Ballet Manila presents pirate adventure 'Le Corsaire'

() - September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Swashbuckling heroes, buried treasure and damsels in distress make one powerful combination in Ballet Manila’s latest production, Le Corsaire. The full-length classic adventure on pointes takes center stage on Oct. 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10 at the Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja leads Ballet Manila in bringing this caper to life focusing on two best friends, Medora and Gulnara, who are kidnapped by Lankadem. They are rescued by the pirates Conrad, Ali and Birbanto. However, Birbanto later allies himself with Lankadem to outsmart Conrad and take all the treasure for themselves. Medora is tricked into drugging Conrad, and the maidens are in peril again, but Conrad and his faithful servant Ali arrive just in time to save the day.

Macuja describes Le Corsaire as a show-off piece where the five principal characters are able to highlight “pyrotechnical” dancing.

“They share the limelight in several grand pas de deux, pas de trios and extremely demanding solo variations. It features superb and difficult combinations of turns and jumps that ballet dancers have to master. Personally, what I like about this ballet are the various male and female solo variations. It particularly gives ample opportunity for the male leads to show off their technique and strength.”

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde as Medora with Nazer Salgado as Conrad in Ballet Manila’s Le Corsaire

Taking on the lead roles are: Macuja, Mylene Aggabao, Sarah Abigail-Cruz, Lena Chemova (Medora); Yant Marduli, Zaira Cosico, Jennifer Rose Olayvar (Gulnara); Gerardo Francisco, Alvin Santos, Francis Cascaño, Elpidio Magat, Arnulfo Andrade (Ali); Rudy De Dios, Niño Guevarra, Nzer Salgado (Conrad); and Romeo Peralta, Alfren Salgado, Harold Salgado and Manny Febra (Lankadem).

Le Corsaire is set to the music of Ricardo Drigo, Adolphe Adam, Cesar Pugni, Leo Debiles and Prince Oldenburg, with choreograpy by Marius Petipa as restaged by Natalia Raidugina and Osias Barroso.

Ballet Manila first staged the full-length Le Corsaire in a joint performance with the Krasnoyarsk Ballet in 1997 here in the Philippines. Since then, BM has danced the ballet a total of 45 times.

The three-act ballet could very well be an Arabian Nights tale, says Macuja. As she explains, “It is full of treachery, greed, lust, vengeance, violence and of course, love. It’s every bit of an exciting roller coaster ride with a happy ending.”

Le Corsaire is sponsored by the Manila Broadcasting Company, Star City, Island Rose, Ralph’s Wine and Spirits and Bank of Singapore. For inquiries, call Ballet Manila at 400-0262 or 525-5967, or e-mail infor@balletmanila.ph. Tickets are also available through Ticketworld at www.ticketworld.com.ph or 891-9999.

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