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Ballet Manila presents a Christmas special |

Arts and Culture

Ballet Manila presents a Christmas special


MANILA, Philippines - Ballet Manila unwraps three new choreographies in “Maligayang Christmas,” featuring the new all-Filipino holiday ballet Kutitap.

Presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company, Aliw Theater and Bellaroca, “Maligayang Christmas” goes onstage on Dec. 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11 at Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City.

Drawing inspiration from Ballet Manila’s popular Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang, Kutitap is a lively and colorful dance set to well-loved Christmas songs, with musical arrangement by Arnold Buena. A brainchild of BM artistic director and principal dancer Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Kutitap is a one-act all original Pinoy Christmas ballet that is a collaboration of nine-in house BM choreographers with artistic directors Macuja-Elizalde and Osias Barroso.

The libretto was inspired by the combined stories of The Little Match Girl, Romeo and Juliet and a typical Filipino family Christmas with an OFW parent returning for the holiday season. Local Christmas traditions of Simbang Gabi, pasalubong giving, caroling, and noche buena are all depicted around the twin stories of a poor boy-rich girl romance and an angel in disguise on a secret mission to find good people in the world.

The Ballet Manila boys in action

“Like Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang, our newest all-Filipino holiday ballet is something that the whole family can watch together and enjoy. We are also showing other original pieces in the program for a real holiday treat,” enthuses Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Ballet Manila artistic director and principal dancer.

Maligayang Christmas also showcases Green, a choreography by US-based Hazel Sabas-Gower set to music by Richard Galiano, that represents the four essential elements of nature — earth, water, air and fire. An expression of respect for the beauty and preservation of the environment, Green is also Sabas-Gower’s tribute to her mother who was one of the pioneers of the green movement in the Philippines in the 1970s.

The show will also feature the world premiere of The Light, a pas de trois specially choreographed by Manuel Molina for Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

Completing the line-up are Diane and Acteon and Pas D’Action from La Bayadere.

Maligayang Christmas is sponsored by Bank of Singapore and Star City, with the support of Island Rose and Ralph’s Wines and Spirits.

A scene from Diane et Acteon

Opening night tickets are available through SM Tickets at 470-2222 and Ticketworld at 891-9999 or

For inquiries, call the Ballet Manila office at 400-0292, 525-5967 or e-mail

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