• February 6-14, 2015

    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Roméo et Juliette — February 6-14, 2015

Choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Live with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra led by guest conductor Beatrice Jona Affron

 

Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette is back by popular demand for the 14|15 Season after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said “[a]udiences should pack a tissue or two and see this production.” A startlingly fresh take on the well-known Shakespearean masterpiece, Roméo et Juliette envelops you in the tantalizing power of young, forbidden love. An ideal way to spend Valentine’s Day with your special someone.

"Atlanta Ballet’s luminous ‘Roméo et Juliette’ defies analysis. Like first love, it is stirring at every level."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

 
Running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes with one 20-minute intermission between Acts I & II and a 3-minute pause between Acts II & III.

Program is subject to change.

 

 

Performance images: Atlanta Company dancers Alessa Rogers as Juliette, Rachel Van Buskirk as the Nurse, Christine Winkler as Lady Capulet, Alexandre Barros as Acolyte, Christian Clark as Roméo, Heath Gill as Mercutio, Jonah Hooper as Tybalt, Miguel Angel Montoya as Acolyte, Benjamin Stone as Benvolio, John Welker as Friar Laurence. Photos by Charlie McCullers.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the first major performing arts facility built in metro Atlanta in four decades.

Location and Parking
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is located in northwest Atlanta near the junction of I-75 and I-285, at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road.  Self parking is available on site for a $6 fee, and valet parking is available for select performances for a $10 fee. You can also pay for paking in advance online - click here for more information. Please do not park in the Toys"R"Us lot on Akers Mill Rd. This is not approved parking for the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, so your car may be booted or towed if left there.

Emergency Phone Number
(770) 916-2911 is the 24-hour public safety number for the Cobb Energy Centre.  Please leave your seat location with your babysitter or answering service so that the house manager may find you in case of an emergency.

Special Needs
The venue is ADA compliant.  Designated seats in various locations are available for guests with disabilities and those needing special assistance.  The venue is equipped with wheelchair accessible courtesy phones, elevators, plaza ramps, wheelchair accessible ticket windows, and wheelchair accessible drinking fountains.  For more information, please call (770) 916-2800.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Community and Corporate Group Tickets

It only takes 10 people to benefit from Atlanta Ballet's Group Sales program.  With our fast, friendly and convenient service, you can secure the best seats in the house in no time at all.  For more information or to reserve your group's seats today, contact Myredith Gonzales, Group Sales Manager, by one of the easy methods below.

Email groupsales@atlantaballet.com
Phone 404.873.5811 ext 207
Fax 404.874.4873, Attention: Group Sales
Mail Atlanta Ballet
Group Sales
1695 Marietta Boulevard NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

Group Benefits include:

  • Priority seating at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and the Fabulous Fox Theatre
  • Discounts of up to 30% for select performances and special access to tickets not available to the general public
  • One-time $10 service fee, no matter how large your order
  • Flexible payment options
  • VIP opportunities such as backstage tours and dancer meet-and-greets (nominal fees apply)
  • Personal VIP service from our outstanding staff including presentation and marketing materials on the program of your choice.  Assistance with restaurant and hotel reservations, transportation options, pre/post-show receptions and tours of the Cobb Energy Centre/Fox Theatre are also available at your request.

Review: For Atlanta Ballet’s seductive “Roméo et Juliette,” the second time around is even sweeter

Like Welker, most of the leads are taking on their roles for the second time, and the benefits of a second approach are most clearly seen in the narrative, which seems crisper and stronger the second time around, and in the supporting characters, which pop off the stage with much more individuality and fullness. 

Especially fine in that regard is Heath Gill, who makes a fantastic Mercutio. In his movement, he elicits both a joking playfulness and a pugnacious, youthful, masculine bravado.

Top 10 Picks For A Romantic Date Night With Your Valentine

3. “Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Romeo et Juliette,” Atlanta Ballet at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Feb. 14

Atlanta Ballet’s performance of true love is back after last year’s popular run. The story of Romeo and Juliet is no secret, but seeing it performed as a dance without the classic Shakespearean lines is a new experience. And we can’t help but wish the ending will play out differently each time.

“Roméo et Juliette” is taut, textured love story

“Roméo et Juliette” is beautiful on its surface. But what moves people — and they often can’t explain why — is its intricate form, a dynamic structure that pulls audiences into its emotionally fraught world and carries them to its poetic, devastating end. Program notes and multiple viewings help audiences fully grasp this sophisticated work, one of Atlanta Ballet’s finest acquisitions in recent years.

Grade: A

Atlanta Ballet is Over the Top with “Roméo et Juliette”

The Atlanta Ballet has outdone itself in this year’s Valentine’s offering, a reprise of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Roméo et Juliette.” Bringing back a cast very similar to last year’s was a stroke of genius by Artistic Director John McFall, as it allowed the dancers to concentrate on performance and the creation of characters instead of having to focus on the “steps.”

