my very first blog, on the press launch of Ballet Manila in London

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Had an amazing opportunity yesterday afternoon to meet the cast of Ballet Manila at the Philippine Embassy in London, during the press launch for their residency at the Shaw theatre this week.

The group had recently flown in from Manila but were still in fine form.

Was able to interview Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. Listening to her story of her amazing career and dedication was an inspiration. Lisa had the vision to bring ballet to the people.

Lisa explained how she puts on peformances throughout the Philippines from Abra to Mindanao! Sometimes performing in small venues and charging very little for tickets in comparison to more than a hundred dollars a ticket to watch ballet abroad!

Lisa and the awesome team, totalling 17 who she brought from the Philippines went on to explain the work they do in even training children to dance as well. This is through scolarships and whilst the students are training they are even fed.

This company is truly an inspiration, we are very blessed here in the UK that Lisa has brought her team over to entertain as well as inspire us here in London.

I was given a unique opportunity to watch the cast at the technical rehearsal on Wednesday night and considering the cast had only came from the Manila a day earlier the talents they showed were incredible.

I really do urge filipinos here in the UK to do all they can to get a ticket, this show is a once in a lifetime opportunity and really not to be missed.

Believe it or not although the team do an amazing job in showcasing Philippine culture and talents around the world, at present they do not get government funding whereas there is funding for the arts here in the UK.

I hope and pray that following the visit of Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and the cast that funding becomes available so that Lisa who was recently given a lifetime achievement award is able to continue her vital work in the country of being able to bring Ballet Manila to the masses!

The cast will be in the Shaw theatre for the rest of this week, for tickets please go to

Maraming salamat and more power to the cast!

Malcolm Conlan


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