Choreographer Krzysztof Pastor set the first act of his ROMEO & JULIET during the Mussolini era, with Tybalt and his Capulets as black-shirted Fascists and Mercutio suggesting a resistance fighter. The second act moves to the bright, pastel 1950s—to a country released from the cares of war and deprivation, celebrating an economic boom with a West Side Story-style group dance. The final act is marked by a tenuous connection to the Brigate Rosse of the 1970s.
The Joffrey Ballet production of Pastor’s 2008 ballet was first staged in Chicago in 2014, and the Los Angeles premiere of the work this month brings all the principals west: Rory Hohenstein (Romeo), Christine Rocas (Juliet), Yoshihisa Arai (Mercutio), and Temur Suluashvili (Tybalt).
Dylan Gutierrez, Jeraldine Mendoza, Derrick Agnoletti, and Miguel Angel Blanco make up the alternate cast.
Sergei Prokofiev’s score will be performed by a live orchestra under the musical direction of Scott Speck.
ROMEO & JULIET—THE JOFFREY BALLET
Friday, March 9, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, March 11 at 2 pm.
Saturday, March 17, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm.
DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION, Music Center, 135 North Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles.
Above: Rory Hohenstein as Romeo and Christine Rocas as Juliet.
Below: Temur Suluashvili as Tybalt, and Rocas. Bottom: Yoshihisa Arai as Mercutio, holding Suluashvili.
Original set and costume design by Tatyana Van Walsum. All photographs by Cheryl Mann.