Music: Sergei Prokofiev (Op. 64, 19351936)
Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot
Scenic Design: Ernest Pignon-Ernest
Costume Design: Jérôme Kaplan
Lighting Design: Dominique Drillot
First performance: December 23, 1996; Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: January 31, 2008
Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes
The 2008 PNB premiere of Roméo et Juliette was generously underwritten by Dan & Pam Baty. PNB is also grateful to Dan & Pam Baty for their leadership support to underwrite new scenery and costumes for Roméo et Juliette in 2013.
In his version of Roméo et Juliette, choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot has taken formal inspiration from the episodic character of Sergei Prokofiev's classic score, structuring the action in a manner akin to cinematic narrative. Rather than focusing on themes of political-social opposition between the two feuding clans, this Romeo and Juliet highlights the dualities and ambiguities of adolescence. Torn between contradictory impulses, between tenderness and violence, fear and pride, the lovers are caught in the throes of a tragedy that exemplifies their youth and the extreme emotions and internal conflicts that characterize that time of lifea time of life when destiny, more than at any other moment, seems to escape conscious control, and when the inner turmoil occasioned by passions and ideals can sometimes have disproportionateeven fatalconsequences. In evoking this fragile and volatile state of being, the painter Ernest Pignon-Ernest has created a decor marked by transparency and lightness: a play of simple forms that reveals an underlying complexity of meaning.
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Boston Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa, Deutsche Grammophon 423 268-2
Jean-Christophe Maillot: Roméo et Juliette (Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo/St. Petersburg Kirov Orchestra), Kultur, 2006