The Joffrey's spin on the most infamous love story of all time can't be missed.
The Joffrey's performance of Romeo & Juliet opens this week.
The Joffrey Ballet’s performance of Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet isn’t your usual take on the Shakespearean classic. For starters, Pastor’s ballet relies on telling the story of literature’s most notorious star-crossed lovers through dance instead of iambic pentameter. Add in the fact that it’s set in not only 20th-century Italy but three different decades of 20th-century Italy—and audiences can rest assured that something completely unique will dance across The Joffrey stage April 30-May 11 for the company’s last show of the 2013-2014 season.
The play is broken down into one decade for every three acts, starting with the militaristic reign of Mussolini in the 1930s, moving through the Red Brigade-ruled ‘50s, and coming to a dramatic climax in the socially unbalanced ‘90s.
Joffrey creative director, Ashley Wheater.
“I think that what [Pastor] shows is that, however [many] centuries or decades go on we still have these people that fall in love from different backgrounds and the conflict that goes with that,” says Joffrey creative director, Ashley Wheater. “I feel the production relates to people today and I think it relates across all age groups.”
The Joffrey’s other productions this past season have included La Bayadere, The Nutcracker, and series focusing on contemporary choreography and Russian works. “I was just incredibly proud of the company and how they transcended La Bayadere,” Wheater reflects.
As for the 2014-2015 season, Wheater is looking forward to performing Swan Lake, TheMan in Black, and Tulle. He adds that the company will also showcase a few brand-new works in their spring repertoire. “I’m really excited because they are being created for the company, so [it] will be exciting to see what comes out of that,” Wheater says. Tickets for Romeo & Juliet can be purchased on joffrey.org/romeo.10 E. Randolph St., 312-739-0120
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTOPHER DUGGAN (ROMEO & JULIET)