Ballet BC’s Romeo + Juliet Puts a Modern Spin on Shakespeare’s Classic
Royal Theatre, March 13 + 14, 7:30 pm
There’s a contemporary familiarity to Ballet BC’s Romeo + Julietcreated by French choreographer Medhi Walerskiset to Prokofiev’s 1935 score. Walerski is known for making cutting-edge works for major international dance companies including Nederlands Dans Theater where he performed and choreographed for more than a decade. In recent exciting news, Walerski was appointed Ballet BC’s new Artistic Director effective July 2020, when he succeeds Emily Molnar who will become Artistic Director of Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT).
Martha Schabas of The Globe and Mailstates that Romeo + Julietis “Mr. Walerski at his most visionary.” Hisversion of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers will feel familiar to audiences, but the contemporary ballet production offers a fresh and thought-provoking retelling of the classic that profoundly resonates today.
The production’s contemporary aesthetic is further enhanced by Dutch set and lighting designer Theun Mosk who creates a stark black and white colour scheme with giant geometric shapes that the dancers move in and around, as well as creative use of light and shadows.
Walerski’s Elizabethan inspired costumes mixed with modern dress further lends timelessness to the work. In an interview with The Georgia Straight, the choreographer explains, “I wanted something pure, something universal, so that you could connect with the emotions and feelings and psychology of the characters, more than being in Italy or Renaissance time. I got inspired as well with the Elizabethan aesthetic—I just use it as just a flavour. I designed the costumes, and they are contemporary, but they have just a hint of the Elizabethan—the high collars, and the men have these little doublets.”
Dance Victoria contributed $25,000 towards Ballet BC’s commission of the creation of Romeo + Juliet through its ChrystalDance Fund. The funds supported inclusion of graduate dance students, increasing the number of the corps de ballet in the production. Later this year, the Company will tour the production to Australia’s Sydney Opera House for seven performances.
The community is invited to a free, pre-show chatat 6:45 pm in the West (Blanshard Street) Lobby of the Royal Theatre prior to both performances.
Romeo + Juliet Medhi Walerski
Friday + Saturday, March 13 + 14 • 7:30 pm
Tickets: $29-$95 ~ Ask about Pay Your Age (ages 12 – 29) & Night Moves (ages 30-45) tickets. Proof of age (picture ID) required at the Box Office
Box Office: 250-386-6121 • Online: DanceVictoria.com
About Ballet BC
Founded in 1986, Ballet BC has been under the leadership of Artistic Director Emily Molnar since 2009. Ballet BC is an internationally acclaimed collaborative and creation-based contemporary ballet company that is a leader and resource in the creation, production and education of contemporary dance in Canada. Bold and innovative, the Company’s distinctive style and approach has made a unique and valuable national contribution to the development of dance. balletbc.com
Dance Victoria’s 2019/20 season concludes with Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza– a program of two innovative, theatrical and personal works: Ex-Stasis&3. Catorce Dieciséis choreographedby Tania Pérez-Salas• May 1 + 2, 2020 • 7:30 pm • Royal Theatre
About Dance Victoria
Dance Victoria brings the World’s Best Danceto the Royal Theatre and supports the development of new dance for the international stage from its studios in Quadra Village. DanceVictoria is a non-profit charitable society. DanceVictoria.com