Ballet Manila

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ballet Manila
Ballet Manila Logo.jpg
General information
NameBallet Manila
Year founded1995
Principal venueManila
Artistic staff
Artistic DirectorLisa Macuja-Elizalde (Artistic Director and Principal Dancer)
Resident ChoreographersGerardo Francisco (Resident Choreographer and Rehearsal Master for Modern Dance)
Other Artistic Staff
  • Osias Barroso (Artistic Associate & Rehearsal Master)
  • Jonathan Janolo (Assistant Ballet Master/Set & Costume Designer)
  • Eileen Lopez (Assistant Rehearsal Mistress)
Associated schoolsVaganova Ballet Academy
Jr. Principal
Senior Soloist
Demi Soloist
Company Member
Company Apprentice
Company Scholars

Ballet Manila is a classical ballet institution[1] and dance company in the Philippines. It currently[when?] highlights more than fifty highly trained dancers in the highly rigorous Russian (Vaganova) [1] method of classical ballet. Locally the company has performed in 47 cities[1] holding more than 4,100[1] performances. The company has done tours in Asia, Europe and North America, where it has held more than 140[1] performances. The company is most notable[according to whom?] for its in-house creative director,[2] principal dancer and prima ballerina[3][4] Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. Along with Ballet Philippines and the Philippine Ballet Theatre, Ballet Manila is one of the three[5] major ballet companies in the Philippines. It regularly holds its performances at the Aliw theater and Star Theater, which are both located within Star City at Pasay City. The concept [1] of a ballet company by the dancers, of the dancers and for the dancers[6] was the idea of Lisa Macuja-Elizalde when she, along with ballet master Osias Barroso[1][7] and ten other dancers established Ballet Manila in 1995.


Ballet Manila has featured full-length performances of Swan Lake, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Le Corsaire, and other classical staples, as well as contemporary Filipino ballet pieces by some of the Philippines most distinguished choreographers. Ballet Manila has also performed non-classical pieces such as the major production piece Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang[8] (The three stories of Grandmother Basyang). The company also performs short non-classical pieces which they perform at the Star City amusement center to cater to the masses, such pieces include Paskong Pista[9] (Christmas Fiesta) and Hi-skul Musikahan[10] which directly translates and is also a Filipino ballet rendition of High School Musical. The company's season runs from April to February of the following year, where they do four major productions annually. Ballet Manila's major production calendar for 2011 includes Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang in August, Swan Lake in October, Maligayang Pasko (Happy Christmas) in December and Love ko to (I love this) in February 2012.

Ballet Manila’s tie-up with Manila Broadcasting Company has paved the way for the concert series “Ballet and Ballads” [11] where the show features the artistic merger of pop songs and classical dance. To date, Ballet Manila has done collaborations[12] with the bands’ Side A and Freestyle, as well as musicians Ariel Rivera, Lani Misalucha, Janno Gibbs, Jaya, Luke Mijares, Karylle, Toni Gonzaga, Kyla and Nyoy Volante.

International tours[edit]

Ballet Manila has performed in international tours, more than 140 times[1] since 1995. Notable tours[13] include their United States tour of 2004 & 2005, their participation in the Aberdeen International Youth Festival [14] in 2004, the Angkor-Gyeongju World Culture Expo in Cambodia, Gyeongju World Performing arts festival in South Korea and tours in Russia, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Ireland. Ballet Manila received good raves[15][16] and high praises[17][18][19][20] in their performances of a recent 2011 United Kingdom and Ireland tour. The Philippine delegation was cited for performing difficult pieces such as Don Quixote, Alberto Dimarucut's "Dulce", Aguila (Eagle dance), Mga Awit at Savaw (Dances & songs), Arachnida (Spider dance), Sotto Voce, Arnis (Philippine stick-fighting combat art), Reve and excerpts from Romeo and Juliet. The company was said to have received eight standing ovations[21][22] in all of its eight performances in the same tour. The company performed in the Venetian Theatre in Macau in June 2013.

Ballet Manila School[edit]

Ballet Manila School started as a spin-off from the “Lisa Macuja Summer Workshop”[23] which was originally conducted in the summer of 1995. Previously, the classes were held at the old Ballet Manila Studio which was located[23] in Quezon city. The pilot class performed their first piece entitled Etudes[23] on June 1996. The company officially opened its own summer workshops[23] in April 1997, this time at the permanent facility, where the first enrollees[23] were thirty six students. The Ballet Manila School has direct links with the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet [23] in St. Petersburg, Russia. Here, the students are trained in the vaganova ballet methodology. The classes held at this school are split into five levels[24] from 3 levels for girls, namely beginner, intermediate and finally to advance. The boy’s levels however are only split into beginners and advance classes. From the time that the school opened, it has held several auditions[24] wherein the company offers full and half scholarships to those who would successfully pass the screening. In previous years ballet was predominantly still viewed as a female art form[25] until recently wherein more people are now more appreciative of ballet which opened the opportunity for more male dancers to enroll at the institution.


Since then,[when?] the company opened up a facility located at Donada street within Pasay City. The private compound[7] currently has three rehearsal studios, a music library which houses a collection of books and videos which sole purpose is to ensure that the dancers and students are given continuous education. The company also holds ballet workshops during summers, this is done on top of the professional training and regular master classes for the company. Aside from the school, Ballet Manila is also equipped with a fully staffed office which provides marketing, logistical and administrative requirements for the company.


