MANILA, PHILIPPINES — “We will come back leaner but stronger.” This was the promise made and fulfilled by Prima Ballerina and Ballet Manila Artistic Director and CEO Lisa Macuja Elizalde as the foremost dance company returns to the stage with one of its special performances for 2022: “Rise!,” set for October 07 and 09 at its fully upgraded home venue, the Aliw Theater.
Echoing a message of hope and light amid a time of uncertainty and fear, Ballet Manila’s new show captures the essence of rising through adversities and fulfilling Lisa’s well-publicized “phoenix rising” pronouncement after the home theater was razed by a fire.
Much more than just incorporating a phoenix’s nature of rebirth and new beginnings, the special performance is also a celebration of the return of live performance. “Rise!” is a double bill show that will begin with a pop program entitled “Ballet & Ballads” and a retelling in ballet of the opera “La Traviata” as choreographed by Lisa Macuja Elizalde.
While the moving performance of Ballet Manila is the centerpiece of the much-awaited production, “Rise!” is a rare treat for fans as it will feature the beloved elements of performing arts such as opera, popular music, OPM, and orchestral music.
Featuring the highly respected conductor Maestro Gerard Salonga as the musical director and orchestra conductor, the show will be graced by renowned artists, including singer Bituin Escalante who is touted as one of the country’s best female vocalists. Award-winning opera singer Jade Riccio and multi-talented singer Ivan Nery are also headlining the show.
Supporting these prominent artists is a powerhouse creative team, led by prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde as overall artistic director, theater artist Michael Williams as the stage director, playwright Luna Inocian as the scriptwriter, and Gerardo Francisco Jr. and Martin Lawrance as choreographers. There is a 12-person opera ensemble and a 60-piece bespoke orchestra handpicked by Maestro Salonga himself.
Lisa believes the fire, the pandemic, and the challenges before this amazing comeback allowed the company to rest, recover, rebuild, and rethink its future, reinventing both the theater and Ballet Manila to become leaner, meaner, better, and ready to adapt to any kind of change that the winds may bring.
“It’s great to be back with a real live performance. There’s nothing like live performances after two years of video, filmmaking, and teaching ballet online. They say seeing is believing. We can do it and we have done it. Yes, we will soar. We all need each other to make this happen, not just Aliw, Ballet Manila, but all of the creative industries. We are here for you and we can do this together,” Liza concluded.
“Rise!” will be staged on October 07 at 8:00 pm and on October 09 at 5:00 pm at the Aliw Theater.
Tickets are available exclusively through Ticketworld.