Two families divided by hate, two teens connected by love. Les Ballets De Monte-Carlo's Romeo and Juliet is a fresh take on Shakespeare's classic. Here are some fast facts about the production, coming to Northrop Feb 27-28.
- Jean-Christophe Maillot created Romeo and Juliet for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1996. Maillot's version is told through reflections of character Friar Laurence, who married Romeo and Juliet in a secret ceremony.
- Maillot calls his reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet a "ballet of women" because all the main roles are danced by women (Juliet, Lady Capulet, Rosaline, the Nurse). In fact, his first version was titled Juliet and Romeo.
- In Maillot's version, instead of ingesting poison, Juliet dies from strangling herself with a scarf and Romeo bashes his head over an imagined tomb.
- The set in this version consists of simple ramps and movable screens in white to emphasize the dancing bodies. The costumes are stripped-down outfits in a tonal range of black, silver, ochre and gold.
- Many believe Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet is the greatest ballet score ever written. The version most well-known today was first presented in 1940 at the Kirov Theater in Leningrad, with choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky.
- Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the 10 great classical ballets. "Classical" means they all have similarities in composition, costuming, and musical style, and the female dancers always dance en pointe.
- There have been more than 27 opera, 40 screen and 80 choreographic versions of Romeo and Juliet, including the 1996 Baz Luhrmann film starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. That was the same year Maillot's ballet version premiered.
- Shakespeare's original play uses 25,948 words, while Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo's version is wordless.