Lisa Macuja-Elizalde receives lifetime achievement award
() - June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A tearful Lisa Macuja-Elizalde (photo) accepted the lifetime achievement award given by her peers in theater last May 25.

Now on her 27th year as a professional ballerina, Macuja-Elizalde was accorded the Natatanging Gawad Buhay Award by the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group, Inc. (Philstage), an umbrella organization of performing companies in the country.

The other recipients of the award were stage veterans Tony Mabesa and Tony Espejo, and composer Ryan Cayabyab.

In her speech, Macuja-Elizalde announced that she would be retiring soon, with the 46-year-old still expected to dance though for another three to four years. Her performance schedule is full, including tours with her company Ballet Manila in England, Ireland, Singapore and Korea this year alone. In October, she will also headline Swan Lake — the last time, she said, that she will be dancing its full-length version.

She also thanked her parents Cesar and Susan Macuja, husband Fred Elizalde, and her ballet teachers in the Philippines and in Russia. It was in Russia where she trained in the Vaganova method and became the first foreigner to be invited to join the Kirov Ballet in 1986.

Macuja-Elizalde likewise paid tribute to all her partners who, she said, “have really made me look good in the 27 years that I have been dancing,” notably her co-artistic director in Ballet Manila Osias Barroso who was her partner for 16 years.

She also acknowledged her colleagues in her previous groups, Ballet Philippines and Philippine Ballet Theatre, and now in Ballet Manila, of which she is artistic director and principal dancer.

Philstage is comprised of Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), Philippine Education Theater Association (PETA), Repertory Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino and Triumphant People’s Evangelistic Theater Society (TRUMPETS).

BALLET BALLET MANILA BALLET MANILA OSIAS BARROSO BALLET PHILIPPINES BALLET PHILIPPINES AND PHILIPPINE BALLET THEATRE CESAR AND SUSAN MACUJA EVANGELISTIC THEATER SOCIETY FRED ELIZALDE GANTIMPALA THEATER FOUNDATION IN OCTOBER MACUJA-ELIZALDE
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