Highly Recommended Dance: MATTHEW BOURNE’S ROMEO AND JULIET (North American Premiere, Ahmanson Theatre)

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by William Keiser on January 4, 2024

in Dance,Theater-Los Angeles

Directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne in collaboration with the New Adventures artistic team, this masterful re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, an ageless tale of teenage discovery and the madness of first love, premiered in 2019, and now makes its North American premiere with Terry Davies’ thrillingly fresh orchestrations of Prokofiev’s dynamic score at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, Jan. 28-Feb. 25, 2024. This joins Swan Lake, Edward Scissorhands, Cinderella, The Car Man, Sleeping BeautyThe Red Shoes and more in the New Adventures repertoire.

Monique Jonas and Rory Macleod
Hannah Kremer and Bryony Pennington

Bourne’s new version gives Shakespeare’s timeless story of forbidden love a scintillating injection of raw passion and youthful vitality. Confined against their will by a society that seeks to divide them, our two young lovers must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together.

Rory MacLeod
Richard Winsor, Paris Fitzpatrick, Danny Reubens,
Euan Garrett, Rory MacLeod, and Cordelia Braithwaite

Sir Matthew Bourne is renowned for shattering stereotypes, and exploring and pushing boundaries in dance. Key to his creative approach is the creation of work from familiar titles that are accessible to audiences unfamiliar with dance. However, Bourne’s aim is not to simply re-tell a well-known story, but instead put his own spin on the narrative that provokes the audience to think, feel, and consider the story in a new light.

Rory MacLeod and Monique Jonas
Alan Vincent, Cordelia Braithwaite and Rory MacLeod

This adaptation is no exception, bursting with youth, vitality and Bourne’s trademark storytelling. Perhaps the best-known love story in English literary tradition, and one of Shakespeare’s most enduring pieces of writing, Romeo and Juliet tells the tragic tale of two lovers who must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together.

Jackson Fisch, Harry Ondrak-Wright, Cameron Flynn,
Paris Fitzpatrick, and Daisy May Kemp
Bryony Pennington and New Adventures dancers

Bourne said, “I had resisted creating a new production of Romeo and Juliet for many years wondering if there was anything new to say in a much-performed work. In 2019, I found that inspiration in a countrywide young talent development project that surrounded the original production. Working alongside my usual creative team, but with a team of young artistic associates and a young cast of super talented emerging dance artists, we created something relevant, questioning and deeply moving …  but also, an unexpected hit show.”

Rory MacLeod and Monique Jonas
Monique Jonas

photos by Johan Persson (@perssonphotography)

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet
North American Premiere by New Adventures
Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre
The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A.
Tues-Fri- at 8; Sat at 2 & 8; Sun at 1 & 6:30; Thurs at 2 (Feb 22)
January 28 to February 25,
2024 (opening January 31; dark Feb. 5 and 25 evening)
for tickets (starting at $35), call 213.628.2772 or visit CTG

Monique Jonas and Rory Macleod

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