Seattle Center News
ROMÉO ET JULIETTE
Feb. 1 - 10, Pacific Northwest Ballet
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
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 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.