Ballet Manila rises with ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, premier dance troupe Ballet Manila gets back on its feet ready to dance again. 

Ballet Manila rises with ‘Sleeping Beauty’
The third show in Ballet Manila’s 24th season performance lineup is the classic ‘Sleeping Beauty.’
“We went back to the original motto of Ballet Manila: ‘Have floor, will dance.’ That was what we did before the existence of Aliw Theater and Star Theater. And that is what we will do,” beamed chief executive and artistic director Lisa Macuja Elizalde.

The original home of the ballet institution was damaged by the fire that raged Star City amusement park on Oct. 2, thereby forcing them to postpone and move the remaining shows in its 24th performance season lineup.

An apt offering for the new year, Ballet Manila is set to captivate its audience with the world premiere of “Sleeping Beauty,” whose protagonist, much like the dance company, “awakens” from a slumber caused by a tragedy. 

“Sleeping Beauty is considered a masterwork in the world of classical ballet because it stretches everyone to the fullest of their abilities. Everything about this show is very academic, very old school. Ballet Manila is here to preserve that tradition and, at the same time, create something entirely new,” she said.

“Sleeping Beauty” has been around for over one and a quarter-century and has been performed in different corners of the world. Despite the show’s perennial eminence, Macuja-Elizalde, who choreographed the entire show, assures everyone that her version of Sleeping Beauty is different from the well-loved classic. 

Against the background of the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Macuja-Elizalde’s choreography adapted bits and pieces from the original staging by Marius Petipa and Konstantin Sergeyev while creating stunningly new portions. 

With the help of Ballet Manila co-artistic director Osias Barroso, who was also the show’s choreography assistant and rehearsal master, the country’s foremost and well-loved prima ballerina guarantees a spectacular show—an unforgettable retelling of the famous fairy tale.

The show features a powerhouse cast led by principal dancer Jasmine Pia Dames who will take on the role of Aurora, while her fellow principal dancer Romeo Peralta will be her love interest, Prince Phillip. Other cast members include Mark Sumaylo, Rissa May Camaclang, Joan Sia, Gerardo Francisco, Rafael Perez, Alvin Dictado, Shaira Comeros, and Emma Harris.

The third show in “On Pointe” performance lineup, will hit the stage of Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila, Pasay City on  Jan. 18 at 6:00 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 3:00 p.m. 

Moving to the new venue meant adapting to necessary changes. Macuja-Elizalde, her dancers, and the rest of her production team had to adjust to new plans, choreography, stage setup and casting. They admitted producing the show was more challenging due to limited time for setting up and technical rehearsals.

Nevertheless, the prima ballerina said they have “certainly saved the best for last” and Sleeping Beauty will be the fitting ending to her Princess Trilogy. 

A month or so ago, Macuja-Elizalde admitted that she didn’t even dream of staging “Sleeping Beauty.”  

“I did not have the courage to make a decision about proceeding with the show. I was still in shock and denial for weeks after the fire,” she shared. 

However, the overwhelming outpouring of love and support they’ve received when they performed “Giselle” in October gave her the strength to overcome the obstacles. 

“We are a team, a family. As one, we will continue to fight and work hard and overcome this together.”

Ballet Manila rises with ‘Sleeping Beauty’
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde promises an unforgettable retelling of the fairy tale.
Visit Ticketworld outlets, call (02) 8891-9999, or go to to purchase tickets. 

Topics: Ballet Manila , Lisa Macuja Elizalde , “Sleeping Beauty" , Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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