A family favorite returns to Ballet Manila’s 23rd Season
In 2016, Ballet Manila surprised and delighted theater fans with Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s first full-length choreographic work. Cinderella combined special effects, refreshing humor, and a heartwarming tale to become an instant family hit. The fantasy production cast a spell on its audience, which also happens to be the biggest in Ballet Manila’s history.
Two seasons later, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s Cinderella is ready to weave its magic once more. For the first time since its world premiere, the show returns to Aliw Theater for two weekends of fantasy ballet that the whole family can enjoy.
Unlike earlier versions of Cinderella,Ballet Manila’s adaptation was written to cater to all ages. “The one by Sergei Prokofievcan better be appreciated by mature audiences, while the theatre and animated versions were created more for children,” shares Ballet Manila CEO and Artistic Director Macuja-Elizalde. “Never has there been a version that captures both, so we went ahead and created one.”
Cinderella features music from both the Broadway and Disney versions of the tale, with excerpts from the original Profokiev version inserted in between. Principal Dancers Abi Oliveiro and Joan Sia take on the role of the lovely Cinderella, while Principal Rudy de Dios and Soloist Mark Sumaylo dance the role of the dashing Prince Charming. There’s zero doubt that Joan and Rudy are set to put up another enchanting performance, given that they are among the company’s most seasoned dancers. On the other hand, Abi and Mark share an interesting on-stage chemistry—they’re a real couple off-stage, after all.
Ballet Manila also pulled out all the stops to make Cinderella a stunning visual feast. Award-winning production designer Mio Infanteconceptualized the sets, which come alive with the help of a special effects team. Meanwhile, the dazzling costumes were designed by fashion designer Michael Miguel, who has created costumes for some of Ballet Manila’s most iconic shows.
“We’re proud of this modern take on the classic tale. Consider it a romantic comedy that’s also full of fantasy,” adds Lisa. Ballet Manila has started doing public tours to promote the shows, the most recent stops being SM Mall of Asia and Resorts World Manila. Given the warm reception, it looks like Cinderella has already begun casting its spell on a new generation of theater fans.
Cinderella goes on stage on tonight and tomorroe, and on Dec. 1 and 2.