Hoooray for ballet! T'was the second time I watched ballet my whole life. The first time was when Lisa Macuja had a mini show at Star City waaaaay back in 2002 or 2003, and the second time was this ballet. I've never really watched ballets on my own, like on YouTube or whatever. So it was nice to be able to see it live. I am lucky that while this is Ballet Manila, it actually feels like watching a ballet in Russia. I am no ballet expert, but I think that as far as ballet goes, this is as good as it gets here. 

This is The Fairy, The Swan, and The Princess, one of the shows at the 21st show season of Lisa Macuja's Ballet Manila. This is perhaps a very interesting ballet even for seasoned enthusiasts as they combined The Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty in one 2 hour spectacle. 

I didn't take videos because I personally felt that one should really watch the shows to feel the magic.  Ballet is much more alive when watched live, apparently. The music was played live by Manila Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Alexander Vikulov. There is this warmth and indescribable spark to when the music is played live. It's really an experience that one should try. 

So here are some of the photos I took!

We (me, my mom, and a close neighbor) got to the theatre a bit late because the traffic was just sooo bad. We left home by 6 in hopes of making it on time by 8, but whelp, we were wrong. The Saturday traffic coupled with Typhoon Karen made it a very slow trip, so we got to the theatre by 8:20. The ballet waits for no one, so even if it wasn't a full house yet, the show already started. We unfortunately missed the Swan Lake segment! It would have been really nice to see it... 

So for those who are wondering, Lisa Macuja is not a dancer in this show, but instead is the Artistic Director of this show. So instead of being onstage, she is seated on the front row cheering on her babies. I say this because my mom and our neighbor thought that since this is her ballet that she'd be dancing in it. As far as I know, the prima ballerina is still actively dancing, but she is also busy building her own dance empire and her own stable of principal ballerinas.

This is The Nutcracker segment of the show. 

 The storyteller (played Miguel Faustmann) then brings the transition towards The Sleeping Beauty.

I think that in the ballet version, instead of pricking herself in a spindle, Aurora pricks herself with a needle planted by Maleficent in a beautiful bouquet of roses. Aurora happily dances with the bouquet till she gets pricked. 

Alas, the needle is found by one of the men in the bouquet. 

And here comes The Lilac Fairy. I have learned thus far that there is apparently a Lilac Fairy who acts as the mediator who leads Prince Charming to the castle where Aurora is. And whoever gets the role of Lilac Fairy is normally a principal or high ranking ballerina. 

They have an amusing set of wedding guests. 

One very special guest is Mikhail Martynyuk, principal ballerino of the Kremlin Ballet, who played the role of Prince Charming.

And here's a grand finish to a grand ballet. 

Honestly, I felt that the production value was very high. I am no ballerina but I could see how much skill and muscular strength the dancers must have in order to execute their routines. Watching ballet in real life was not as dry as I thought it'd be as you'd constantly be on your toes watching the dancers and enjoying the music. 

Here's to more ballet shows! 

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