Segerstrom Center for the Arts Presents the L.A. Dance Project Romeo & Juliet Suite
Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents the American premiere of L.A. Dance Project’s Romeo & Juliet Suite choreographed by Benjamin Millepied to music by Sergei Prokofiev for three performances May 12-13 in Segerstrom Hall. Tickets are now on sale at scfta.org.
With his dazzling new production, Millepied offers a contemporary vision of Prokofiev’s masterpiece Romeo & Juliet – a mythical take through a modern and original prism further embellished by its beautiful music. The choreographer navigates between cinema, dance, and theatre, reinterpreting Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers as young adults in an urban environment where social norms prevent them from living out their love story.
On stage and off, the plot unfolds using a unique projection system. Tableaux are broadcast in real-time, from unexpected places inside the theater and backstage. The dancers, filmed live, pass from stage to screen. Each performance features a different cast and highlights diverse couples – male/female, male/male, female/female – making this version of Romeo & Juliet a universal celebration of love.
Millepied said, “I love the idea of using dance, live performance and cinematographic images to express a timeless story that really speaks to the audience,. This production creates a comprehensive artistic experience while echoing current social issues, all with a cast that changes night by night.”
This evening-length version of L.A. Dance Project and Benjamin Millepied’s radical Romeo & Juliet Suite premiered in 2022 at La Seine Musicale in Paris in September 2022 and is making its American premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts this May. An excerpted version of the work was previewed to audiences in Los Angeles at The LA Phil in 2018 and the Hollywood Bowl in 2019.
Roslyn Sulcas said in The New York Times, this is “a lean account of Shakespeare’s tale that … uses film to augment and intensify the drama. For Millepied, a tightly condensed narrative is the motor for an expressive, emotive physicality … fourteen of the company’s 16 dancers represent the warring families with no overt differentiation; only Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt,, and Mercutio are identified. There is no scenery, no hostile parents, no Paris, and no Friar Lawrence.”
“There are three casts playing the title roles: a heterosexual couple, two men and two women. It’s a simple idea but a powerful one to see represented in a ballet. Millepied hasn’t altered the choreography or the partnering for the couples. And although there were inevitably differences of movement — the overall sense of the work and its central tragedy felt unchanged.”
“We first see the dancers offstage through a projection from a Steadicam … but once they whirl onto the stage, the narrative proceeds with rapid efficiency, the camera augmenting the crowd and fight scenes with overhead shots … after Romeo and Juliet meet, the camera follows them outside to show their swooping, ecstatic pas de deux in large-scale, close-up detail on the screen.”
“Throughout, the camera partners and bolsters, rather than dominates the dance. You could quibble about the narrative abstraction of this Romeo, but it’s a version in which the movement — and the company’s uniformly marvelous dancing — carries the story.”
Single tickets for L.A. Dance Project Romeo & Juliet Suite start at $39 and are available online at scfta.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling (714) 556-2787.
For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services offices at (714)755-0236.