Current Events

Massive Fire Damages Aliw Theater, the Home of Ballet Manila

The historical theater was ravaged by a fire that swept through the CCP complex.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Comments

Updated as of 1:10 P.M., October 4, 2019

In the quiet hours past midnight on Tuesday, October 1, a fire that began in Star City razed through areas of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, including the Aliw Theater which served as the home of Ballet Manila’s performances.

Katherine Barkman, a guest principal dancer for Ballet Manila, expressed her sadness through an Instagram post. “My heart breaks for my @balletmanila family. After a fire last night damaged the beautiful theatre I called home for many years... I am shocked and devastated. There were many lessons I learned while dancing with Ballet Manila — I think the most valuable one was the unspoken and unbroken hope that wove itself through each member of the company,” the caption read. 

View this post on Instagram

My heart breaks for my @balletmanila family ???? After a fire last night damaged the beautiful theatre I called home for many years... I am shocked and devastated. There were many lessons I learned while dancing with Ballet Manila — I think the most valuable one was the unspoken and unbroken hope that wove itself through each member of the company. A contagious kind of faith that nothing could stop the company’s mission of bringing ballet to the people and people to the ballet. I still hear the words of my beautiful mentor @lisamacuja as she always used to tell me... «????? ?? ????» ... “Through the impossible” ???? No words have shaped my life more. I love you all. I am with you. #prayingformanila •Photo taken by my dad when I was 19 years old...standing in front of Aliw Theatre. •

A post shared by Katherine Barkman: Onstage (@katherine_barkman) on

According to a report by CNN Philippines, initial investigations show that the fire began in a prizes and toys stockroom in Star City. Investigations also point to arson and electrical trouble as possible causes of the fire. Several indoor rides within the park were damaged. The park’s management also announced with deepest regret that Star City will be closed during the Christmas season.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Aliw Theater is the flagship entertainment venue of the Star Parks Corporation, the company that owns the amusement park, Star City. The theater was designed by businessman Fred J. Elizalde in honor of his wife, the internationally acclaimed ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

The theater’s seating area spans 2,150 square meters which can accommodate 2,358 people. It’s also home to the largest orchestra pit in the country. The Aliw Theater has hosted numerous performances throughout the years, and has been the main venue of Ballet Manila’s performances.

The ballet company’s 24th performance season was to be held at the theater. Upcoming performances that are part of the roster include Giselle (October 19-20), Lisa Macuja Elizalde's Sleeping Beauty (December 7-8), and Carmina Burana & La Traviata (A Double Bill) (February 29-Mar 1, 2020).

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde posted a statement on Facebook last October 2: 

"Thank you for all your wishes and prayers during this time. We are all still in shock. The most important part is that NO ONE WAS HURT. The fire happened at night when the park and theaters were empty. We will rise - like a phoenix - and rebuild. In the meantime please stay tuned to Ballet Manila’s official pages and website for all other updates."

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

On her birthday, October 3, she posted a photo of the devastating incident, seen below. "19 years ago, Fred gave me an 850 seater theater named Star in the middle of his amusement park named Star City. Two birthdays later he gave me Aliw Theater. This time the arena like theater could sit 2,500! Yesterday, we lost almost everything in a devastating fire that ate up Star Theater, Star City, MBC building and parts of Aliw Theater," the caption read. 

View this post on Instagram

19 years ago, Fred gave me an 850 seater theater named Star in the middle of his amusement park named Star City. Two birthdays later he gave me Aliw Theater. This time the arena like theater could sit 2,500! Yesterday, we lost almost everything in a devastating fire that ate up Star Theater, Star City, MBC building and parts of Aliw Theater. Today - on my 55th birthday I would just like to say THANK YOU to all who will remember those glorious years of the park complex that brought so much joy to me, my family, my company and our community! Mabuhay po tayong lahat! Thank you to the Lord for NO ONE WAS HURT! Thank you to all who remember me today! Thank you for making me feel so very blessed! #riselikethephoenix #wewillrebuild #starcity #startheater #aliwtheater #mbc #balletmanila #familyiseverything

A post shared by lisamacuja (@lisamacuja) on

Ballet Manila released an official statement yesterday as well regarding this season's lineup of shows. The announcement was posted on Macuja-Elizalde's Instagram account.

Performances of Giselle, slated for October 19-20, will now take place on October 17. Tickets purchased for the original show dates will be honored. More tickets can also be purchased for those who would still like to watch the performance. The show will take place in the CCP Main Theater.

"More information will be made available regarding how to purchase for the October 17 performance within the next two (2) days," the announcement read. "A battle cry of our CEO and Artistic Director is 'Let's Dance'; That we will despite the attendant circumstances. See you at the ballet!" 

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
View this post on Instagram

@balletmanila GISELLE is happening on Oct. 17 at 8pm in the CCP Main Theater!

A post shared by lisamacuja (@lisamacuja) on

Comments
Recommended Videos
About The Author
Nicole Cruz
View Other Articles From Nicole Cruz
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
For starters, good quality and design are aspects they will appreciate.
 
Share
The first-ever Filipino Netflix movie imparts nuggets of wisdom to the social media-crazed generation.
 
Share
 
Share
Because the holiday season isn't complete without a movie marathon.
 
Share
Looking to grow your own vintage watch collection? Start with these classic picks.
 
Share
 
Share
Her portrayal of a masked mercenary in this month’s Rise of Skywalker is one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets. Keri Russell prepares for the big reveal at a brownstone in Brooklyn, a galaxy far, far away.
 
Share
Take a ride on a train through Asia or take a trip to a champagne chalet, the options are endless.
 
Share
Alcohol-free traveling is an emerging trend, but there’s much more to this phenomenon than meets the eye.
 
Share
It comes complete with jewels, corgis, banquets, and etiquette lessons.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US