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Romeo et Juliette--Live Feb 4-6, 10-13; Streaming Feb 24-28

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Here is part 1 of the press release:

Pacific Northwest Ballet Continues its 21/22 Season with the Return of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s




Choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot

Music by Sergei Prokofiev (Op. 64, 1935-36)

Nine Performances Onstage, February 4 – 13, 2022

February 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30 PM

February 5 and 12 at 2:00 and 7:30 PM

February 6 and 13 at 1:00 PM

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109

 Steaming Digitally February 24 – 28

“A tour-de-force requiring not only high-quality dancing but committed acting in this symbolic, abstract version of the Shakespearean love story. Maillot’s choreography is exciting and energizing, a feast of styles densely packed together, and the PNB dancers revel in it.” Tacoma News Tribune

SEATTLE, WA – Jean-Christophe Maillot’s masterful Roméo et Juliette was premiered in 1996 by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, where Maillot is resident choreographer and artistic director. His contemporary interpretation has been hailed throughout the world as "one of the most beautiful ballets adapted from Shakespeare's masterpiece" (Scènes Magazine), and instantly became an audience favorite and a signature work in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory when the company presented its west coast premiere in 2008. Now this unforgettable romantic tragedy returns to the stage as PNB continues its 49th season.

Roméo et Juliette runs for nine performances, February 4 through 13. Tickets start at just $30. Roméo et Juliette will also stream digitally from February 24 through 28, for friends and lovers to watch from the comfort of home. Tickets for the digital access are $35. For tickets and additional information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online 24/7 at PNB.org, or in person at 301 Mercer Street. See “Ticket Information,” below, for more details. (Audience Advisory: Content may not be appropriate for young children.)



Roméo et JulietteMusic: Sergei Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, 1935-1936)Choreography: Jean-Christophe MaillotStaging: Bernice Coppieters, George Oliveira, and Bruno RoqueScenic Design: Ernest Pignon-ErnestCostume Design: Jérôme KaplanLighting Design: Dominique DrillotPremiere: December 23, 1996: Les Ballets de Monte-CarloPacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: January 31, 2008

Running Time, Live: Two hours and 20 minutes, including one intermissionRunning Time, Digital: One hour and 50 minutes

From West Side Story to Twilight, Shakespeare’s great romance seems always to find new interpretation, and its tale of forbidden love has been especially enticing to the dance world. Peter Boal was so mesmerized by Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette when he attended its New York debut in 1999, that it became his first full-length acquisition for PNB as artistic director. Though Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette is firmly grounded in classical ballet, his choreography is imbued with natural and intuitive movement that feels progressive and expands margins of expression. As the famous story of star-crossed lovers unfolds, the dancers' swimming hands, flying arms, and off-kilter balances speak for racing hearts, reckless impulses, and inner turmoil. Stage action is brought into high relief by the ballet’s spare and elegant design. Great washes of blue and gold light reflect the magnitude of Prokofiev's dramatic score, and the piercing elation and lament of young love project like Hollywood close-ups. Sergei Prokofiev's glorious ballet score is frequently called his masterpiece. Its thematic melodies — by turns sweetly tender, sweepingly passionate, hotly fierce, and chillingly eerie — provide counterpoint and impart eloquent support to the narrative. In his version of Roméo et Juliette, choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot has taken formal inspiration from the episodic character of Prokofiev's classic score, structuring the action in a manner akin to cinematic narrative. Rather than focusing on themes of political-social opposition between the two feuding clans, this Romeo and Juliet highlights the dualities and ambiguities of adolescence. Torn between contradictory impulses, between tenderness and violence, fear and pride, the lovers are caught in the throes of a tragedy that exemplifies their youth and the extreme emotions and internal conflicts that characterize that time of life — a time of life when destiny, more than at any other moment, seems to escape conscious control, and when the inner turmoil occasioned by passions and ideals can sometimes have disproportionate — even fatal — consequences. In evoking this fragile and volatile state of being, scenic designer Ernest Pignon-Ernest has created a decor marked by transparency and lightness: a play of simple forms that reveals an underlying complexity of meaning.  [Notes reprinted by permission of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. For more information, visit PNB.org/season.]

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None yet:  it usually is up a couple of weeks before the opening, so maybe not for another 10 days or so.  

I generally don't follow dancers' social media for clues, though.  I'm not sure if PNB dancers are as forthcoming there as NYCB and ABT dancers seem to be.


