October 12, 2011

Press Releases

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The Greatest Love Story of All Time

Takes the Stage at The Boston Opera House

BOSTON, MA – October 12, 2011 – Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen’s presents John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, November 3-13 at The Boston Opera House. This presentation of Cranko’s masterpiece love story is the second time in the company’s history that this version has been performed. Romeo and Juliet is staged by Jane Bourne.

ballet dancers

Kathleen Breen Combes and Jaime Diaz Photograph : Rosalie O'Connor

“Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet is the most satisfying telling of Shakespeare’s story as a ballet,” said Nissinen. “The choreography is a perfect match for Prokofiev’s score and provides all the drama, passion and tragedy of this timeless tale. I know the company will excel in this stunning production and audiences will be swept away by production’s music and choreography.”

Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet premiered in 1962 with the Stuttgart Ballet. Cranko’s exquisitely rendered ballet, set to Sergei Prokofiev’s score, is an inspired realization of William Shakespeare’s tale. While Prokofiev’s original composition initially faced heavy criticism, it has become one of the most popular of all ballet compositions.

Cranko (1927-1973) choreographed his first production of Romeo and Juliet for La Scala Ballet in 1958, with Carla Fracci as Juliet. In 1962, he restaged and revised the piece for Stuttgart Ballet, where he had been appointed director a year earlier, with Marcia Haydée was Juliet. Other companies that have danced Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet include the National Ballet of Canada, The Australian Ballet, and Paris Opera Ballet (1983). In 1978, the Joffrey Ballet became the first American company to stage the production.

Cranko was born in Rustenberg, South Africa in 1927. He trained at the Cape Town University Ballet School and choreographed his first ballet there in 1945, to the suite from Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale. In 1946, he moved to London to study at the Sadler’s Wells School, and was soon offered a place at Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet, the precursor of The Royal Ballet. Although Cranko originally joined the company as a dancer, he was named company choreographer within four years, after displaying remarkable talent in the art.

Cranko choreographed ballets for both the Sadler’s Wells and the newly formed Royal Ballet throughout the 1950s. He had become internationally recognized and was in high demand, creating works for the New York City Ballet, the Rambert Company, Paris Opéra Ballet and La Scala in Milan. In 1961 he was appointed director of Stuttgart Ballet.

In 1973, John Cranko died unexpectedly at the age of 46. His brilliant career was cut short at its height. He left behind a repertory of dramatic classical ballets which are now performed internationally.

All performances of Romeo and Juliet are held at The Boston Opera House.

Choreography by John Cranko

Staged by Jane Bourne

Music Sergei Prokofiev

Set & Costume Design Susan Benson

Lighting Design Christopher Dennis


Schedule of Performances for Romeo and Juliet

Thursday, November 3 at 7:30pm

Friday, November 4 at 7:30pm

Saturday, November 5 at 1:00pm and 7:30pm

Sunday, November 6 at 1:00pm

Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30pm

Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm

Boston Ballet’s hosts the post-performance event series OFFSTAGE at BiNA Osteria following the Thursday, November 10, 7:30pm performance

Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

Saturday, November 12 at 1:00pm and 7:30pm

Sunday, November 13 at 1:00pm


2011-2012 Season Tickets

Subscriptions, Group Sales tickets, and individual tickets for The Nutcracker are on sale now.  Individual tickets for all other ballets go on sale on Monday, August 29.  Subscriptions and individual tickets are available online 24 hours a day at Boston Ballet’s website, by phone at 617.695.6955, and in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm.  Tickets start at $25 for season ballets and $35 for Night of Stars and The Nutcracker.  Group Sales tickets for parties of 10 or more are available through the box office at 617.695.6955.   

About Boston Ballet

Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School.

Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. 

Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to providing excellence and access to dance education. It reaches more than 10,000 students, ages 9-month to adult each year through its four core programs: Children’s Program, Classical Ballet Program, Adult Dance Program and Pre-Professional Program. Boston Ballet’s award-winning community outreach initiatives include Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance.  The wide array of dance programs are held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead with additional programs throughout New England, as well as at community centers and in the Boston Public Schools.

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  1. Ejack Says:

    I was very disappointed in Boston Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet. My expectation was for a dance, choreography and artistic interpretation of the Shakespearian legend. What I saw was a spectacle. Elaborate stage design, costuming and pantomime and acrobatics but very little dance. Nissinen did a disservice to the reputation of the company by staging this spectacle.
    Even the pas de deux was disappointing, mainly consisting of XXX running toward YYY to be lifted over his shoulders. The footwork was banal only the expressiveness in her arms saved any concept of artistic merit in the second act.
    Talking to several women who were enthusiastic they had to concede that as a ballet the production was a disappointment.
    I would be interested in other’s opinion of John Cranko’s staging.