Dashing sword fights, ballroom grandeur, and a romantic balcony scene evoke the essence of Shakespeare’s iconic play. The ballrooms of Verona are filled with refined elegance and pure emotion as the star-crossed lovers tell their story. Rossen Milanov conducting the Columbus Symphony Orchestra will bring the beauty of Prokofiev to this timeless production.
This ballet is a full length, meaning, one ballet with intermissions, similar to a book with chapters.
A former dancer with New York City Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Edwaard Liang has built an international reputation as a choreographer. Over the last decade, he has created work for the Bolshoi Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and Washington Ballet.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Marin County, California, Mr. Liang began his dance training at age five with Marin Ballet. After studying at the School of American Ballet, he joined New York City Ballet in 1993. That same year, he was a medal winner at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition and won the Mae L. Wien Award. By 1998, he was promoted to Soloist. In 2001, Mr. Liang joined the Tony Award® winning Broadway cast of Fosse. His performance in Fosse was later televised nationally on PBS’ Great Performances series – “Dance in America: From Broadway: Fosse,” and subsequently released on DVD. By 2002, Mr. Liang was invited by Jiri Kylian to become a member of the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater 1.
While dancing with NDT 1, Mr. Liang discovered his passion and love for choreography. Since establishing himself as a choreographer, his works have been performed by dance companies around the world and he has won numerous awards for his choreography including the 2006 National Choreographic Competition.
In 2013, Mr. Liang was named Artistic Director at BalletMet where he continues to choreograph new works for companies both domestically and abroad. In 2017, he received an Emmy® Award for his short dance film, “Vaulted.” In 2018, he created a new ballet with Roberto Bolle for the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was a 20th-century Russian (and Soviet) composer, pianist and conductor who wrote in a wide range of musical genres, including symphonies, concerti, film music, operas, ballets, and program pieces. Prokofiev’s music can be defined as a synthesis of traditional tonality and stylistic innovation of 20th century composition. He was inspired by the ballets of Igor Stravinsky and other art forms of the period. He was also greatly influenced by his advisor Serge Diaghilev, a great ballet impresario. Well-known works written by Prokofiev include the Lieutenant Kijé suite, and Romeo and Juliet, the ballet from which “Dance of the Knights” is taken. In 1943, Prokofiev joined Sergei Eisenstein in Alma-Ata, the largest city in Kazakhstan, to compose the ballet Cinderella (Op. 87), one of his most melodious and celebrated compositions.
“Liang’s version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is masterful work.”
Once in love with the beautiful Rosaline, nothing else matters to Romeo after seeing Juliet for the first time. Romeo is forced to put his love for Juliet to the test when he is banished from Verona due to a long-standing feud between their families, the Montagues and Capulets.
The only daughter of Lady and Lord Capulet, young Juliet is unhappily engaged to Paris, a kinsman of the Prince. Going against her parents’ wishes, Juliet elopes with her true love, Romeo as she becomes willing to protect their love at any cost.
A skeptic, Mercutio is one of Romeo’s closest friend. Puzzled when Romeo refuses to accept Tybalt’s duel, Mercutio takes his friend’s place, resulting in a tragic chain of events.
In an episode of BalletMet’s Director’s Point of View from 2017, Edwaard Liang discusses how it feels to bring his production to Columbus.
There are parking garages near the Ohio and the Capitol theatres, as well as limited metered street parking (most of which is free after 6 pm and on Sundays).
Ohio Statehouse Parking Garage
$5 during events
Enter from westbound Broad Street or Third Street.
Riffe Center Parking Garage
$5 during events
Enter from Front Street. Take the elevators to the third floor and proceed along the hall to the Davidson Theatre. (For the Box Office or Will Call, descend the escalators to the first floor.)
Downtown traffic can be heavy, so please plan ahead. We recommend arriving 20-30 minutes early to park, find your seat, explore the program and relax before the performance. Audience members who arrive late may not be seated until intermission.
This is our most-asked question, and the answer is: You probably won’t feel out of place no matter what you wear. If you want to wear jeans, go for it—we promise you won’t be alone. If you want to dress up, feel free. Many others do, too. We don’t see as much formal-wear in the theater as we once did, though it wouldn’t be unusual to see a tux or a gown at a performance. Basically, anything goes.
No, dancers express the story or meaning through the movement. In some story ballets, dancers will use pantomime (exaggerated movements) to help you understand what’s happening. If you see a ballet with pantomime, head to the lobby, where we’ll have more information and guidance. If you ever struggle to follow along, feel free to chat with a BalletMet staff member in the lobby who will happily answer any questions you have.
If you are wowed by something you just saw, please do applaud. At BalletMet, we love to hear clapping. It’s uplifting to those performing, as they can often feel your excitement and energy on stage. So applaud whenever you see fit! Note: Not every ballet company feels this way, so keep that in mind if you happen to be at another company’s performance.
Images by Jennifer Zmuda