Ballet Manila's 'Le Corsaire' starts Oct. 1


Posted at Sep 28 2010 03:50 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2010 11:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ballet Manila's latest production, the pirate adventure-ballet "Le Corsaire," takes center stage beginning October 1 at the Aliw Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex in Pasay City.

The full-length ballet will feature prima ballerina Lisa Macuja in the lead in this tale of swashbuckling heroes, buried treasure and damsels in distress.


Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Nazer Salgado in Ballet Manila's 'Le Corsaire'. Credit: Ballet Manila


"Le Corsaire," a 3-act ballet that could very well be an Arabian Nights tale, revolves around the story of 2 best friends, Medora and Gulnara, who are kidnapped by Lankadem and later rescued by pirates Conrad, Ali and Birbanto. But Birbanto later allies himself with Lankadem, in an effort to keep all the treasure for themselves.

“It is full of treachery, greed, lust, vengeance, violence and of course, love. It's every bit of an exciting roller coaster ride with a happy ending," said Macuja.

According to Macuja, "Le Corsaire" will show off the 5 principal characters' "pyrotechnical" dancing.

“They share the limelight in several grande pas de deux, pas de trois and extremely demanding solo variations. It features superb and difficult combinations of turns and jumps that ballet dancers have to master.

"Personally, what I like about this ballet are the various male and female solo variations. It particularly gives ample opportunity for the male leads to show off their technique and strength," Macuja said.


Elena Chernova dancing as Medora in 'Le Corsaire'. Credit: Ballet Manila


Aside from Macuja, the other dancers playing lead roles are: Mylene Aggabao, Abigail Cruz, Lena Chernova (Medora); Yanti Marduli, Zaira Cosico, Jennifer Rose Olayvar (Gulnara); Gerardo Francisco, Alvin Santos, Francis Cascaño, Elpidio Magat, Arnulfo Andrade (Ali); Rudy De Dios, Niño Guevarra, Nazer Salgado (Conrad); and Romeo Peralta, Alfren Salgado, Harold Salgado and Manny Febra (Lankadem).

The ballet is set to the music of Ricardo Drigo, Adolphe Adam, Cesar Pugni, Leo Debiles and Prince Oldenbourg, with choreography by Marius Petipa as restaged by Natalia Raldugina and Osias Barroso.

This is not the first time that Ballet Manila will stage "Le Corsaire." It first performed it with the Krasnoyarsk Ballet in 1997 in the Philippines. Since then, Ballet Manila has danced "Le Corsaire" 45 times.

Tickets are available through Ticketworld at 891-9999 and Ballet Manila at 400-0292 or 525-5967, or e-mail [email protected]