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  1. After two covid delays, Johan Kobborg's Romeo and Juliet finally took place tonight. The ballet is classically based but with some fresh updated touches and completely different from McMillan’s version. It lasted about 80 minutes with no interval. The opening was the same as the closing scene – Romeo and Juliet lying dead on a bier. This brought to mind classic Greek tragedy where the end of the story is inevitable and all events lead to the final calamity. Once the bier was removed (with a bit of creaking and pushing) Polunin swaggered onto the stage, resplendent in white tights and looking very handsome. Kobborg had provided showcase choreography to make Polunin immediately stride right to the front of the stage and dazzle with his trademark huge leaps and rapid spins of the kind that his audience seem to expect. He also included a cheeky mime about Romeo’s flirtatious habits with the girls! The scenery was a massive, many-staired structure that appeared to be made of grey concrete. This was manipulated to give different views for each scene – eg tall archways for the Capulet ball, a vertiginous staircase leading to a platform to serve as Juliet’s balcony. It seemed to be a dramatic and effective combination of the brutalist architecture of Denys Lasdun and the impossible staircases drawn by Maurits Escher. When Alina Cojocaru appeared she was the epitome of a pretty, spirited teenage girl. Her dancing, as always, was exquisite and her acting was such that by the end, when she awoke from the sleeping potion full of the joy of anticipation of being with her Romeo, and then had that joy crushed by the discovery of his body, it was absolutely heartrending. I noticed grown men around me weeping. The overall feel of the piece was somewhat timeless – the costumes attractive but anonymous; it is after all a tale that could be repeated to some degree in any time and country. Apart from the principals, there was great dancing from Daichi Ikarashi as Mercutio and Nikolas Gaifullin as Tybalt. Some very promising young dancers have been hand-picked by Polunin Ink to give them the opportunity they might not have in a traditional company, and at the same time to utilise their special talents. It was lovely to see Alina bring her Johan on to the stage to receive some of the rapturous applause. I fondly remembered enjoying seeing them dance together many years ago when they were both in the Royal Ballet – beautiful dancers individually but utterly enthralling when they were together on stage. But I digress. Tonight was a different experience, merging the old with the new. The (sold-out) audience were not typical of those at the Royal Opera House – they were mostly a lot younger, and extremely enthusiastic as the lengthy standing ovation showed. I believe it is Kobborg’s aim to keep ballet alive and also to keep it fresh, and in this he has succeeded. I enjoyed the evening very much and found it a distilled and different version of Romeo and Juliet which is both spectacular and moving. https://maryrosedouglasuk.wixsite.com/ballet
  2. If anyone has tickets they can no longer use for Romeo and Juliet in Verona on Monday 26th August please let me know, as a fan is looking for 2 armchair seats together. Separately a friend has one spare (due to family life events) to sell. Let me know and I can put you in direct contact.
  3. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Nicholas Martin Kearney Phone: (775) 750-8357 Development@sierranevadaballet.org Sierra Nevada Ballet director Rosine Bena teams up with international choreographic heavyweight Jean Paul Comelin for an innovative new take on a classic favorite: Romeo and Juliet! July 25th, 8pm Barkley Theater, Oats Park Arts Center, Fallon, Nevada/1 E. Park Street, Fallon, NV 89406/775-423-1440 www.churchillarts.org General: $22; seniors, students, military, $18. Box Seats: $44 & $36. Ticket Sales by Credit Card: Call Churchill Arts Center 775-423-1440 Ticket sales in person at Jeff’s Office Supply in Fallon. July 27th, 7:30pm Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada 2005 Highway 28, Incline Village 89451/775-832-1616 www.laketahoeshakespeare.com Single Tickets: $25.-$75. / Tables: $140.-$280. (Tables seat 2 or 4.) Online Ticket Sales: http://tickets.intermountainarts.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=4345 By Phone: 1-800-747-4697 August 1st, 7:30pm Nightingale Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Reno/1335 N. Virginia Street Reno 89557/775-784-4278 General: $22.; seniors, students, military, $18. Reno, NV June 20 2015 -Complete with all the soaring and exquisite movement of the traditional R&J, Sierra Nevada Ballet’s new version features an intriguing twist – the ballet is presented from the point of view of Lady Capulet, Juliet’s heartbroken and often overlooked mother. The juxtaposition of the two relationships, the conventional arranged marriage of the Capulets with the passionate true love of Romeo and Juliet, presents a penetrating glimpse into the received roles of women in society and the tough and painful choices that accompany them. The ballet draws many affecting parallels between conventional female participation in society and current social and behavioral trends. “I have long wanted to choreograph Romeo and Juliet, partly because I love the hauntingly beautiful music of Prokofiev and partly because I have wondered about the feelings of Lady Capulet (the mother of Juliet). Being a mother myself, I wonder how this woman must have felt having lost her daughter through prejudice, and I feel the need to give her the opportunity to tell