The Joffrey Ballet Returns To The Music Center
The Music Center welcomes the return of The Joffrey Ballet to Los Angeles for a contemporary rendition of Shakespeare's timeless classic with the West Coast premiere of Romeo & Juliet. Performances will take place at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 9, 11 & 17, 2018. Part of the 15th season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center (Dance at The Music Center), this critically acclaimed retelling of Shakespeare's iconic tale is set amid the tumult of 20th century Italy, beginning with Mussolini-era 1930s and spanning three decades of political strife. Choreographed by Krzysztof Pastor, The Joffrey Ballet dancers will be accompanied by Sergei Prokofiev's dramatic 1935 score, performed live by the Dance at The Music Center orchestra, with modern costumes and set design by Tatyana Van Walsum. The Music Center will showcase The Joffrey Ballet during the month of March 2018 with performances presented by Dance at The Music Center of Romeo & Juliet along with performances presented by LA Opera of Orpheus and Eurydice (March 10, 15, 18, 21, 24 and 25).
A story relevant to generations past and present, Shakespeare's cautionary tale of love serves as a modern metaphor for the influence of society over individual freedom. Although the personal journeys of Romeo & Juliet are integral to the tale, this is a love story within a clear social and political context
-- the collective identity of the group is considered more important, and the lovers are destined for tragedy. The performances use a multimedia video backdrop to depict three different political eras of 20th century Italy, mapping the journey through a contemporary lens, as the story flows from one generation to the next.
"The Music Center and The Joffrey Ballet have a long history of successful collaborations, and Romeo & Juliet is no exception," said Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. "This stunning adaptation of Romeo & Juliet breathes new life into one of the greatest love stories of our time, while beautifully revealing its modern-day relevance. These performances provide a unique opportunity for both new and seasoned audiences alike to experience this classic masterpiece in an entirely new way."
Romeo & Juliet opens with imagery of Italy in the 1930s, the time of Mussolini and the rise of Fascism. The Capulet family represents the upper class conservatives with stiff, militaristic movement, while the Montagues represent the liberal low and middle classes, danced with loose, flowing motions laced with pedestrian naturalism. The second act shifts to the 1950s with the rise of the Red Brigade and increased political terrorism -- a fitting scene for the tensions blocking Romeo & Juliet's passionate romance. The third act, set closer to the 1990s during Berlusconi's leadership and increasing social divisions, escalates the conflict toward the story's tragic conclusion.
"Continuing The Music Center's tradition of presenting timeless classics with a contemporary twist, this production embodies the power of dance as a means to explore the human experience," said Michael Solomon, vice president of presentations and education for The Music Center. "The Joffrey Ballet's Romeo & Juliet sets a familiar love story against three different social and political generations in 20th-century Italy, which deepens the timelessness of the story and how it relates to our ever-changing times."
The Chicago Sun-Times notes, "Pastor's work is a marvel, and the Joffrey dancers seem to be catapulted to the moon by it." The piece had its world premiere in 2008 by the Scottish Ballet in Edinburgh and its U.S. premiere by The Joffrey Ballet in 2014 in Chicago. The Joffrey Ballet also opened its 2016-2017 season with the production in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.
Dance and opera lovers also have the chance to win the ultimate pairing of ballet and opera in an unforgettable weekend experience. The Dancers and Divas contest is an opportunity to win an arts weekend that includes a pair of tickets to both The Joffrey Ballet's Romeo & Juliet, presented by Dance at The Music Center, and Orpheus and Eurydice, presented by LA Opera, along with an overnight stay at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles and dinner for two at Vespaio restaurant.
Romeo & Juliet
Choreographer: Krzysztof Pastor
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Original set and costume design: Tatyana Van Walsum
Lighting Design: Bert Dalhuysen
Tickets for Romeo & Juliet performances at The Music Center start at $34 and are available online at musiccenter.org/joffrey; at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012; or by calling (213) 972-0711. For groups of 10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email email@example.com.
About Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center
Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world. Now entering its 15th year, Dance at The Music Center is a powerful commissioning force, supporting new works and artists-in-residence projects by today's most influential companies and choreographers. Performances take place throughout The Music Center, including the historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the distinctive Ahmanson Theatre and the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in locations around the Los Angeles area.
About The Music Center
The Music Center is Los Angeles' home to the world's greatest artistic programs and events with four iconic theatres and an outdoor plaza. In addition to its four-renowned resident companies - Center Theatre Group, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil - The Music Center presents an international dance series, free and low-cost public programming and special events and activities for all ages. From its early days, The Music Center has been a pioneer in arts education and offers a multi-faceted program from K-12. With The Music Center On Location, the non-profit performing arts organization brings programming to locations outside of its Downtown Los Angeles campus. The Music Center also programs and manages Grand Park, a 12-acre adjacent greenspace, with year-round free programming. For more information, visit musicenter.org Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@MusicCenterLA).
About The Joffrey Ballet
Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works. The company's commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much-lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations. Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Mann