Injury. Frustratingly high standards. Hundreds of 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.
For International Dance Day 2017, Ballet Manila’s 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.
The collaboration video features “Mr. Pure 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.
This initiative is spearheaded by Ballet Manila, 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.
Watch the video below: