A Fitting Finale
March 13, 2017 | BY Philippine Tatler
For three days, Manila was treated to a ballet spectacle unlike any other as one of the country’s premier classical dance companies, Ballet Manila, staged the enduring classic, Don Quixote.
Leaving audience members on the edge of their seats, the final production in the company’s 21st performance season gave all its principal dancers and soloists a chance to shine and showcase the true strength of the Vaganova Academy style of dancing.
Don Quixote is widely known all over the ballet world as one of the hardest pieces to perform.
“Two of the reasons why Don Quixote is so challenging is, first, it requires an almost abnormal amount of stamina and strength to pull off—not just for Kitri and Basilio, but for the rest of the cast as well,” shares Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Ballet Manila’s Artistic Director and CEO. “Another is the fact that it allows more room for freedom and creative expression. And if you’re someone who is so used to following rules, this can prove to be really nerve-racking.”
Proving her worth as one of Ballet Manila’s main girls, Katherine Barkman wittingly danced as Kitri, a young and feisty Spanish lass who runs away with the love of her life. And that love of her life is Basilio, a charming barber who, by and large, is the embodiment of a true hombre—playful, confident, and brave. This role was performed by Rudy de Dios, one of Ballet Manila’s finest danseurs, during the opening night. De Dios is known as a dancer who specializes in swift yet precise and strong movements and for having one of the strongest jumps in the industry.
Speaking about her reaction after the seeing all the shows, Macuja-Elizalde says, “This is the first time that the company staged Don Quixote without me dancing the part of Kitri. To be honest, I really put off performing this piece for a long time, not just because Kitri is my signature role, but because I was waiting for the company’s dancers to reach a certain maturity before allowing them to step into the shoes of these much-loved characters...
...After seeing the show, more than anything else, I felt really proud. I felt assured that our next generation of ballerinas and danseurs are able to carry on performing this classical masterpiece.” Don Quixote is the closing act of Ballet Manila’s 21st performance season, Revenge of the Classics.
Their next performance season is set to open in August. Information about it is still under wraps; but will be out soon.
To learn more about Ballet Manila and their upcoming activities, you may visit www.balletmanila.com.ph or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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