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Royal Swedish Ballet
Juliet and Romeo

Overview

Royal Swedish Ballet, the world's fourth oldest ballet company, last graced the Center stage more than 15 years ago. Returning to Orange County following its recent 240th anniversary, the company commissioned Swedish choreographer Mats Ek--acclaimed for his daring interpretations of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and other classics--to create a contemporary adaptation of a timeless love story. The result: Juliet and Romeo, a visionary take on Shakespeare's immortal tragedy brimming with modern twists, and the 2015 Olivier Award winner for Best New Dance Production.

Danced to a composite score of Tchaikovsky works, rather than the typical Prokofiev music, the production takes on a 21st-century vibe with a stark, urban setting of smoky lighting, shifting mazelike walls, ominous trap doors, motorized Segway scooters, and costumes that mix Renaissance chic with jeans, hoodies, and metallic suits. Told from the perspective of a wide-eyed and defiant Juliet, who falls for sentimental dreamer Romeo, the rest of Ek's reimagined world is strewn with brutal conflict among Juliet's brooding family and Romeo's street-smart comrades.

Pairing bold characterizations with dynamic movement for 32 dancers, Juliet and Romeo "remints the story with imagery of aching intimacy and disconcerting darkness," raves the Guardian. "The choreography for the two lovers embodies a language of discovery that Ek makes beautifully specific to them." And the Huffington Post calls the ballet "gorgeously fluid… the switched-up name is just the first of many nuances that make a poignant case for this new version of an old classic."

Arrive early!

Special pre-show talks one hour before the performance with Mikael Jonsson, Assistant Director of the Royal Swedish Ballet, moderated by Leslie Carothers

Running time (approximate): 2 hours and 10 minutes

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