ETA: I poked around a little, and Noelani Pantastico posted that she looks forward to reviving the role; photo is with James Moore:




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And the last performances that Pantastico will dance at PNB:  Before I saw the press release, I read an email from Seattle Dance Collective, which she founded with James Yoichi Moore with this announcement:


After 25 glorious years, Noelani Pantastico announced today her retirement from the stage to join the faculty of the prestigious Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Noelani will remain as SDC's Co-Artistic Director for the foreseeable future, as she and co-founder James Yoichi Moore continue to create opportunities for artists to collaborate and share new work with the world. 

LEARN MORE HERE about Noelani's illustrious performing career and the momentous decision to return to her dancing roots.

You can catch Noelani's final performances in Pacific Northwest Ballet's upcoming run of Jean-Christophe Maillot's Romeo et Juliette February 4-13 at McCaw Hall in Seattle.  For tickets go to pnb.org.


(The photo is from Kent Stowell's Cinderella.  The costume was designed by Martin Pakledinaz.)

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Debuts (per my recollection of past performances):

  • Juliet: Elizabeth Murphy
  • Nurse: Leta Biasucci and Angelica Generosa
  • Friar Laurence: Dylan Wald
  • Tybalt: James Kirby Rogers and Jonathan Batista
  • Benvolio: Christian Poppe and Kuu Sakaragi
  • Rosaline: Cecilia Iliesiu and Lily Wills
  • Paris: Luther DeMyer

Not sure for Lady Capulet whether Elle Macy and Lesley Rausch previously danced the role? I remember Laura Tisserand during the last run.

Interesting that Lesley Rausch isn't performing Juliet this time.



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It is really exciting to see some of the younger dancers (Kuu, Luther, Lily, etc.) step into featured roles! However, is anyone else just a tiny bit disappointed that Dylan Wald isn't doing a third cast Romeo? I know that the pandemic + rehearsal logistics etc make it far more practical to have two casts of leads...but because James and Lucien have been doing the role for so many years I was hoping that we'd also get a newbie! 

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I'm hoping Wald was able to be in the studio enough to learn it for the next run, but Friar Laurence is a coup for a younger dancer.  Wald can be understated on stage, but I remember seeing his Siegfried in Swan Lake, and he was so dramatically vivid in the first and third "social" acts, that I think he'll be fantastic in the role.


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Did anyone see Elizabeth Murphy's debut as Juliette?

Decided to brave an in-person performance Saturday 2/5 evening to see Noelani Pantastico before she retired. She was amazing as always.

There was a casting change from the website: Cecilia Iliesiu as Lady Capulet and Lily Wills as Rosaline. I think I've finally figured out who is who after seeing it over the years. 😄

Orchestra level looked about 85-90% full, 1st tier less full; didn't make it up to 2nd tier.


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On 2/15/2022 at 5:47 PM, Grace8 said:

Did anyone see Elizabeth Murphy's debut as Juliette?

Decided to brave an in-person performance Saturday 2/5 evening to see Noelani Pantastico before she retired. She was amazing as always.

There was a casting change from the website: Cecilia Iliesiu as Lady Capulet and Lily Wills as Rosaline. I think I've finally figured out who is who after seeing it over the years. 😄

Orchestra level looked about 85-90% full, 1st tier less full; didn't make it up to 2nd tier.


I didn't get to see Murphy's as Juliette but I heard she was amazing.  I still can't believe she just had a baby last May or June on top of not dancing regularly during the pandemic and now she just carried a full length story ballet!?!

Opening night there was a Lady Capulet casting change, Elle Macy debuted instead of Lesley Rausch.  At the post performance Q&A Peter Boal said Rausch had a back injury and hoped she would be back for the second weekend, but I don't believe she did.  I believe this injury created the domino effect for the Saturday performances Lady Capulet and Rosaline.

Kyle Davis was supposed to debut as Mercutio first weelemd.  I didn't see his name on the casting second weekend and don't know if he every danced first weekend or not.

On Thursday I was looking forward to seeing Dylan Wald as Friar Laurence but on his Instragram he posted about a tibia stress fracture and Miles Pyrtl was down for all the second weekend shows.  I actually see Wald as the Friar rather than Romeo so I was disappointed I didn't get to see it.  However, I did get to see Cecilia Iliesiu as Lady Capulet and as I expected, she was dynamite.  She ran the gamut of emotions and displayed nuances and details I don't believe I've seen before.  And of course the pairing of Noe and Lucien was just so special.  The whole show was so emotional.

I saw James and Noe twice.  It is incredible for them to dance at their level in the forties after the lengthy pandemic.  Sunday's show finally I felt like the tempo for the balcony scene was slow enough.  I just wanted to savor those moments for as long as I could.  I guess I felt like that the whole show.  But the beautiful music played on, and hopefully you all saw the farewell on the digital broadcast, it seemed so heartfelt, it was perfect!

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