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Romeo & Juliet: a Perfect Evening Out with the Pennsylvania Ballet

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Romeo and Juliet photo by IziliaevThe Pennsylvania Ballet presented the classic 1935 Prokofiev ballet “Romeo and Juliet."  Prokofiev wrote the music for the Kirov Ballet with a synopsis of the Shakespeare play by Adrian Piotrovsky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Piotrovsky. The work was not presented until 3 years later, as the climate towards artists in Soviet Russia was cooling. This ballet presented here is with the choreography of John Cranko from 1962. The PA Ballet last presented the work in 2005 and the company premiere took place in 1990. 

Zachary Hench portrayed a vivacious and emotive Romeo. His work with both Juliet and Mercutio (Jonathan Stiles) was exemplary. Stiles is another standout, his capricious Mercutio was danced with vim and vigor. Juliet was danced by the sublime Julie Diana. Diana is a slyph -- a lithe and innocent sprite who radiates the tragic love that will do them both in. Coincidentally enough, these two danced the roles in 2005. Hench proposed to Diana, on stage after one of these performances. 

“Romeo and Juliet” is a great ballet for almost all members of the family. It’s a bit long for small children. It is also the perfect romantic ballet for star-crossed lovers. Take your date to dinner and then head over to the ballet, maybe dessert after? There are plenty of choices around the neighborhood for eating. Try Mercado (between 12th and 13th on Spruce Street) or Estia (across the street from the hall on Locust Street between Broad and 15th Streets). For family-friendly fare and great desserts try More than Just Ice Cream (on Locust Street between 12th and 13th Streets). The ballet runs Thursday, June 10, 2010, at 7:30pm, Friday, June 11, 2010, at 7:30pm, and Saturday, June 12, 2010, at 2pm at the Academy of Music (Broad and Locust Streets). You can pick up tickets at paballet.org or by calling (215)-893-1999.

PHOTOS:

Photo (right and homepage): Principal Dancers Arantxa Ochoa and Sergio Torrado in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet. Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

Gallery photos by Paul Kolnik.

A version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was also performed by the Arden Theatre Company this year. Read what Christopher Munden had to say about it on Philly2Philly.com.

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Joe is a native Philadelphia who began writing music at the age of 12. He has worked with the cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony, among others. He has also entered the world of pop music and remixing. He teaches both privately and at Drexel University. Joe has been writing for the arts for 10 years. You can follow Joe on twitter at twitter.com/HallmanComposer. You can find his music on iTunes and all other major digital retailers. For a taste of his music, check out: www.reverbnation.com/JosephHallman 

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