Choreography: Michael Smuin
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Of all Shakespeare’s plays it is the lyric vitality of Romeo and Juliet which has been most appealing to choreographers. The beauty of the poetry has, through generations of dance, inspired and equally beautiful and poetic ballet. Michael Smuin, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Ballet, staged the three-act Romeo and Juliet in 1976 and it has been a significant work in the company’s repertoire since. The pas de deux (the balcony scene) was a notable part of the SFB’s 50th anniversary gala in the winter of 1983. Clive Barnes wrote of Smuin’s work in the New York Times, February 28, 1977, shortly after the ballet’s premier, “he (Smuin) has made the action eloquent, intense and luminous.” Smuin’s ballet set to Prokofiev’s eloquent, luminous score is faithful both to Shakespeare’s tale and intent, and the dance, like the play, is a celebration of youthful passion.
Kansas City Ballet premiere: April 25, 2008, Music Hall, Kansas City, Missouri