Festival Ballet Providence to Present Revamped ROMEO & JULIET Over Valentine's Day

Over this Valentine's Day weekend, Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) will present the world premiere of Romeo & Juliet, arguably Shakespeare's most famous play and one of the most performed and adapted works of all time.

Running February 10-12, 2017 at The Vets in Providence, this new work is a collaboration between guest choreographer Ilya Kozadayev and Gamm Theatre artistic director Tony Estrella. It weaves Shakespeare's text, spoken live on stage, with Kozadayev's bold new choreography.

FBP artistic director Mihailo Djuric said of the new production, "I'm excited to pair together Tony and Ilya, and seeing how their combined talents will create something extraordinary." This will be the first full-length ballet for young choreographer Ilya Kozadayev, whose previous works for FBP include Hansel & Gretel, and other works that have been part of "Up Close on Hope." "Ilya is a masterful storyteller and brings a fresh energy to this ballet," Mr. Djuric continued. "This new production is very dynamic, integrating quick-paced sword fighting, dramatic dying scenes, as well as some beautiful and tender duets by the lovers, including the famous Balcony Pas. There is really something for everyone in this ballet."

In addition to lending his directorial talent and creativity to this production, Mr. Estrella has also enlisted actors Jeanine Kane and Richard Noble, two faces familiar to Rhode Island theatergoers. He said, "Every time we are able to bring Shakespeare's words to life on the stage is a treat," Mr. Estrella added, "What makes this production especially exciting is that we are able to express the Bard's poetic verse with both speech and movement."

Ilya Kozadayev said that he is very excited to be working with Mr. Estrella on this production. "The actors are playing a semi-narrative role in the production. They help to propel the story forward," Kozadayev added. "The choreographic language is classical-including the intense sword fighting scenes-but we have a modernized take on the ballet in the fact that we are incorporating the actors. You really can't go wrong with Shakespeare."

This program features alternating casts, Vilia Putrius' Romeo will be Alan Alberto; Jennifer Ricci's Romeo will be Boyko Dossev. Marissa Parmenter and Putrius will alternate as Lady Capulet, Ty Parmenter and Dossev will alternate as Mercutio and Alex Lantz and David DuBois will alternate as Tybalt.

Tickets to Romeo & Juliet can be purchased at www.thevetsri.com/events/detail/festival-ballet-providence-presents-romeo-juliet.

Ilya Kozadayev (Choreography, Dramaturgy) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia to a family of ballet dancers. He received his dance training from Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, The School of American Ballet in New York City, Academy of Colorado Ballet and graduated from the John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. Mr. Kozadayev has danced with numerous prestigious ballet companies in the United States including Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, as a soloist with Colorado Ballet, a principal dancer with Columbia Classical Ballet and a soloist with the Houston Ballet. Throughout his career Mr. Kozadayev has performed works by such choreographers as Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Jerome Robbins, Kenneth McMillan, Fredrik Ashton, Agnes De Mille, Twyla Tharp, Stanton Welch, Ben Stevenson, Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Mathew Borne, Jorma Elo, Aszure Barton, Christopher Bruce, Cho San Goh, Rudi van Danzig, Donald McKayle, Michael Pink, Christopher Wheeldon and many others. Mr. Kozadayev has toured nationally and internationally and has performed in the US, Canada, Austria, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. As a dancer Mr. Kozadayev was the winner of the New York International Ballet Competition in 2000.

Mr. Kozadayev's choreographic credits include works for Boston Ballet's Raw Dance project, Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet II, Kansas City Ballet, Oklahoma Festival Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, and the Salt Creek Ballet. In the Fall of 2015 Mr. Kozadayev created a work for Milwaukee Ballet II and won the Ballet Arkansas Visions Choreography Competition. In the spring of 2016 Mr. Kozadayev created Hansel and Gretel as well as creating a new work for Tulsa Ballet II. Mr. Kozadayev serves as an Assistant Professor of Ballet at the University of Oklahoma School of Dance. Mr. Kozadayev holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography from Jacksonville University in Florida.

Tony Estrella (Dramaturgy) has been artistic director of The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre since 2002. He began working with The Gamm as an actor in 1996 as Octavius Caesar in Antony & Cleopatra and since then has appeared in more than 30 productions including Hamlet in Hamlet, Leontes in The Winter's Tale, Macbeth in Macbeth, Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing and most recently as Teach in American Buffalo and Bernard Nightingale in Arcadia. He has directed over 20 shows for the company, including Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, A Streetcar Named Desire, Hedda Gabler, Festen, Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis and the U.S. premiere of Howard Brenton's Paul. He also teaches Acting Shakespeare at the University of Rhode Island, where he has been on the theater faculty since 1997. His film credits include Martin Scorsese's The Departed and, most recently, Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea. In 2013, Tony received a Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) is a professional Dance Company recognized for its high artistic quality that enriches the community by expanding dance awareness through performance and educational programs. As the resident ballet company of Rhode Island, FBP is comprised of 28 classically trained, professional ballet dancers who perform a wide range of classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works. With an associated school surpassing 250 in enrollment, and a successful educational outreach program reaching more than 5,000 children each season, FBP is a powerhouse in the New England dance community.

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