On the Radar

WATCH: Lisa Macuja-Elizalde shares Star City rehabilitation updates

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Last month, the Bureau of Fire Protection confirmed that the fire that razed Start City Complex in Pasay City last October was not arson.
According to reports, the BFP said the blaze was caused by electrical fire.

“Investigation has been closed with the finding that it was accidental. It wasn’t arson, so we’re now making plans to rebuild actively, full steam ahead, and re-open both Aliw Theater and Star City hopefully by October this year,” Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde declared in a recent interview with Philstar.com.

Since around 80 percent of Aliw Theater is still intact, the rehabilitation would revolve around restoring the basics, said Elizalde.

“So, we really just have to restore running water, restore electricity, beef up the pillars to make them safe and then clean everything up. We can probably re-open Aliw Theater before Star City. The damage is not as bad as Star. Star is almost completely gone, so that would take a while before it can re-open.”

Lisa did not know yet if the amusement park would restore its look and over 30 rides and attractions before the fire. All rides have been destroyed, except for four indoor ones and the outdoor rides. They are yet to find funding for additional or new attractions, if there would be any.

“I’m going to wait for Star City to make their official announcement. All I know is that we’re gonna first and foremost rebuild Aliw Theater for Ballet Manila to perform there again as soon as possible.”

The fire prompted Lisa to make many changes in the 25th anniversary plans of her ballet company, Ballet Manila. Depending on how fast Aliw Theater can be operational, she could announce their company’s solid silver season plans. They also stopped hiring new dancers due to budget issues.

Since the fire, Ballet Manila has reached out to different venues, from mall shows to schools.

“We’ve gone back to our old motto ‘Have floor, will dance,” enthused Lisa.

“We’ve even gone to schools with full-length ballets, which we’ve never done before. So I think it’s a really big and positive development that we are reaching out to new audiences and new venues because of the fact that we’ve lost our home.” 

She hopes to continue bringing Ballet Manila to different venues even after Aliw Theater’s re-opening.

“Because that’s the mission and vision of Ballet Manila, to bring ballet to the people and people to the ballet.” — Videos by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo, editing by Erwin Cagadas Jr.



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