NEW BRUNSWICK – American Repertory Ballet will premiere Artistic Director Douglas Martin’s full-length Romeo and Juliet, with Prokofiev’s score played live by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Kynan Johns, on Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.
Based on Shakespeare’s tragic story, Martin’s version of the ballet features a company of 30 dancers, sets by scenic designer Kevin Lee Allen, and costumes designed by Michelle Ferranti. Scenic and costume design has been executed with careful attention to the aesthetic of what is now known as the early Renaissance era in Italy.
In her review of a spring 2012 preview performance, Marina Kennedy of Broadway World calls the production “an outstanding example of dance being perfectly adapted to dramatic interpretation, with the ARB dancers in full command of their art.” The production’s premiere at State Theatre is a special opportunity to see this dancing and drama enacted to live music.
“We are thrilled to premiere our full length production of Romeo and Juliet with a live orchestra,” says Martin. “This extraordinary music and dance collaboration not only enhances the audience’s experience of Prokofiev’s extraordinary score, but also highlights the ephemeral interaction of dance and music. Dancers will be responding to and interpreting the music as the musicians play it, bonding the two art forms moment by moment in this dynamic performance.”
NY-based dance critic Jerry Hochman of CriticalDance and Ballet-Dance Magazine characterizes Martin’s masterwork as “an ambitious production…emotionally and artistically fulfilling…exuberant and exciting to watch…[and] invit[ing] comparisons to other well-known productions,…including…that of Sir Kenneth MacMillan.”
“The duets between Juliet and Romeo – in particular, the critical balcony scene,” Hochman continues, “are choreographed, and were executed, with the combination of rapture and conviction, that quality of being genuine, that is necessary to make the audience feel what the dancers feel, and to respond with the cathartic release that prompts appreciative, as opposed to obligatory, applause.”
ARB will present excerpts from Martin’s Romeo and Juliet balcony pas de deux on Oct. 8 at New York City Center as part of the Career Transitions for Dancers Annual Jubilee. Career Transition for Dancers is a nonprofit organization that enables dancers to define their career possibilities and develop the skills necessary to excel in a variety of disciplines.
“Dancers develop so many transferable and marketable skills during their careers, but sometimes they need assistance and direction to figure out what to do when they retire from performing. That’s why an organization like Career Transition For Dancers is so important. We are proud to be performing at their gala again, as we did in 2011, to support such a worthy cause,” says Executive Director Christine Chen.
Tickets for Romeo and Juliet at State Theatre on Oct. 11 at 8 pm are now on sale ($27-$57) through the State Theatre’s box office: call 732-246-7469 or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/romeo_and_juliet.
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