Music & Dance Preview: ROMEO AND JULIET (LA Phil and L.A. Dance Project at Disney Hall)

by Tony Frankel on October 17, 2018

in Dance,Music,Theater-Los Angeles


Romeo and Juliet is probably Prokofiev’s best dramatic work (I say “probably” because “hearing” the duck being eaten by the wolf in Peter and the Wolf nearly traumatized my childhood). Arguably, it’s his best orchestral work. Positively, it’s his most lyrical, emotional, and deeply moving work. Yet rarely do we get the chance to hear it played live in its entirety unless it comes with a full ballet production. When that happens, we tend to concentrate on the dancers, not the music. And while the popular suite version is most often heard in concert halls, that only has 20 musical numbers, versus the 52 in the full score. Even though this 1935 ballet isn’t through-composed in the manner of Stravinsky, it always gains in stature when heard in all of its glory live. Yet rarely do we get the chance to hear it played that way unless it comes with a full ballet company. What if we could watch the dancers but also watch the orchestra?

A collaboration between LA Phil and L.A. Dance Project is about to show you how. Under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, the Philharmonic will be on stage at Disney Hall this weekend only for four performances (Oct. 18-21, 2018) playing the whole score of Romeo and Juliet while the pioneering and ardent Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied brings the tragic love story to life by making the live event part dance experience and part cinematic exploration of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

With Millepied behind the camera, audiences will watch the star-crossed lovers as they seamlessly transition from stage to screen, with the action projected live as the story plays out in unexpected locations throughout the building. Millepied explains his intentions in the video below.

Due to production needs, Friday night’s Drinks in the Garden at 6:30 is cancelled. But one hour before each show, join Veronika Krausas in BP Hall for some enlightening commentary about the show. But don’t miss the voluptuous violins, colorful woodwinds, and precise and powerful percussion from LA Phil as they bring you one of the most beloved ballet scores of all time. And with L.A. Dance Project, it’s almost like watching the music.

rehearsal photos by Jonathan Potter

Los Angeles Philharmonic and L.A. Dance Project
PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet (full score)
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 8 PM
Friday, October 19, 2018 at 8 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 2 PM
for tickets, call 323.850.2000 or visit LA Phil

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