorse, and for this 24th, that would be Giselle—a full shot of romance in two acts.



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Carmina Burana and La Traviata - their late February presentation. 


Osias Barroso, co-Artistic Director, and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, CEO and Artistic Director of Ballet Manila.


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Sleeping Beauty, will be Lisa coming full circle with the concluding “chapter” of the Princess Trilogy she promised to stage. And Lisa was beside herself describing the sets and costume design for this one, how it would be such a surprise and spectacle for the viewers. To close the season, Lisa and Osias chose Carmina Burana & La Traviata, which promises to bring down the curtains on the season with a big bang. Traviata is Lisa’s favorite opera, and it will be a scintillating collaboration of ballet, opera, and orchestra.

For Ballet Manila, so much to look forward to, with Snow White just around the corner.


Photos courtesy of Ballet Manila