William Shakespeare's historic love story Romeo and Juliet makes its Miami City Ballet debut this weekend as the MCB's 25th anniversary season comes to a close. Artistic Director Edward Villella wanted to finish with a major work and John Cranko's 1962 ballet version of the classic surely fits the bill.
Live music by The Opus One Orchestra accompanies MCB for the ballet, opening in Miami this Friday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Budgeted at $1.5 million, it's MCB's most expensive production yet.
Cranko's Romeo and Juliet burns with dramatic intensity: Lady Capulet's
mourning of Tybalt and Juliet's final discovery of Romeo hold particular
weight. But in its lighter moments, the ballet is rich with wit and
humor. Soaring lifts, fluid transitions between steps, and youthful
characterizations of the two lovers make Cranko's version one of the
most important ever choreographed to Prokofiev's score.
narrative ballets don't appear too frequently. The company hopes to
introduce new audiences to ballet by presenting a story that's so well
known and it can't wait to perform the first Cranko ballet in their
92-work repertory. The late South African choreographer innovated
theater and storytelling in dance.
For some dancers, playing
Romeo or Juliet would be a dream-come-true. For opening-night leads
Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra, whose own love story turned out
far happier as they are married in real life, it's been just that.
Relates Guerra, "I can identify with [Romeo's] surprise at finding true
love, almost like he didn't think it really existed until he actually
found himself falling into it!"
Program IV: Romeo and Juliet
opens this week at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
(1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $20-170. Call 877-929-7010 or
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visit miamicityballet.org or the arshtcenter.org. Friday at 7 p.m.;
Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
By Emily Hite, artburstmiami.com