Lisa Macuja's farewell performance of "Swan Lake" Oct. 7-15, 2011

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I once wrote about Lisa Macuja's silver anniversary as a ballet dancer in 2009 which you can read here.  When I wrote the piece, it was announced that she would perform her farewell shows as Kitri in Don Quixote, though in their announcement below, it seems she might still perform it again in the "next two to three years."

Announcement from Ballet Manila

Lisa Macuja Holds Farewell Performances of "Swan Lake"

Lisa Macuja
Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde will dance her last full-length Swan Lake in a series of performances with Ballet Manila starting October 7, Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City. She is also featured in shows on: October 9, Sunday, 1 p.m.; and October 15, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Other performances of Swan Lake with Ballet Manila principal dancer Mylene Aggabao, company members from Korea Ja Young Kang and Hana Oh, and soloists Zaira Cosio and Abigail Cruz alternating in the lead roles, are slated on: October 8, Saturday, and October 15, Saturday.

Swang Song
This production kicks off Macuja-Elizalde’s “Swan Song Series,” her farewell full-length performances of her signature roles, starting with Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, and also including Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Giselle in the ballet of the same title. The entire series will unfold in the next two to three years.

“Not many ballerinas have the privilege of planning their own retirement, so I am blessed to be able to have this series,” says Macuja-Elizalde.

Swan Lake
In Swan Lake, Prince Siegfried meets and falls in love with Odette who is cursed to become a swan at night. But he is tricked by the evil Rothbart into falling for Odile, the Black Swan, whom he mistakes for Odette. Realizing his mistake, Siegfried asks for Odette’s forgiveness. The lovers then jump into the lake, break the spell on the other girls-turned-swans and vanquish the pair of Rothbart and Odile, before ascending to the heavens.

Dancing as Prince Siegfried is David Makhateli, principal dancer of The Royal Ballet in London, whom Macuja-Elizalde personally invited to be her partner for the production.

Odette/Odile for the last time
Macuja-Elizalde considers the dual role of Odette/Odile as one of the most challenging roles in ballet. Originally choreographed to feature two ballerinas, it later came to be danced by just one. “It’s a quite a superhuman feat and really demanding on your stamina as a performing athlete. It’s also difficult to transform into two completely different characters—the lyrical, vulnerable Odette and the seductive and cunning Odile.”

With David Makhateli, principal
dancer of London Royal Ballet
That Macuja-Elizalde is taking on the dual role for the very last time is a sentimental event for her. “The first full-length Swan Lake performance that I watched was the one that changed my life, when I saw Japanese ballerina Yoko Morishita dance as Odette and Odile. This performance was the tipping point for me as a teenager. I was truly inspired by Yoko’s White Swan and Black Swan. I thought that if this tiny Asian ballerina can dance this European classical ballet role so well—then maybe, just maybe, I will be able to dance Odette/Odile one day as well.”

In her career spanning 27 theater seasons, the ballerina has completed 122 performances of the White Swan and 72 of the Black Swan. S
he has also danced both parts in 20 full-length productions of Swan Lake, nine of those abroad.

Contact 400-0292, 525-5967, or 891-9999 (Ticketworld) or 470-2222 (SM Tickets). Visit

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