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Review: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET'S ROMEO ET JULIETTE Filmed at McCaw Hall

PNB's All-Digital Season Continues

Review: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET'S ROMEO ET JULIETTE Filmed at McCaw Hall

Balletomanes, I sincerely hope you read this in time to get digital tickets for PNB's Roméo et Juliette that is slated for February 11th to 15th 2021. Click the link here to access ticket information for the all-digital season. I usually wait until the end of a review to give you ticket-buying information, but please trust me and get your tickets now before the run ends!

The performance is an archival recording from February 4th, 2016 of choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette, a compelling version of R&J that is unlike any other I have ever seen. The ballet premiered at the Paris Opera Ballet in December of 1996 and premiered at PNB on January 31st 2008 after Peter Boal had seen the New York debut in 1999 and later decided to make it his first full-length acquisition for PNB as artistic director. Maillot's choreography is a judicious blend of ballet and contemporary movement, with the ballerinas on pointe at first but with Juliette dancing barefoot from the bedroom scene on to the end. The mime sequences that help tell the tale are ingenious and at times refreshingly comical. Also of note is the puppet show. Actual dancers wear puppet heads. Wonderful!

Shakespeare's story is the basis, but Maillot focuses more on the passion of young love than on the feuding families. The Balcony Scene is particularly poignant. Don't expect an actual balcony, however. The spare scenic design by Ernest Pignon-Ernest involves a ramp and some moving "walls" rather than anything realistic, which is perfect for this contemporary interpretation of the ballet. The costumes, designed by Jérôme Kaplan, are simple as well - and absolutely lovely!

Noelani Pantastico in the role Juliet and James Yoichi Moore in role of Romeo are perfectly matched as the young lovers, dancing with infectious joy and believable ardor. Their chemistry makes the tragic ending all the more heartbreaking.

Again, don't miss seeing this!

Photo credit: Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico in Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette, which PNB is presenting February 11 - 15, 2021 as part of its all-digital 20/21 season. Photo © AngelaSterlingPhoto.com.



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