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Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

PNB brings back its contemporary 'Romeo et Juliette'

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Carla Korbes with Lucien Postlewaite in Jean-Christophe Maillo's "Romeo et Juliette."

    Angela Sterling

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Carla Korbes with Lucien Postlewaite in Jean-Christophe Maillo's "Romeo et Juliette."

"Romeo et Juliette": When this contemporary ballet opens tonight, the audience might not be aware that Pacific Northwest Ballet was the first American company to perform this particular interpretation five years ago.
Of course, this contemporary version still has music by Sergei Prokofiev. But the choreography is done by Jean-Christophe Maillot.
Maillot's three-act interpretation premiered in 1996 by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, where Maillot is resident choreographer and artistic director.
Since then Maillot's work has been called "one of the most beautiful ballets adapted from Shakespeare's masterpiece that can be seen today."
Maillot plays off Prokofiev's score by focusing on Romeo and Juliette's age; they were teenagers when their paths crossed. So their powerful impulses and passions were fueled by adolescent angst, rather than any political or social opposition between the two feuding clans of the Montgues and Capulets.
In his interpretation, Maillot features this youthful couples' "extreme emotions and internal conflicts" and how those emotions can determine a destiny that turns out to have fatal consequences, according to press material.
The audience will be treated to Maillot's expressive choreography with "the dancers' swimming hands, flying arms and off-kilter balances" symbolizing the emotional turmoil of youth, as backed by Prokofiev's passionate score, according to a press release.
"Romeo et Juliette" opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle Center. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2, 7, 8 and 9, with 2 p.m. matinees Feb. 2 and 9, and 1 p.m. matinees Feb. 3 and 10.
Tickets start at $28. Call 206-441-2424 or online at, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer St.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;
Story tags » Dance

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