her version of the tragic love story.” –Rosine Bena, Artistic Director, Sierra Nevada Ballet The piece is even more unique by virtue of the artistic collaboration between Bena and internationally renowned choreographer Jean-Paul Comelin. Bena’s keen sense of theater coupled with the billowing lyricism of Comelin’s airy pas de deux creations make SNB’s world premier Romeo and Juliet an artistic event not to be missed! Romeo and Juliet will feature Ihosvany Rodriguez (Ballet San Jose, Nacional de Cuba) as Romeo; Erica Chipp (Smuin Ballets SF) as Juliet; Ananda Bena-Weber (Reno Ballet, Jazz Tap Ensemble) as Lady Capulet; Domingo Rubio (Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico) as Lord Capulet; Oliver Adams (Sacramento Ballet) as Mercutio and Alexander Biber (Sacramento Ballet) as Tybalt. ABOUT JEAN-PAUL COMELIN: French-born, choreographer, and director Jean-Paul Comelin choreographed his first Ballet, Autumn Songs, for the National ballet of Canada for Ballerinas Veronica Tennant and Karen Kain. A second work, Idylle. a silver medal winner in Varna was also added to the repertoire a year later. He became choreographer in residence for the Pennsylvania Ballet and then proceeded to create and stage over 100 works for companies on five continents for over 50 years. As a Choreographer and Master Teacher, he organized choreographic groups and schools in San Diego, and Washington DC., a professional companies in Sacramento and Milwaukee, where he was Artistic Director. He created the Milwaukee Ballet school in 1975. He formed a company in Tucson, the Arizona Dance Theatre which eventually merged with Ballet West Arizona in Phoenix and became Ballet Arizona. He then created unusual Fund raising projects such as the Beer and Ballet series in a converted Bowling alley in Milwaukee and brought 1500 new subscribers to the Company’s annual season at the Performing Arts Center. He also presented special performances with local theatre companies, symphony and opera companies at state fairs, street festivals, ball parks and school classrooms. Comelin worked with such notable dancers as Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Lawrence Rhodes, Carla Fracci, Marcia Haydee, Richard Cragun, Vladimir Vasiliev, and Ekaterina Maximova.,Mikhail Lavrovski, Evelyn Hart, Violette Verdy and Edward Villela. He has received many grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Pew foundation , The Milwaukee Foundation, The Evinrude and Flinn Foundations of Arizona and the Alberta foundation for the Arts. Returning to Europe Mr. Comelin was invited by Artistic Director Marcia Haydee to be Ballet master of the prestigious Stuttgart Ballet. He created two New works for the company, and was in charge of the repertoires of Jiri Kilian, John Neumeier, Maurice Bejart and John Cranko. As Artistic Director of Ballet du Nord in France, he created and staged several works each year, including an original work on Christopher Columbus, a new version of the Nutcracker with original music, a new version of the Firebird in collaboration with painter Majhoub Ben Bella live on stage painting a backdrop as the ballet developed. He choreographed the Mozart Requiem, ( Lux Aeterna ), Daughters of Mourning, Les Nuits D’Ete, and several pas de deux, presented at home and on a tour of Europe and South America. ABOUT ROSINE BENA: Sierra Nevada Ballet Artistic Director, Rosine Bena was a professional ballerina who danced throughout the US and Europe with the Stuttgart Ballet under John Cranko as well as with The Washington Ballet, and Peninsula Ballet Theatre. She received critical acclaim as a "Prima" for principal roles in ballets such as Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee and contemporary works by choreographers such as John Cranko, Jiri Kylian and many others. In addition to guest performing with various ballet companies, Bena danced opposite Patrick DuPond of the Paris Opera in the movie, She Dances Alone. The recipient of numerous grant awards, Rosine was given the title of "Outstanding Individual Artist 1992" by the San Mateo County Arts Council and honored by the US Congress and the CA State Legislature for her work in the arts. Bena is the former Artistic Director of two professional ballet companies, The Reno Ballet and Perspectives Dance Theatre. She has choreographed and directed over 60 professional productions and numerous non-professional productions, and her choreography has been favorably compared to the work of choreographers such as George Balanchine, John Cranko, Kurt Joos and Michael Smuin. Ms. Bena is the former director/founder of the dance program for Kollage Community School for the Arts which serves over 8,000 students in the SF Bay area and the former Arts Education Specialist for the Arts Council of San Mateo County. Having taught ballet for over 40 years, Rosine presently directs the professional ballet company for Northern Nevada, the Sierra Nevada Ballet, and is the Founder/Director of Sierra Nevada Ballet Academy and Director of Ballet at Western Nevada Performing Arts Center in Carson City, Nevada. She is a guest master teacher for the Regional Dance America Ballet Festivals, and was elected RDA Adjudicator for the national festival in Montreal for 2012 and Adjudicator for the Pacific Region in 2013. Bena is a certified member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, lecturing and teaching ballet and injury prevention throughout the US and Europe. She writes a monthly article on Dance for the Arts Section of the Reno Gazette Journal Newspaper. As a former graduate of the Academy of the Washington School of Ballet, Rosine was one of the alumni