training hours spent away from family. These are just a few of the challenges
that riddle a dancer’s path, and are more than enough to make the average
artist fold. But for those who persevere, there lies a reward that makes the
journey worth more than any worldly acclaim.
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde gathered a handful of such artists—legends in their
respective disciplines—to shed a sliver of light on their struggles, their
triumphs, and more importantly, the reasons why they keep on pushing forward.
Energy” Gary Valenciano and his son Gab Valenciano, The Maneuvers’ Jason and
Joshua Zamora, pole dance advocate Ciara Sotto, and celebrity choreographer
Nesh Janiola. Together, these Filipino proponents of dance have come together
to celebrate the art of movement—where bodies are brushes painting meaning
across a canvas called the stage.
which has been an active proponent of the International Dance Day over the past
couple of years. It is the country’s premiere classical dance company and also
runs The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila where the next generation of
Filipina ballerinas are trained. As the country’s only Prima Ballerina, Lisa
has overcome her fair share of challenges spread across a long, storied career.
She became the first Asian to earn the highest honors at the Russian Ballet
Academy, where she trained in the Vaganova style of Ballet—considered by many
to be the toughest form of ballet.