Ballet Manila returns with Upward push

JUST over two years since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live events and nearly three years after a fire ravaged its home theater, Ballet Manila has returned to live performance with a special show, Rise!, a double bill featuring all the elements of the performing arts such as opera, popular, OPM, and orchestral music.

The new show captures the essence of rising from adversity after a fire razed the Aliw Theater in 2019. Rise! will have performances at the rebuilt Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex in Pasay City on Oct. 7 (8 p.m.) and Oct. 9 (5 p.m.).

After the fire, Ballet Manila closed their 24th performance season with a performance of the same title at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura in Taguig City in January 2020.

The new version of Rise! is a double bill that will begin with a pop program entitled Ballet & Ballads and a retelling in ballet of the opera La Traviata as choreographed by Ballet Manila artistic director and CEO Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

The first part of the program will feature inspirational music and songs.

“It will be a mixed of English and Filipino songs,” Ms. Macuja-Elizalde said during a press conference in Aliw Theater on Sept. 27.

The numbers were choreographed by Gerardo Francisco, Jr., Tony Fabella, Martin Lawrence, and Ms. Macuja-Elizalde.

The second half part of the program will feature a ballet adaptation of Guiseppe Verdi’s La Traviata which will run for 50 minutes instead of the opera’s original three-hour running time.

It will include a 12-person opera ensemble with soloists including award-winning opera singer Jade Riccio as Violeta, and a 60-piece orchestra.

“It is a dream come true for me to choreograph to the music of Guiseppe Verdi. La Traviata has always been my favorite opera of all time,” Ms. Macuja-Elizalde said. With Gerard Salonga as musical director and orchestra conductor, the show also features pop singer Bituin Escalante, and singer Ivan Nery. The creative team is led by Ms. Macuja-Elizalde as overall artistic director, and includes Michael Williams as the stage director, and Luna Inocian as scriptwriter.

Tickets are available exclusively through Ticketworld, via and 8891-9999. — MAPS

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