honored at the Kennedy Center and the White House by the Clintons and is in Who's Who in America in the category of Outstanding Americans. Rosine was invited by American Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Kevin McKenzie, to take part in the ABT Alumni Curriculum training and was one of the first master teachers to be fully certified to teach all levels of the curriculum and act as ambassador. Bena joined the staff of ABT in 2010 teaching in two of their five national ballet summer programs. In 2008, Bena was awarded an Endowment from the Sierra Arts Foundation and a Fellowship from The Nevada State Arts Council for her outstanding artistic work as a choreographer and director. She continues to lecture and guest teach throughout the USA and Europe. Bena is also a certified grant writer with an excellent track record. ABOUT SIERRA NEVADA BALLET: The Sierra Nevada Ballet is a non-profit dance company created to cater to the increasingly culturally diverse audience of Northern Nevada. The purpose of Sierra Nevada Ballet is to bring cultural enrichment and arts education to the Reno/Tahoe/Carson communities and to collaborate with other arts organizations in expanding and educating the dance audience. SNB is designed in two branches: the performing branch and the educational outreach branch. This design promotes, educates and sponsors the art and beauty of ballet and dance in the Northern Nevada region. This design also helps to create artists, build future audiences and develop and further the art of Dance for future generations. As part of this effort, SNB formed an Apprentice/Trainee Program; an Educational Outreach Program (started in Dec. 03), and began the Young Choreographers Program (Jan. 03) which later developed into the New Choreography Program (2012) to include choreographers of all ages and a Dancing In the Schools Program (started in Sept. 05). The DITS program, which is based on the highly successful program originally designed by Rosine Bena for schools in the SF Bay area in the early 1990’s, enables SNB professional dancers to teach in public schools in the Northern Nevada area. The Trainee/Apprentice Program has produced 18 professional ballet dancers in it’s short existence. When the company began in 2001–there were two professional dancers and seven apprentice /trainees. This year the company has expanded to include 19 company members and eleven apprentice/trainees. Since its formation, SNB has grown rapidly, presenting quality dance performances throughout the year annually. In 2008 SNB began a formal affiliation with American Ballet Theatre. SNB has been featured in numerous cultural events and performed in collaboration with such organizations as the Nevada Museum of Art, the Nevada Opera and orchestra, the Nevada Shakespeare Company, the Reno Jazz Orchestra, the Carson City Symphony, the Mile High Jazz group, the Bruka Theater, the Brewery Arts Center and, this year, with the Reno Little Theater.. SNB has been a part of the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival since 2005; has performed annually at the Pioneer Center since 2004, has begun an annual tradition of presenting Brew Brats and Ballet (an evening of new choreography) in both Reno and Carson City and has presented a summer series at several venues in northern Nevada and California annually since 2002. FACT SHEET: WHAT: Sierra Nevada Ballet presents a daring new version of Romeo and Juliet – a choreographic collaboration between international favorite JEAN-PAUL COMELIN and SNB artistic director ROSINE BENA. WHEN: July 25th, 27th, and Aug 1st WHERE: July 25th, 8pm Barkley Theater, Oats Park Arts Center, Fallon, Nevada/1 E. Park Street, Fallon, NV 89406/775-423-1440 July 27th, 7:30pm Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada, 2005/Highway 28, Incline Village 89451/775-8321616/www.laketahoeshakespeare.com August 1st, 8pm Nightingale Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Reno 1335 N. Virginia Street Reno 89557 TICKETS: July 25th: Barkley Theater. General: $22; seniors, students, military, $18. Box Seats: $44 & $36. Ticket Sales by Credit Card: Call Churchill Arts Center 775-423-1440 Ticket sales in person at Jeff’s Office Supply in Fallon. www.churchillarts.org July 27th: Sand Harbor. www.laketahoeshakespeare.com Single Tickets: $25.-$75. / Tables: $140.-$280. (Tables seat 2 or 4.) Online Ticket Sales: http://tickets.intermountainarts.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=4345 By Phone: 1-800-747-4697 Aug 1st: Nightingale Concert Hall. General: $22. seniors, students, military, $18. 775-784-4278 FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.sierranevadaballet.org/ For high resolution photographs and interview requests, please contact Nicholas Martin Kearney: Development@sierranevadaballet.org
  4. Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the afternoon rehearsal with Daria Klimentová & Vadim Muntagirov cast. Here are a couple of photos to remind us of how glorious Daria is, for her retirement performances: Daria Klimentová as Juliet © Foteini Christofilopoulou. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Daria Klimentová & Vadim Muntagirov © Foteini Christofilopoulou. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Set from DanceTabs: ENB - Romeo & Juliet (Daria Klimentová cast) Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
  5. I wasn't able to be at the first night of R&J tonight, but expect a lot of you were, so please post your thoughts here.
  6. The Royal Ballet's current run of MacMillan's Romeo & Juliet starts tonight, so please discuss here.
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