To usher in Christmas, Ballet Manila brings back the world’s most beloved rags-to-riches story that has captured the hearts of children for countless generations— “Cinderella.”
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s ballet adaptation of well-loved fairy tale will go on stage starting Nov. 23, at Aliw Theater, Pasay City.
Macuja said BM would be restaging the ballet classic because “amid global doom, there is always room for some Christmas cheer.”
“I want kids of all ages to laugh and for parents to delight in the sound of their children’s laughter,” she said. “I want to fill the air with love and magic and allow people to forget about the cares of daily life, even for just one evening… Because in this cynical world, I still want to believe that wishes can come true and that no matter how difficult the challenges we are faced with today, hearts filled with kindness and compassion will always triumph in the end.”
Created in 2016, Cinderella is the first of Macuja’s “Princess Series.” After playing to sold-out crowds on its world premiere, it was followed by the equally successful “Snow White” in 2017. In 2019, BM will stage “Sleeping Beauty,” she said.
“My dream is to see families going on an early Christmas theater experience together and really enjoying themselves,” she said. “I want to preserve the spirit of season by creating fantasy ballets that are light, entertaining, amusing—even funny! At the same time, I want even the youngest members of the audience to have such an amazing time that they would like to come back again and again, eventually growing up to become regular balletomanes.”
BM principal ballerinas Abigail Oliveiro and Joan Emery Sia will alternate in the title role. They will be partnered by their Mark Sumaylo and Rudy de Dios as the Prince.
Fairy Godmother—a role which Macuja herself originated in the world premiere—will be performed by company artist Kong Ke Xin.
Completing the main cast are John Balagot as Cinderella’s scheming stepmother, with Jasmine Pia Dames, Rissa May Camaclang, Nicole Barroso and Emma Harris alternating as the grumpy stepsisters.
Macuja asked audience to expect “magical transformations” such as a pumpkin that turns into a glass carriage, forest creatures that magically transform into a coachman, footmen and white horses. There will also be the spectacular wedding in the end.
“Cinderella” will feature a selection from Sergey Prokofiev’s original ballet score interspersed with the happier and more familiar melodies by Oscar Wallace from the 1950 animated film, as well as a few popular tunes from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical play—all tied up in a lovely bundle with original sections composed and arranged by Roy del Valle. Other artistic collaborators include Osias Barroso for additional choreography, Mio Infante for set design, Michael Miguel for costumes, and Jaime Villanueva for lighting design. –CONTRIBUTED
Ballet Manila’s “Cinderella” will be staged on Nov. 24-Dec. 1, 6 p.m., and Nov. 25-Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. Call 8919999; visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.