This Month in BM History: March 2004
Ballet Manila pays tribute to Peter Tchaikovsky and his most endearing heroines in The Swan, The Fairy and the Princess. First staged in 2009 and restaged in 2016 as part of the company’s 21st performance season dubbed Revenge of the Classics, it is a nod to Odette in Swan Lake, Masha or the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.
A few years before this three-in-one tribute was conceived, Ballet Manila had already paid homage to the great composer in An Evening of Tchaikovsky. BM partnered with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in this one-night-only show held on March 28, 2004 at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The program opened with Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Fifth Symphony, followed by the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Swan Lake Act 2. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde danced both as Juliet and Odette, with Osias Barroso as her partner.
The fascination with the Russian composer is easily explained by Macuja-Elizalde: “Tchaikovsky is a ballerina’s composer. His musical phrases, haunting romantic melodies and powerful rhythms, crescendos and decrescendos inspire your limbs to soar or float gracefully as needed. It’s the music that dictates the attack of the movement – and Tchaikovsky has composed some of the most musical of ballets, where the movement and the music match perfectly.”