Project Ballet Futures (PBF) is a dance scholarship program established by Ballet Manila in 2008. It provides quality ballet education and training to elementary and high school students enrolled in public schools. As of 2011, the project has thirty-five underprivileged students[26] from the Philippine Christian Foundation in Tondo, Manila and Gotamco Elementary School and Bonifacio Elementary School in Pasay City. Along with ballet education, they are also given full meals, vitamins and other nourishment good for six days of the week, as well as ballet uniforms and shoes. The kids are chosen through an audition,[27] where the successful ones are given daily ballet class training in an accelerated dance program. In a 2010 interview with Macuja-Elizalde, she said that one of the first male scholar was the Macuja family’s house boy, the late Rolando Tagaro. Tagaro then went on to become the company’s costume master where he was earning enough to send money back to his family in the province and send several children to school.[citation needed]

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde's retirement[edit]

On March 2010, it was reported that Lisa Macuja-Elizalde had sustained minor injuries during rehearsal. This prompted the cancellation[28] of several shows that year. Upon consulting her physician, she underwent surgery[29] to release her tendons on December 2011. Despite being able to walk a day after checking out of the hospital, she acknowledged that she might only have three to four years left before she finally retires from dancing. Subsequently Macuja-Elizalde underwent another operation on August 2011, this time it was to correct her plantar fasciitis problem. In early September of the same year, Macuja-Elizalde announced[30] that she will dance her last full-length Swan Lake in a series of shows scheduled on October 2011. She stated that she would eventually concentrate on being the company's artistic director after a series of farewell performances.

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Company Profile". Ballet Manila. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  2. ^ "Lisa Macuja-Elizalde". Ballet Manila. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  3. ^ "Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja visits The Park Club". THE PARK CLUB UK. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  4. ^ "Lisa Macuja Interview". University of Washington. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  5. ^ "Letter from the Philippines - dance in the Philippines". Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  6. ^ "Ballet Manila". Kantor Pos. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  7. ^ a b "History Profile (Non-recent)". First BM Website. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  8. ^ "Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang at the Star City". The Philippine Sta Online. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  9. ^ "Paskong Pista". Kudyapi. Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  10. ^ "Pop music and classical dance in 'Hi-Skul Musikahan'". Telebisyon. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  11. ^ "'Ballet & Ballads' moved to March 19". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  12. ^ "Lisa Macuja and Side A in 'Ballet, Band & Ballads'". Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  13. ^ "Principals". Ballet Manila Old Site. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  14. ^ "Ballet Manila at the Aberdeen Festival". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  15. ^ "Ballet Manila Gets Raves From UK Audiences". ALL VOICES Global News. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  16. ^ "Ballet Manila earns raves from UK audiences". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  17. ^ "Ballet Manila amazes London". The performing arts guide. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  18. ^ "BALLET MANILA CONQUERS LONDON, IRELAND". Pablo Tariman. Archived from the original on 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  19. ^ "Phl Embassy Congratulates Ballet Manila's Successful Tour in Ireland". Department of Foreign Affairs Philippiines. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  20. ^ "Ballet Manila dominates in UK tour". Malaya Times. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  21. ^ "Ballet Manila gets 8 standing ovations in UK". Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  22. ^ "Ballet Manila gets 8 standing ovations in UK". Dance Village. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  23. ^ a b c d e f "Ballet Manila School Profile". Ballet Manila School History. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  24. ^ a b c "Ballet Manila holds 2011 summer workshop!". STAR – Archived by NewsFlash. Retrieved 2011-09-29.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Barre Boys". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  26. ^ "Ballet Manila Outreach Service". Ballet Manila. Archived from the original on 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  27. ^ "In Search for a future in Ballet". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  28. ^ "Lisa Macuja injured; 'Ballet and Ballads' postponed". ABS CBN News. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  29. ^ "Ballet Manila: standing en pointe, on its own". Business World. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  30. ^ "Lisa Macuja holds farewell performances of 'Swan Lake'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  31. ^ Dillon, S. Troubles Grow for a University Built on Profits. New York Times, February 11, 2007,
  32. ^ Basilio Esteban S. Villaruz Treading Through: 45 Years of Philippine Dance, 2006, ISBN 978-971-542-509-4
  33. ^ "et Manila's Le Corsaire: Imports urge dancers to step up". Run Thru Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  34. ^ "Osias Barroso hangs his dancing shoes". UST Varsitarian. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  35. ^ "Ballet Manila's Le Corsaire". Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  36. ^ a b c d e f "BALLET MANILA TRIUMPHS IN 'DON QUIXOTE'". STAR – Archived by NewsFlash. Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  37. ^ "Ballet Manila's 'Le Corsaire' starts October 1". ABS CBN News. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  38. ^ "Jerome Espejo, First Soloist". DeBallet. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  39. ^ "Rudy De Dios, First Soloist". DeBallet. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  40. ^ "NAMCYA Fever: Niño Does Good". Run Thru Dance Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  41. ^ "Dancers' Biographies". Ballet Manila. Archived from the original on May 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  42. ^ "Ballet Manila presents 'The Swan, The Fairy and The Princess'". 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  43. ^ "Demi-Soloists". Ballet Manila Website. Archived from the original on June 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  44. ^ "STEPS Alumni". STEPS website. Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  45. ^ "New dance talents in Ballet Manila's 'Le Corsaire'". Philippine Star. Retrieved 2009-06-17.

External links[edit]