The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa is set to host the LA Dance Project’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, taking place from May 12-14.
The New Yorker describes it as “startling, dazzling and wrenching in equal measure,” while LA Dance Chronicle calls it a “one-of-a-kind interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic.” This spectacular new production presents a modern take on Romeo and Juliet.
Choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, the ballet features a classical music score by Sergei Prokofiev, and was first performed in 2013 by the Paris Opera Ballet.
The ballet consists of four distinct sections: “Families”, “Balcony Scene”, “Death Scene”, and “Epilogue”, with each section highlighting a distinct aspect of the story. From the bitter animosity between the Capulet and Montague families to the heart-wrenching final scene, the ballet presents a comprehensive portrayal of the classic tale.
A Contemporary Take on a Classic Tale
The choreography combines traditional ballet steps with more contemporary movements, creating a unique and dynamic style that reflects Millepied’s modern approach to dance. By seamlessly moving between cinema, dance, and theater, he presents a fresh interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragic couple, portraying them as young adults in an urban environment where social norms prevent them from living out their love story.
Far from the classical representations of this mythical couple, Romeo and Juliet Suite is a reflection of the society today.
Benjamin Millepied explains: “What happens on stage must depict the reality of the people in the audience. Not to do so would be terribly conservative.”
The tragic story of the star-crossed lovers is conveyed through a series of scenes, some of which are captured on film using projection technology, allowing for a fully immersive experience. Encounters and confrontations develop in unexpected places in the auditorium or backstage. The dancers move from the stage to the screen.
Each unique performance of the show showcases a different cast and emphasizes diverse couples, including male/female, male/male, and female/female, making this version of Romeo & Juliet a celebration of love.
Benjamin Millepied“This production creates a comprehensive artistic experience while echoing current social issues, all with a cast that changes night by night.”
He is the founder and Artistic Director of LA Dance Project, a non-profit dance company that pushes the boundaries of traditional dance.
The company’s repertoire includes new works by Millepied, reconstructions of historic pieces, and collaborations with artists from various disciplines such as visual arts, music, film, design, and composition.
For venue information and ticket purchases, visit: https://www.scfta.org/events/2023/romeo-juliet-suite