Romeo & Juliet performance by The Joffrey Ballet at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion March 9-17
Review By Jonna Coleman
Last Friday, March 9th, I attended the opening night performance of Romeo & Juliet performed by the Joffrey Ballet at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles. It was such a beautiful and special night introducing my (nearly 12 year old) daughter to the ballet. It seemed like one of those things you must do (at least once) in order to be a “good cultured mom”…well, perhaps in my eyes only?
The truth is, I’m not one to do this sort of thing on a regular basis, so I was floored by the wonderful experience! We laughed, cried and felt so many emotions. It was a truly fabulous rendition of a well-known classic story, and the perfect performance to introduce my daughter to ballet. The recommended minimum audience age for the show is 12 years old, which I completely agree with, due to certain aspects of the story.
It was difficult for me to fathom my pop-culture-loving daughter to follow a stage show with no words, but it was paced and portrayed so perfectly, no explanation was necessary. Being the mom that I am, I still tried to explain things: “they’re not dancing, they’re fighting,” and “he’s the father of Romeo.” After every interruption, she told me, “yeah ma, I know…”
Without ruining any details, the Joffrey Ballet’s rendition and choices of historical story changes were brilliant. The dancing and music were incredible. The two stars, Christine Rocas (Juliet) and Rory Hohenstein (Romeo) danced with such deep feeling, it was impossible not to empathize. Yoshitisa Arai (Close friend of Romeo) stole parts of the show with his ability of clever ballet comedy.
The production is flawless and the evening was special. 5 out of 5!
ASHLEY WHEATER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA
Runs from March 9 – 17, 2018
The Joffrey Ballet returns to Los Angeles with a stunning take on the perennial classic, Romeo & Juliet. Much more than the archetypal tragic story of forbidden love, this reimagined tale takes place amid the tumult of 20th century Italian politics and sets Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers against a backdrop of politics and war.
The ballet begins in Mussolini-era 1930s Italy and spans three decades of political strife, illustrating that generations of families can be affected by the decisions of their forefathers—a lesson especially relevant to modern audiences. The Joffrey Ballet’s magnificent dancers are propelled by Sergei Prokofiev’s lushly dramatic 1935 score and the strikingly modern costumes of Tatyana Van Walsum.
Surrender to Krzysztof Pastor’s critically-acclaimed retelling of Shakespeare’s iconic tale for modern times. Blurring the lines of dance and violence, this is impossible love at its most defiant.
Learn more and purchase tickets at: www.musiccenter.org/joffrey
Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center
Featuring both renowned and up-and-coming choreographers, The Music Center challenges the preconceived notions of classical ballet and explores the realm of contemporary expression.
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Disclaimer: Jonna is a contributor to WestsideMommy.com and attended this performance with press tickets to the opening performance. Tickets were compliments of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center in order to facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was exchanged for this post. All opinions belong to the author of the post. Copy edited by Ruby Hunt.