Atlanta Ballet's Roméo et Juliette mesmerizes and delights

A sign of a well-performed ballet is when the directors, producers and performers have the audience so enthralled in the storyline the viewers forget they are watching dance and not a cinematic feature film. This was the reaction at the Atlanta Ballet performance of Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, which debuted in 2014 and has returned as part of the 2015 repertoire by popular demand. After the privilege of watching this phenomenal performance, it is no wonder Altantans demanded its return.

Atlanta Ballet Presents Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette

Roméo et Juliette  is filled with eyebrow-raising moments of dazzling modern feints amidst the classicism, as well as profound explosions of both ecstasy and grief that are profound.  With the return of Alessa Rogers and Christian Clark as the doomed lovers, scene-stealing Heath Gill as Mercutio and the gorgeous set and costumes, Roméo et Juliette  is a rich evening and a major crowd-pleaser for Atlanta Ballet.

Roméo et Juliette Romances Cobb Energy Centre

The chemistry between Roméo (Christian Clark) and Juliette (Alessa Rogers) was amazing. To see this classic story told in dance was a sight to be seen. The talent and strength that’s needed to perform and execute in such a way needs to be seen firsthand.

Atlanta Ballet‘s “Romeo et Juliette” | Atlanta

And the performers were of course, beautiful; the ones in the pit orchestra, whose soaring music set the tone for the evening from the first dreamy note, and the ones on the stage. This interpretation of the classic true love story was gritty and real, and at times very sexy. I loved the abstract movements used by the choreographer, and the company did an amazing job at conveying the depth of emotion their characters were experiencing, and pulling the audience into their story.

Beat for beat, 'Roméo et Juliette' is worth a second look

In last year's Southern premiere, the company and it's orchestra glowed in one of the most passion-driven, musically challenging works they've performed in years - many say it's the best they've done.

Preview: Atlanta Ballet’s Christian Clark reprises role of a lifetime in “Roméo et Juliette”

Clark and Alessa Rogers as Juliette found themselves in star-making roles, singled out for their smoldering onstage chemistry... The role of Romeo has upped Clark’s profile with Atlanta Ballet, a place that has been his home away from home since he was in the second grade.

Classic love: ‘Romeo et Juliette’ tells tragic story through dance Feb. 6 to 14

Benjamin Stone, of Cobb, will perform the role of Benvolio, cousin of Romeo. Stone previously played the role of Laertes last year in Atlanta Ballet's "Hamlet." Stone was born and raised in Australia and studied dance at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. This is his fourth season with Atlanta Ballet.

Year in Review: Star-crossed lovers, Spano/Stallings mark exciting diversity of Atlanta dance

Atlanta Ballet’s Roméo et Juliette, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot, was not only the company’s best performance of the year, it was one of most visually stunning productions we’ve ever seen... Christian Clark and Alessa Rogers in the lead roles delivered grown-up chemistry with a hint of sweet adolescence, and Maillot’s choreography achieved emotional weight without relying on pantomime.

Atlanta Dance 2014: Touring, local dance troupes broke conventions

Not since “Dracula” has Atlanta Ballet produced a story ballet so right for its artists and audience. Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Shakespeare-inspired work demonstrated a dramatic rise in dancers’ technique, musicality and emotional nuance. Against the sweep of its luminous set, Maillot’s choreography entwined with Prokofiev’s score and charged it with raw physicality, innocent sexual curiosity and a stark sense of tragedy. Alessa Rogers’ interpretation of Juliette — bold yet fragile, passionate but in charge of her destiny — was a tour de force.

‘Romeo et Juliette’ a triumph for Atlanta Ballet

In last Friday evening’s Southern premiere and in Sunday’s performance, this troupe’s dancers gave some of their most moving and skilled performances yet seen on the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre stage, including a tour-de-force by Alessa Rogers as Juliette. The production will run Thursday through Saturday.

Review: Atlanta Ballet’s sensuous “Roméo et Juliette” a romantic and tragic tour de force

The production’s minimalist elements allow freedom for character exploration, and Atlanta Ballet’s dancers rise to the challenge with mature, nuanced performances. Though nearly all of the roles are impeccably danced, it is Christian Clark and Alessa Rogers as Romeo and Juliette who shine the brightest. Rogers is wide-eyed and youthful, but her powerful dancing elevates her presence and commands attention. Clark, with his floppy hair and drunk-in-love grin, is the perfect counterpart. Together, they emerge as one character, intertwined and inseparable.

