‘Le Corsaire’ Re-Choreographed by Lisa Macuja Elizalde to Run this February
Ballet Manila is set to stage a re-choreographed version of Le Corsaire as the first production of its 26th performance season.
The upcoming production, running for two shows only on February 24, 8pm and February 25, 5pm at the Aliw Theater, has been re-choreographed by Ballet Manila’s Artistic Director Lisa Macuja Elizalde herself.
Described as “…a volatile cocktail of love, adventure, and heart-stopping action”, the ballet follows the story of Conrad and his band of pirates as they rescue harem girls—especially the beautiful Medora—from slave traders and the sleazy Sultan Pasha. Their adventure takes the audience through an exotic journey over land and sea, punctuated by the clash of swords and dazzling acrobatics.
For Macuja Elizalde, creating her version of Le Corsaire has always been a dream. “I have always wanted to re-work Le Corsaire. When I was dancing the role of Medora, I found her character to be a damsel in distress waiting for Conrad to save her; getting captured twice,” she shares. “I wanted to change the order of the main dances in Le Corsaire as well, because I always felt that there should be a build-up to the main dances.”
She also notes that part of the charm of Le Corsaire is that all main characters are given the chance to shine. “For me, the main draw and importance of staging a Le Corsaire is the fact that there are many principal characters that all have their respective times to shine and show off technical and virtuosic feats as the ballet unfolds.”
For the February 24, 8pm show, the cast will feature Abigail Oliveiro as Medora, Mark Sumaylo as Conrad, Joshua Enciso as Ali, Shaira Comeros as Gulnara, Noah Esplana as Lankadem, Romeo Peralta as Birbanto, Rissa May Camaclang as Birbanto’s Wench, Gerardo Francisco as Pasha, Jessa Balote as Odalisque #1, Jessica Pearl Dames as Odalisque #2, and Jasmine Pia Dames as Odalisque #3.
For the February 25, 5pm show, the cast will feature Jasmine Pia Dames as Medora, Romeo Peralta as Conrad, Gerardo Francisco/ Sean Pelegrin as Ali, Jessica Pearl Dames as Gulnara, Anselmo Dictado as Lankadem, Joshua Enciso as Birbanto, Abigail Oliveiro as Birbanto’s Wench, Sean Pelegrin/ Gerardo Francisco as Pasha, Shaira Comeros as Odalisque #1, Rissa May Camaclang as Odalisque #2, and Eva Chatal as Odalisque #3.
Ballet Manila last staged a production of Le Corsaire in 2018. Tickets are available through Ticketworld.