Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde returned to Russia, the country where she started training for her career, not as a dancer, but as director of Ballet Manila, a premier ballet company in the Philippines.
Ballet Manila and Filipina soprano singer Bianca Camile Lopez showcased their talents during the celebration of the Days of Philippine Culture in Moscow. The event was led by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines, the Ministry of Culture in Russia and the RosConcert Company.
“Masayang-masaya ako kasi para sa akin, nag-buong ikot 'yung aking buhay dahil dito ako nagsimula ng aking ballet training din. At ngayon, bumalik ako kasama ang aking company Ballet Manila at siyempre representing the Philippines in Days of Philippine Culture in Russia,” Macuja-Elizalde said.
She added that she’s happy with the outcome of their successful show.
The show was the very first activity launched since President Rodrigo Duterte signed in May the agreement to strengthen ties between the Philippines and Russia in the field of culture and arts.
“Implementation talaga 'yun ng agreement protocol on cultural cooperation ng Pilipinas at Russia na pinirmahan noong May. So, ito ay konkretong pagpapatupad sa agreement na ito. Kami ay natutuwa na nangyari na kasi matagal na din pina-plano ito,” said Lu Camoying, 3rd Secretary and Vice Consul of Philippine embassy in Moscow.
Lopez, a former member of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and the Philippine Women’s University-JASMS Rondalla Group, also earned praises from both Filipino and Russians who watched the show.
“Magagaling talaga silang lahat, nagustuhan namin ang Ballet Manila. Nagustuhan namin siyempre ang rondalla, magaling at maganda. Mahal ko ang Philippine culture kaya nandirito ako, nagtuturo ng Filipino para maitali ako sa Philippine culture,” added Professor Elena Florova of the Moscow State University-Institute of Asian and African Studies.