“Romeo and Juliet” was a favorite in high school lit-class, a real two-hanky play. My first experience of any version of the play on stage was with choreographer John Cranko’s version at the Academy of Music in 1969. I knew Prokofiev’s score, especially “Dance of the Knights,” where the Capulets and Montagues curtsy and circle one another. The sinister music trumpeted that they would soon be killing each other. Around the same time Franco Zefferelli’s dance-heavy film came out. Both Cranko’s dance and Zeferrelli’s film were full of pomp and ceremony, velvets, pearls, crimsons, swords, and sumptuous beyond words. So, I’ve always thought of “Romeo and Juliet” as dance.
“Rome and Jewels” by Rennie Harris. Photograph courtesy Penn Live Arts
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading