Sen. Santiago nominates Macuja-Elizalde for National Artist
MANILA, Philippines – Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde has been nominated by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago for National Artist for Dance.
Santiago sent a letter to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to formally nominate Macuja-Elizalde, whom she described as the “ballerina of the people.”
She also filed a resolution in the Senate, nominating the ballerina. The Senator likewise urged President Benigno Aquino III to confer the National Artist Award for Dance on Macuja-Elizalde.
“No Filipina ballerina has yet surpassed the recognition and pride Lisa Macuja-Elizalde has brought to the Philippines,” Santiago said.
“She is the embodiment of talent, creativity and imagination, technical proficiency of the highest order, grace, and humanity that makes her worthy of the title of National Artist,” she added.
In her resolution, Santiago cited the many national and international citations and recognitions that Macuja-Elizalde has received for her outstanding contribution to ballet and society.
These include the Pearl of the Orient Award and the Gawad Buhay Awards for the Performing Arts in 2008; the Order of International Friendship awarded by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2001; the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 1997; and the Ten Outstanding Young Filipino Award in 1995; among many others.
Macuja-Elizalde was also the first Filipino ballerina to bring home a laureate prize: a silver media from the 1987 Asia-Pacific Ballet Competition in Tokyo. She also completed the semi-finals (senior division) at the 1990 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississipi, and won the fifth place at the 1992 International Diaghilev Ballet Competition in Moscow, Russia.
“Lisa’s contributions to Philippine culture and the arts, and to Philippine society as a whole, should not go unrecognized. She is a rare gem, a talent that comes only once in a lifetime,” Santiago said.
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