Romance, magic and a happy ending  as Ballet Manila brings back ‘Cinderella’

Romance, magic and a happy ending as Ballet Manila brings back ‘Cinderella’

Romance is in the air as Ballet Manila principal dancer Abigail Oliveiro and soloist Mark Sumaylo portray the lead characters in Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s Cinderella. Photo by Jojit Lorenzo

Ballet Manila brings back Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s Cinderella, with the beloved fairy tale’s trademark romance, magic and happy ending told in dance by the country’s acclaimed “storytellers on toes.”

Cinderella goes onstage on November 24 and December 1, 6 p.m., and on November 25 and December 2, 3 p.m. at Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City.

Ballet Manila artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde is excited over the return of Cinderella, her first full-length choreography which premiered in 2016. “It’s a Cinderella that is modern but familiar, witty and comedic, a bit sentimental yet absolutely delightful! It is a really light and happy ballet where kids and grownups alike will laugh out loud,” says Macuja-Elizalde.

Ballet Manila principals Joan Emery Sia and Rudy De Dios, as Cinderella and Prince Charming, meet and fall in love in a grand ball – with the help of Fairy Godmother (Kong Ke Xin). Photo by MarBi Photography

The ballet version of Cinderella also showcases the romance and enchantment of the popular fairy tale. “It will make everyone in the audience swoon to the mesmerizing power of love!” Macuja-Elizalde assures.

Principal artists Abigail Oliveiro and Joan Emery Sia share the role of Cinderella, the kind-hearted country lass who endures the wicked ways of her stepmother (John Balagot) and stepsisters (alternately played by Jasmine Pia Dames and Rissa May Camaclang, and Nicole Barroso and Emma Harris). Thanks to the appearance of her Fairy Godmother (Kong Ke Xin), Cinderella gets to attend the ball where she meets her Prince Charming (principal danseur Rudy De Dios and soloist Mark Sumaylo). After she hurriedly departs at the stroke of midnight, leaving behind her glass slipper, the prince embarks on a quest to find her.

The pre-Christmas production is set to dazzle with Cinderella’s metamorphosis from soot girl to princess ready to attend the grand ball at the palace, scene-stealing moments of tiny “animals” magically transformed into a coachman, footmen and white horses, and all the thrilling dance sequences to be performed by the Ballet Manila cast.

For the music, Macuja-Elizalde uses a selection from the Prokofiev score, melodies of Oscar Wallace from the animated film and popular tunes from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical strung together with original sections by composer/musical arranger Roy del Valle.

Cinderella is Ballet Manila’s third offering for its 23rd performance season dubbed “Tour de Force,” following Iconic 1.0, Iconic 2.0 and Le Corsaire.

Tickets to Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s Cinderella are available at TicketWorld via or 891-9999.

19 Ballet Manila dancers vie for honors in CCP competition

19 Ballet Manila dancers vie for honors in CCP competition

Ballet Dictionary: Classical Tutu

Ballet Dictionary: Classical Tutu