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Lisa Macuja unveils Ballet Manila’s 2024 offerings; honors late dance partner Osias Barroso Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Ballet Manila revealed its offerings for 2024 under its 26th season "Ballet Master Pieces" and the three off-season shows that will close the year.

Company director and revered ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde unveiled the lineup at a press conference last January 31 in Aliw Theater, Ballet Manila's home for over two decades now.

Lisa pointed out that while the 26th season closes in September, the company still has an off-season, which is often busier than regular performances.

"Announcing the season gives us a sense of confidence, excitement, and hope. Certainly 'Ballet Master Pieces,' our 2024 season, is going to be a busy one," Lisa said.

She also paid tribute to her longtime dancing partner and Ballet Manila's co-founder Osias Barroso Jr. who passed away last December from a stroke following a lingering illness. He was 58 years old.

WATCH: Lisa Macuja-Elizalde reveals the line-up of Ballet Manila’s 26th season titled “Ballet Master Pieces.”

The company’s 2024 off-season which begins in the year’s latter half features the world premiere of “Florante at Laura.” | via @kjpurneIIpic.twitter.com/USiqakGdwZ

— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) January 31, 2024

The season will open with a reworked version of Lisa's "Le Corsaire (The Pirate)" during the last weekend of February, where the company director tweaked her choreography and switched several scenes in the run.

Next are three performances of "Tatlong Kwento ni Lola Basyang" in May featuring the participation of theater actress Mitch Valdez as the titular storyteller.

Mitch, who was present at the press conference, shared she participated in ballet performances before, but quipped that she is preparing for Ballet Manila's 27th season and just needs a male partner capable of lifting her.

Lisa joked further than Mitch might join her dancers for the performances, and on a more serious note said "Tatlong Kwento ni Lola Basyang" was a Filipino classic that carried the company through years hence its inclusion once more.

Wrapping the season proper is the ballet classic "Giselle" on August 31 and September 3. It may be recalled that "Giselle" was the performance affected by the 2019 Star City fire and had to be continued in Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) main theater.

By coincidence, the Aliw Theater reopened in August 2022 while the CCP — home of Ballet Philippines — is undergoing renovations and will open its doors again in 2025.

WATCH: Company members of Ballet Manila perform excerpts from the 26th season’s offerings: “Le Corsaire (The Pirate),” “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang,” and “Giselle.” | via @kjpurneIIpic.twitter.com/LFrcxyriz1

— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) January 31, 2024

The 2024 off-season will begin with the world premiere of "Florante at Laura" choreographed by Gerardo Francisco Jr. and Martin Lawrence in October.

The new production, which is still being finalized, is a result of the popularity of Martin's reinterpretation of "Romeo and Juliet" and Gerardo's "Ibong Adarna."

Such was the insistent public demand of the latter that it will be the Arete Season, in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University creativity and innovation hub, offering in November.

Wrapping up Ballet Manila's 2024 is Lisa's "Snow White" running from December 25 to 30, completing her Princess Trilogy.

All the performances will be in Aliw Theater, though Lisa noted Ballet Manila will find a second home in Ateneo's Arete.

"The lineup is based on the company's capability. We still don't have the strength or size to mount large performances like 'Swan Lake'," Lisa ended. "'Giselle' is always possible while 'Le Corsaire' can feature many prinicipal dancers."

RELATED: 'One More Chance The Musical' cast announced

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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