In Swan Lake, Prince Siegfried falls in love with Odette who is cursed to become a swan at night. But he is tricked by the evil Robarth into falling for Odile, the black swan. Siegfried realizes his mistake and asks for Odette’s forgiveness. Together the reunited lovers jump into the lake, break the spell on the other-girls-turned swan and vanquish the pair of Odette and Robarth, before ascending to the heavens above Swan Lake.
Who wouldn’t know this classical ballet piece, one may have familiarized himself to the story of Swan Lake through Black Swan or even Barbie’s version of Swan Lake. This year Ballet Manila celebrates its classical roots as it brings back this iconic classical piece with choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.
According to Ms. Liza Macuja-Elizalde, Ballet Manila’s Artictic Director Swan Lake is regarded as one of the most difficult roles in the classical ballet repetoire. “The Swan Lake was first choreographed to feature two separate ballerinas- one to dance Odette and the other to dance Odile. But later on both roles came to be danced by just one person.” She even regarded it a balletic schizophrenia knowing that the dancer will have to transform from being the lyrical and vulnerable Odette to the seductive and cunning Odile, aside from that it also quite superhuman and demanding to one’s stamina to play the role.
Given that Swan Lake is one of the most rigorous classical ballet pieces to stage, It took only a month for Ballet Manila to prepare for the production since most of the dancers at the corps de ballet are already part of the past swan lake productions.For Ms. Lisa, showcasing this piece is also a form of test not only to the company’s principal and soloist but to its corps the ballet. That also came as one of the challenges for Ballet Manila, since the company has more male dancers than female dancers. So advanced students from the school has to be tapped as part of the production, the drills went under the watchful eyes of guest ballet mistress Natalia Raldugina and Ballet Manila’s very own co-artistic director and ballet master, Osias Barroso. But how does one bag the role of the lead characters?
They were given “assignments” for example the solos at the act 1 or the pas de deux at act 3 whoever Ms. Lisa sees as most fits the role will be given the lead roles. This particular version of Swan Lake will be brought to life by Ballet Manila’s finest ballerinas Mylene Aggabao, Dawna Mangahas and Abigail Oliveiro. Partnered to their respective Siegfrieds Elpidio Magat, Alfred Salgado and principal dancer Rudy De Dios. However the gala on November 15, Saturday, 7:30pm and November 16, Sunday , 3pm will feature guest artists Maxim Chaschegorov and Katherina Markowskaja of the Bavarian State Ballet.
A sneak peek of Ballet Manila’s Swan Lake:
Truly, a company’s production of Swan lake can make or break the classical tradition of a ballet company. “For as long as Ballet manila thrives, it will embrace its classical roots and Swan Lake will always be part of our repertoire and our dancers will always be prepared to perform it in all its traditional glory.” says Ms. Lisa. Definitely, this rendition of Ballet Manila is not to be missed. Well who wouldn’t love a good, old-fashioned love story of an enchanted swan queen and a lonely prince who meet at the lake side and fall in love?
Ballet Manila’s 19th performance season is presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company and sponsored by Aliw Theater and Star City, along with ACS Manufacturing Corporation (Pride and Shield Bath Soap), First United Travel, BPI Express Credit, Island Rose, Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, Krispy Kreme, Hen Lin, Papa John’s Pizza and Crunchybelly by Carlos Kitchen. For tickets and other inquiries, call Ballet Manila at 525-5967 or 400-0292, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.balletmanila.com.ph; or call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or visit ticketworld.com.ph.
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