WATCH: Lisa Macuja-Elizalde on 'Sleeping Beauty' world premiere
( - January 16, 2020 - 3:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — A beautiful princess who was cursed by an evil fairy so that she will fall on a sleep-like death after pricking her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel, only to be awakened after a hundred years by true love’s kiss – this is the story of "Sleeping Beauty," which has gained worldwide popularity.

Ballet Manila, the Philippines’ most solidly trained classical ballet company, will bring this classic fairy tale to life with the world premiere of "Sleeping Beauty," featuring an original choreography by Ballet Manila Chief Executive Officer and artistic director Lisa Macuja Elizalde.

As part of the ballet company’s 24th performance season, "On Pointé," this grand spectacle will also be the last installment of Macuja-Elizalde’s "Princess Trilogy." he shows are scheduled on January 18 at 6 p.m. and January 19 at 3 p.m. at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila. Tickets for the shows are available at Ticketworld.

"Sleeping Beauty" will be a modern retelling of the story of Aurora, Prince Philip and Maleficent, with new elements that were conceptualized by the prima ballerina herself with the help of Ballet Manila’s co-artistic director Osias Barroso, who is also the show’s choreography assistant and rehearsal master. 

A production that reflects the company’s sophisticated talent and creativity, Ballet Manila’s "Sleeping Beauty" will be different from the classic ballet by Ivan Vsevolozhsky and Marius Petipa. It will explore the origins of the story and explain what urged Maleficent to cast the spell on Aurora. New characters will also be introduced such as the Keeper of the Golden Plates, and the royal couples from the other installments of the "Princess Trilogy."

Macuja-Elizalde further modified the story by shortening the show and removing its divertissements. With these and more, Ballet Manila’s "Sleeping Beauty" will truly give a fresh and contemporary take on a story that has been around for centuries.

Nonetheless, Ballet Manila’s "Sleeping Beauty" is not only about new characters, interesting crossovers, and unexpected twists. With this show, Ballet Manila’s goal is to preserve traditional aspects of ballet. The production will stay true to the story’s central plot about first love, enchantment, and goodness prevailing over evil, as well as the ever-majestic music of Peter Tchaikovsky.

All in all, "Sleeping Beauty" will showcase how Ballet Manila has always identified with the classics and the Russian Vaganova method, and will manifest the company’s classical ballet abilities. 

But more than a spectacular presentation, "Sleeping Beauty" is an apt offering to start 2020 as the company rises from the recent tragedy after its home, Aliw Theater, which was ravaged by fire. With "Sleeping Beauty," Ballet Manila is all set to show Filipino ballet fans that they will continue to dance, beautifully, majestically.

Leading the ensemble is principal dancer Jasmine Pia Dames, who will take on the role of Aurora, while her fellow principal dancer Romeo Peralta will be her love interest, Prince Phillip. Other cast members include Mark Sumaylo, Rissa May Camaclang, Joan Sia, Gerardo Francisco, Rafael Perez, Alvin Dictado, Shaira Comeros and Emma Harris. — Video by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo, editing by Erwin Cagadas Jr.

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