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Know Before You Go: The making of Romeo and Juliet

David Ward and Caitlin Valentine Ellis in a promo for Romeo and Juliet

A timeless tale of star-crossed lovers, Artistic Director Edwaard Liang’s Romeo and Juliet is finally making its Columbus Premiere in BalletMet’s 2016/2017 season. Originally choreographed for Tulsa Ballet in 2012, BalletMet will be the second company to perform Liang’s work. Here are three things you need to know before it hits the stage this month at the Ohio Theatre.

1. A love story in more than one way, Romeo and Juliet was the first full-length ballet that Liang choreographed. Full-length ballets consist of stories that are well-known to audiences (think Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker). When creating a full-length ballet, choreographers must make sure dancers’ movements tell the story. Short ballets, however, are often inspired works that have no plot or story tied to them.

2. Great ballets require exquisite costumes. Romeo and Juliet features costumes that evoke the Renaissance period. Created with lighter fabrics and slimmer silhouettes to allow the costumes to be danceable, the designs show off the lavishness of the period. Originally owned by Houston Ballet and then purchased by Tulsa Ballet in 2012, the costumes are around 15 to 20 years old.

3. Not only does Romeo and Juliet feature Prokofiev’s incredible ballet score, it will also be performed live by the Columbus Symphony. Prokofiev originally composed the music for Romeo and Juliet in 1935 for the Kirov Ballet. His dynamic score has inspired choreographers from all over to create their own Romeo and Juliet. You can listen to the score here.

Don’t miss BalletMet’s 2023/24 season finisher, Edwaard Liang’s Romeo and Juliet, at the Ohio Theatre April 26-28!