Review: Atlanta Ballet's 'Romeo et Juliette' retells the world's greatest love story

All in all, Roméo et Juliette begins what promises to be a great season for the ballet, and Prokofiev's score sounds great played by the Atlanta Ballet orchestra. Maillot offers up a contemporary take on the story in which the tangle of rage, passion, and action leads - not just to tragedy - but to tortured regret. Roméo and Juliette are still ardent and earnest, still full of youth and bloom as they should be, but there's also an icy polar vortex blowing throughout this tale of springtime. With timeless music and story, there's enough here to satisfy those who want a classic evening, but with Maillot's inventive choreography and the interpretive capabilities of the Atlanta Ballet dancers, there's also enough here to satisfy those seeking a new and surprising take on a familiar work.

Atlanta Ballet’s “Roméo et Juliette” is a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day

The choreography is edgy and contemporary, with unexpected angles juxtaposed with flowing curves, but we are treated to flashes of traditional ballet pyrotechnics as well: four men in simultaneous pirouettes a la séconde, batterie at the speed of light, exquisite arabesques and developpés. The dancers move incredibly quickly: although the excitement ensnares the audience, this is also a dancers’ ballet; the dancers fling themselves through space and time, leaving the audience gasping for air. They fly like Blue Angels on a romp; the stage seems too small to contain them. Observers can tell they love dancing this piece; they own the movement. We are convinced that their characters are real, even when they are conveying intricately difficult passages. It is amazing that they can even remember the complex choreography, which is filled with subtle nuances delivered at speed, much less gift it to us so expertly.

Atlanta Ballet Brings Fresh Perspective to ‘Roméo et Juliette’

While Welker’s Friar Lawrence is the center of the ballet, the focus is, of course, on the two principles, danced by Alessa Rogers and Christian Clark. Rogers in particular displays a girlish grace that gives way to a passionate love and equally passionate despair. Heath Gill as a mercurial Mercutio and Jonah Hooper as a dark and brooding Tybalt bring respectively sprightly and sinister energy to their roles, while Rachel Van Buskirk provides comic relief with a funny and charming Nurse.

For Atlanta Ballet dancer, a dream role as Juliette

Maillot’s cinematic vision is stripped of artifice and free of period costumes, sets and props. A strong and confident Juliette leads the love story, her character pulled out through Maillot’s lyricism and emotional tension. Juliette initiates the couple’s first kiss and leads Romeo through their scenes together, said Giovanna Lorenzoni and Asier Uriagereka, who are staging the work for Atlanta Ballet.

Preview: Atlanta Ballet’s Alessa Rogers brings new life to the fatal romance of “Roméo et Juliette”


The action is less about two warring families and more about the psychology of adolescence. It’s told from the point of view of Friar Laurence (danced by John Welker) who, in seeking to do good, allows the worst to happen. The sets and costumes are simple, unrelated to any particular place or time; the choreography is naturalistic and deceptively challenging.

Atlanta Ballet's Valentine's Day Roméo et Juliette ideal for lovers of dance

The performances of Clark and Rogers would carry the show because of the prominence of their characters and their performances but the wonderful aspect of the Atlanta Ballet’s production is that the other roles are wonderfully danced and the quality of those performances complements the title roles.

Even better than last year!

I'm not typically a fan of story ballets, but this one is so well done and a more modern take on the genre. I enjoyed it last year, and think this year's performance was even better! Some of the duets with the two main characters were truly captivating. Well done!

Great Performance

We enjoyed the ballet Romeo et Juliette. The choreography was fresh and exciting. The slow motion and the freeze scenes were exceptionally great. It shows the dancers atheletic abilities. The costumes, I still prefer the Traditional dress. I enjoy colorful costumes and sceneries. But I do appreciate the modern styles. I would highly recommend this ballet to everyone.

Enjoyed…. but was disappointed

While every performance is different, every production is different, I can't deny this performance was a disappointment. There were no great dance sequences, no great costume designs, the dancing seemed a bit out of keeping with the music...the choreography seemed a bit out of sync... I should have understood the background better before the performance.. that's my fault. I'm glad I went, but I'm looking forward to the next ballet with some apprehension.

Could have been much more enjoyable

We were very disappointed that the costumes hid the dancers body so that the audience was unable to see their movement. I do not understand why a ballerina would wear a long costume that completely obscured their body. We prefer traditional costumes that show the dancers legs and feet so that you can enjoy the beauty of the dance. Most of the movements were completely hidden. We also prefer traditional choreography and composers. We would definitely attend more if the ballet kept to tradition. The set was terrible, in that they were simple rectangles and squares with no effort as scenery at all. We do not prefer the modern sets, choreography or costumes. We attend ballet for tradition and beauty. We were disappointed. Also the auditorium was so hot. We were down front on the orchestra level and were miserably hot. I don't know how the dancers took the heat! The orchestra was great and I'm sure the dancers were too but we could not see them because of the long costumes.

