Director’s Notebook – Roméo et Juliette (2009/10 Season)

Dear friends,

Tonight we open our season with Jean Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette. The dancers have been working for the past seven weeks preparing for tonight’s opening and there is definitely excitement in the air. Here are a few facts you may find interesting:

When PNB premiered this production, Bernice Coppieters, Maillot’s original Juliet, spent two weeks working with Carla Korbes and Noelani Pantastico. This time around, Noe was visiting during the rehearsal period and we grabbed her to teach and coach Carla and Kaori. She is as great a coach as she is a dancer. We miss her…

Mercutio kicks a puppet head of Tybalt across the stage in Act II. The head was successfully booted so many times by Jonathan Porretta and Barry Kerollis that its right eye started to detach. The puppet show became even gorier with Tybalt’s one eye dangling from his face. Eventually, we substituted a soccer ball for the head.

Speaking of black eyes, Kaori socked Carrie Imler in the right eye in rehearsal, creating a really gruesome look for Lady Capulet. Ballet is a contact sport.

Hear the PNB orchestra in all is glory during a live broadcast on King FM Friday, September 23 at 7:30pm.

Though many of our costumes are rented from Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Juliet’s four gowns are all custom made by our Costume Shop. Fabrics are flown in from Paris.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo recently celebrated their 200th performance of this 1996 production. Tonight, PNB will do our 10th. Please spread the word about what’s going on at the ballet. We don’t want anyone to miss this brilliant production and the stunning performances by all. I look forward to seeing you at Roméo et Juliette.



Top photo: Noelani Pantastico & James Moore in rehearsal for Roméo et Juliette. © Angela Sterling.