Romeo + Juliet (Prokofiev/Martins)
- Pre-Performance Talk, 1pm – see below for details
- New York City Ballet, 2pm
In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s ROMEO + JULIET remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. NYCB’s staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, features choreography by Peter Martins, sets and costumes by Danish artist Per Kirkeby, and lighting by Mark Stanley.
Pre-Peformance Talk, 1pm
30 minute talk with a Sara Mearns, NYCB Dancer
Pre-Performance Talks are free for performance ticket holders thanks to generous support from Siena CollegeREGISTER
You must be attending the performance following the Pre-Performance Talk to attend the talk.
- Although Romeo and Juliet is one of the most choreographed ballets of the past 60 years, Martins managed to streamline the action into two acts with one intermission – instead of the usual three acts and two intermissions.
- For years musicologists believed Prokofiev had abandoned his original score for Romeo and Juliet by choice, but new evidence discovered in Russian archives suggests the composer struggled immensely to keep his music intact from Soviet censorship.
- Prokofiev was enticed to return to the Soviet Union in 1936 by promises of lucrative commissions, but the bureaucrat who commissioned Romeo and Juliet was executed, as was the Central Committee member who approved the ballet’s original happy ending (contrary to the traditional Shakespearean ending). Even the scenarist who inspired Prokofiev to write the ballet ended up dead.
- Shortly after, Soviet traditionalists forced Prokofiev to drop his happy ending as well as three exotic dances, which were some of the ballet’s most interesting music. In the 1940 Kirov Production, the ballet’s director altered the score, simplifying parts of the music, adding abundant repeats and changing the orchestration, without Prokofiev’s knowledge.
Read more here:
- In composing Romeo and Juliet, Prokofiev witnessed betrayal, exile, execution: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2011/03/dark-story-behind-romeo-and-juliet-ballet-revealed
- Romeo + Juliet: https://www.nycballet.com/Ballets/R/Romeo-Juliet.aspx