Performers were great!

The ballet team was excellent as was the orchestra. The venue however, not so much. Cobb police (extremely rude) actually yelled at us into our car window when we asked about turning into Valet parking. Theater was 80+ degrees the entire night, at least (3) loud crashes from the ceiling during the performances as well. Overall disappointing, but I can't fault Atl, Ballet.

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Jean-Christophe Maillot


Born in 1960, Jean-Christophe Maillot studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire National de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes until winning the Prix de Lausanne in 1977. He was then hired by John Neumeier at the Hamburg Ballet, where he danced in principal roles as a soloist for five years. An accident brought his dancing career to an abrupt end.

In 1983, he was appointed choreographer and director of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Tours, which later became a National Centre of Choreography. He created around twenty ballets for this company and, in 1985, founded the dance festival "Le Chorégraphique". In 1987, he created Le Mandarin Merveilleux for the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, which was a great success. He became the company's artistic advisor for the 1992-1993 season and was then appointed director-choreographer by H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover in September 1993.

His arrival at the Ballets de Monte-Carlo set the company on a new path that quickly developed the level of maturity and excellence for which this company of 50 dancers has been renowned for 20 years. He has created almost 30 ballets for the company, some of which, such as Vers un pays sage (1995), Romeo and Juliet (1996), Cinderella (1999), La Belle (2001), Le Songe (2005), Altro Canto (2006), Faust (2007), and LAC (2011), have forged the reputation of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo across the world. Several of these works are now included in the repertoires of major international ballet companies such as the Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Korean National Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne.

Also aware of the work of other artists, Jean-Christophe Maillot is known for his spirit of openness and his commitment to inviting choreographers with a different style to create for the company. In 2000, this same desire to present the choreographic art in all its many forms led him to create the Monaco Dance Forum, an international showcase for dance which presents an eclectic proliferation of shows, exhibitions, workshops, and conferences.

In 2007, he produced his first stage opera, Faust, for the Hessisches Staatstheater and, in 2009, Norma for the Monte-Carlo Opera. In 2007, he created his first choreographic film with Cinderella then Le Songe in 2008. In 2009, he developed the content and coordinated the Centenary of the Ballets Russes in Monaco, which would see over 50 companies and choreographers pass through the Principality in one year, providing entertainment for 60,000 audience members. In 2011, dance in Monaco underwent a major and historical change. Under the presidency of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo now incorporates the Ballets de Monte-Carlo Company, the Monaco Dance Forum, and the Princess Grace Academy of Dance under a single organization. Jean-Christophe Maillot was appointed head of this organization, which now unites the excellence of an international company, the benefits of a multi-format festival, and the potential of a high-level school.

Jean-Christophe Maillot is an Officer in the Ordre du Mérite Culturel of the Principality of Monaco, Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres, and Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in France. On 17th November 2005, he was appointed Chevalier of the Ordre de Saint Charles by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. In 2010, in Moscow, he received the Prix Benois de la Danse for the Best Choreographer along with the Premio Dansa Valencia 2010.
 

 

Biography and photo courtesy of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, www.balletsdemontecarlo.com.

Beatrice Jona Affron

Beatrice Jona Affron was born and raised in New York City.  She joined Pennsylvania Ballet in 1993 as the assistant conductor and was promoted to music director and conductor in 1997.  A graduate of Yale University, Beatrice studied conducting with Robert Spano and at New England Conservatory.  At Pennsylvania Ballet, Beatrice has conducted many Balanchine ballets, contemporary works, and full-length story ballets.  In 2004, she conducted the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake.  Outside of dance, Beatrice is heard in a large and varied repertoire that encompasses works from Handel to Donizetti to Philip Glass.  In 2002, she received international attention when she led the world premiere performances of Philip Glass and Mary Zimmerman’s Galileo Galilei at Chicago’s Goodman Theater and subsequently on a tour to London’s Barbican Theatre.  In 2005, Beatrice made her debut with the Glimmerglass Opera conducting Donizetti’s Lucie de Lammermoor.  Other guest conducting appearances include Opera Theatre St. Louis, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and New England Conservatory.  This is Beatrice’s third appearance with Atlanta Ballet.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston (www.bu.edu/proarte).

All performances

Juliette: Alessa Rogers
Roméo: Christian Clark
Lady Capulet: Tara Lee
Tybalt: Jonah Hooper
The Nurse: Rachel Van Buskirk
Mercutio: Heath Gill
Benvolio: Benjamin Stone
Paris: Thom Panto
Rosaline: Sara Havener
Friar Laurence: John Welker
Two Acolytes: Alexandre Barros & Miguel Angel Montoya

 

*Casting subject to change.