Romeo & Juliet
Choreography by Johan Renvall
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Costumes by Paul H. McRae, Lori Christman, Patricia Levinson
Fencing Coach Dayn DeRose
In Renaissance Verona, two prominent families – the Montagues and the Capulets — are engaged in a bloody feud which dooms their children to death. Juliet’s grieving nurse and Friar Lawrence tell the story. The trouble begins when Romeo and his friends crash a party at the Capulet’s. He and Juliet fall in love at first sight and later meet at night in Capulet’s garden. Friar Lawrence marries the couple in secret. Not long after, Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel and in the ensuing fight, Romeo’s friend is slain and Romeo kills Tybalt. Now wanted for murder, Romeo flees and Juliet again turns to Friar Lawrence. He gives Juliet a potion which will make her appear dead. Once in her tomb, Romeo will come and awaken her. A missed message and bad timing, and the teens miss their opportunity and they die together. This ballet premiered at the Aspen summer Festival in 1986. Now expanded from its original length, one critic called it, “As fine a piece as NJB has ever owned.” Another applauded, “A gem.”
MACBETH: Ballet Suite
Choreography and Staging by Konstantin Dournev
Music by Kirill Moltchanov
Costumes by Julia Vorobyeva
Macbeth takes place in Medieval Scotland. Macbeth, a brave general in King Duncan’s army, meets three witches who tell him he will become King of Scotland, but not without bloodshed. Macbeth writes to tell Lady Macbeth of the prediction. At home in the castle, Lady Macbeth watches as three actors perform a play in which a Queen betrays a King, he finds out and kills her lover, and out of revenge, the Queen kills the King. Her husband’s letter and the play inspire Lady Macbeth to make a plan. She urges her husband to murder Duncan and assume the throne at once. He does, but the guilt and horror push Macbeth into madness. In the end, the witches see to it that he falls victim to his own ambition. This version is based in part on a production created by Vladimir Vasiliev for the Bolshoi.
New Jersey Ballet
For nearly sixty years, NJB has thrilled audiences from Bergen to Cape May with top quality professional ballet, giving hundreds of thousands of adults and children their first introduction to ballet and inspiring in many a lifelong love of the arts. New Jersey Ballet has also taken the best of New Jersey arts to audiences in other parts of the country and set records on international tours to Bermuda, India, Italy, Russia and Taiwan.
The founding of New Jersey Ballet created a profound change in the state’s cultural landscape. During its 22 week season, NJB’s critically acclaimed dancers perform a variety of works from classical, contemporary, and jazz ballet, as well as new works from some of the most exciting choreographers working today. This repertory includes works by Agnes deMille, Antony Tudor, Petipa, Johan Renvall, Pedro Ruiz, and many more. The company also has one of the largest collections of ballets for children in the country.
The highlight of the season for thousands of families is NJB’s Nutcracker, the longest running original professional production in the state. This year, the company will give 22 performances in four venues statewide, fourteen of them with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at Mayo PAC in Morristown. The production debuted in 1971 with Edward Villella, then an international star with New York City Ballet, as the Cavalier. Today, after more than 900 performances and over a million viewers, it has become a cherished holiday tradition with three generations throughout the state and beyond. In 2008, the production made history as the first full length classical ballet ever performed in India, where it sold out three performances at that country’s Performing Arts Center in Mumbai.
New Jersey Ballet is designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in recognition of its “artistic excellence, substantial programming and broad public service.” The company is a three-time winner of the title New Jersey’s Favorite Dance Company in the People’s Choice competition.
Barbara Gilford, dance writer for The New York Times, New Jersey Weekly for more than ten years, wrote this about the impact and value New Jersey Ballet has for New Jersey:
New Jersey Ballet Company is the ONLY dance organization in the New York metropolitan area that takes high quality programming and performances to urban, rural and suburban communities throughout New Jersey (and at a cost that is “affordable” in comparison with the major organizations in New York City who are at home at Lincoln Center). Residents of our state have access to a three hundred year-old dance tradition, frequently on their doorsteps. New Jersey Ballet is an assemblage of professional dancers who embody the highest standards of technique and artistry and they are OURS!!!”