Original ballet created for the Company by Choreographer Edwaard Liang
Shown above: Cavan Conley and Madalina Stoica in Tulsa Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet
Tulsa, Okla. – January 20, 2016 – From February 12-14, 2016, Tulsa Ballet presents world-renowned choreographer Edwaard Liang’s Romeo and Juliet. Three performances will take place at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center over Valentine’s Day Weekend, featuring live music from the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.
When Tulsa Ballet presented the World Premiere of Mr. Liang’ Romeo and Juliet in 2012, it was a significant event for the national ballet community. Ms. Wendy Perron, Editor-in-Chief of Dance Magazine, the worlds’ most read dance publication, made a special trip to Tulsa to attend the World Premiere. In the review following the performance she described it as “a Romeo and Juliet to last.” James D. Watts of the Tulsa World wrote, “(Romeo and Juliet is) a masterful work of dance theater, one that tells the story of Shakespeare’s ‘star-crossed lovers’ with an economy and artistry that delivers all the thrilling beauty of ballet and all the emotional power of drama.”
Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “This version of Romeo and Juliet was the first full evening, story ballet that the company had ever commissioned. It was also the first full evening story ballet that Edwaard Liang, one of the current stars of American choreography, had ever created. As we approach our sixtieth anniversary next season, I see the last three productions of this season as a statement of who we have become. Today we are a company that produces large scale productions by the top dance makers of the world, as evidenced by Romeo and Juliet.”
Edwaard Liang is one of the ballet world’s “choreographers du jour.” Liang’s professional dancing career includes performing with New York City Ballet, Broadway’s Fosse, Nederlands Dans Theater, Norwegian National Ballet and Complexions. His choreographic career began with the Nederlands Dans Theater. Since establishing himself as a freelance choreographer, numerous companies around the world are performing his ballets. Some of the recent companies that have performed his works include Mariinsky Ballet, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Washington Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, Singapore Dance Theatre, Dortmund Ballet, National Theatre in Beijing. In 2006, Edwaard was named one of the “TOP 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine for choreography. In 2013, Liang was named Artistic Director for BalletMet in Columbus, OH.
Marcello Angelini says, “Edwaard has created a lasting masterpiece with his Romeo and Juliet. The entire work is well-structured, filled with exciting dance, perilous sword fights, romantic duets and heart-wrenching segments. No matter how many times I see this ballet, how many times I rehearse it and how well I know it, I always find myself in tears at the end of the show.”
Mr. Liang describes how he created the choreography by allowing the music to provide the structure and framework. He says, “This piece of music is one of the great masterpieces. Everyone falls in love with the score. Prokofiev was really able to tell the story through the music…I wanted to do so much justice for the musical score and the dance company.”
The story is brought to life through the complicated sword fights throughout the ballet. In order to make them as authentic as possible, Tulsa Ballet reached out to Fight Director, and Master Sword Fighter, Steve White. Steve White works directly with the dancers for weeks in sword fight training and says, “It is a privilege to be working once more with Edwaard and the Tulsa Ballet’s talented dancers. Their athletic prowess and skill is a dream job for a sword choreographer. Marcello has assembled a company whose great skill brings to life Shakespeare’s characters. It’s our honor to continue translating this wonderful music into action and dance.”
Along with action packed fight scenes, the colors of the costumes and set come to life in epic proportions. The costume and set design was created by the late David Walker, considered to be one of the greatest British designers for ballet in his time. Tulsa Ballet Costume Director Jerry Wolf says of the designs, “Mr. Walker brings to Romeo and Juliet a stunning color palate and perfect silhouette for ballet. The costumes transport you instantly to the Italian Renaissance, yet the silhouettes are classically ballet and tell the story beautifully, with a color palate that sorts out the relationships of the characters brilliantly. This ballet is a jewel.”
With daring swordfights, beautiful sets and costumes, Prokofiev’s sweeping score, the romantic balcony pas de deux and the heart wrenching ending, Liang’s Romeo and Juliet is sure to speak to audiences of all ages.
Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “A ticket for Romeo and Juliet is the perfect Valentine’s gift. Whether it is a first date or a 30 year anniversary, celebrating it with the two star-crossed lovers will make this particular date one you will never forget.” Performances of Romeo and Juliet will run from February 12-14, 2016 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. All performances include live music provided by Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. Tickets start as low as $25 and may be purchased by calling (918) 749-6006 or by visiting www.tulsaballet.org.
Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:
Ryan Allen, PR & Communications Manager
Tulsa Ballet presents Romeo and Juliet
Choreography by Edwaard Liang
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Featuring music by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
Friday, February 12th at 8pm
Saturday, February 13th at 8pm
Sunday, February 14th at 3pm
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Visit us online at www.tulsaballet.org