New York City Ballet's Spring 2007 Season to Feature New Version of Romeo and Juliet

Classic Arts News   New York City Ballet's Spring 2007 Season to Feature New Version of Romeo and Juliet
New York City Ballet will present the premiere of a full-length production of Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by ballet master in chief Peter Martins, at its annual spring gala on May 1.

The production, set to Prokofiev's score, will be the ninth full-length work to enter the company's repertory; 14 performances are scheduled to run through May 13.

The ballet will be the centerpiece of NYCB's upcoming celebration of the centennial of the birth of Lincoln Kirstein, who co-founded (with George Balanchine) NYCB in 1948 and the School of American Ballet in 1934. The new production will feature NYCB dancers along with SAB students and faculty.

"While Lincoln was a towering figure in a number of cultural arenas, the organizations that were nearest and dearest to him were New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet, so it seemed only fitting to honor his centennial with a production that unites and celebrates both of these organizations," Martins said in a statement.

"It was also Lincoln who encouraged me to create The Sleeping Beauty in 1991, and knowing how much that production meant to him, I hope he would have been equally pleased with the addition of this timeless story, and Prokofiev's glorious score, to our repertory," added Martins.

Martins's version of Romeo and Juliet is the second Shakespearean classic to be made into a full-length ballet for NYCB; the first, A Midsummer Night's Dream, was created by George Balanchine in 1962.

Sets and costumes for Romeo and Juliet are by Danish painter Per Kirkeby, who previously collaborated with Martins on the 1996 production of Swan Lake for the Royal Danish Ballet, which entered NYCB's repertory in 1999.

Lincoln Kirstein was born in 1907 in Rochester and died in 1996. He was also a writer, impresario and art connoisseur. The English dance critic Clement Crisp, who currently writes for the Financial Times, has written that Kirstein "was one of those rare talents who touch the entire artistic life of their time."

NYCB's Kirstein celebrations will also include an exhibition at the New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, as well as two Monday evening seminars focusing on his life and work.

The company's 2007 spring season opens on April 29 and closes on June 29.

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