Ballet Manila's Le Corsaire
About the Event
Swashbuckling heroes, buried treasure and damsels in distress make one powerful combination in Ballet Manila's latest production, Le Corsaire.
Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja leads Ballet Manila in bringing this caper to life focusing on two best friends, Medora and Gulnara, who are kidnapped by Lankadem. They are rescued by the pirates Conrad, Ali and Birbanto. However, Birbanto later allies himself with Lankadem to outsmart Conrad and take all the treasure for themselves. Medora is tricked into drugging Conrad, and the maidens are in peril again, but Conrad and his faithful servant Ali arrive just in time to save the day.
Macuja describes Le Corsaire as a show-off piece where the five principal characters are able to highlight "pyrotechnical" dancing.
"They share the limelight in several grande pas de deux, pas de trois and extremely demanding solo variations. It features superb and difficult combinations of turns and jumps that ballet dancers have to master. Personally, what I like about this ballet are the various male and female solo variations. It particularly gives ample opportunity for the male leads to show off their technique and strength."
Taking on the lead roles are: Lisa Macuja, Mylene Aggabao, Abigail Cruz, Lena Chernova (Medora); Yanti Marduli, Zaira Cosico, Jennifer Rose Olayvar (Gulnara); Gerardo Francisco, Alvin Santos, Francis Cascaño, Elpidio Magat, Arnulfo Andrade (Ali); Rudy De Dios, Niño Guevarra, Nazer Salgado (Conrad); and Romeo Peralta, Alfren Salgado, Harold Salgado and Manny Febra (Lankadem).
Le Corsaire is set to the music of Ricardo Drigo, Adolphe Adam, Cesar Pugni, Leo Debiles and Prince Oldenbourg, with choreography by Marius Petipa as restaged by Natalia Raldugina and Osias Barroso.
Ballet Manila first staged the full-length Le Corsaire in a joint performance with the Krasnoyarsk Ballet in 1997 here in the Philippines. Since then, BM has danced the ballet a total of 45 times.
The three-act ballet could very well be an Arabian Nights tale, says Macuja. As she explains, "It is full of treachery, greed, lust, vengeance, violence and of course, love. It's every bit of an exciting roller coaster ride with a happy ending".