Royal Swedish Ballet to Bring JULIET AND ROMEO to The Kennedy Center

May 13, 2016
Juliet and Romeo

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts welcomes the Royal Swedish Ballet for five performances of renowned choreographer Mats Ek'sJuliet and Romeo in the Kennedy Center Opera House, June 1-4, 2016. Having last graced the Kennedy Center stage more than 15 years ago, the Royal Swedish Ballet returns with the North American premiere of Mats Ek's visionary take on Shakespeare's immortal tragedy-a work brimming with modern twists and winner of the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. Casting includes the extraordinary Ana Laguna, Mats Ek's wife and muse. The Thursday, June 2 performance is followed by a free Explore the Arts post-performance discussion with Mats Ek. The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra will accompany all performances.

The Royal Swedish Ballet is one of the world's oldest ballet companies, founded in 1773 by King Gustav III. In celebration of the company's 240th anniversary, artistic director Johannes Öhman commissioned Mats Ek to create a full-length adaptation of Shakespeare's timeless love story for 32 of the company's 68 dancers. Having created many new interpretations of classics, Ek's Juliet and Romeo has attracted much acclaim both in Sweden and internationally.

Danced to a composite score of Tchaikovsky's works, rather than the typical Prokofiev music, the production takes on a 21st-century vibe with a stark, urban setting of smoky lighting, shifting maze-like walls, ominous trap doors, motorized Segway scooters, and costumes that mix Renaissance chic with jeans, hoodies, and metallic suits. Told from the perspective of a wide-eyed and defiant Juliet, who falls for sentimental dreamer Romeo, the rest of Ek's reimagined world is strewn with brutal conflict among Juliet's brooding family and Romeo's street-smart comrades.

Ticket Information

Tickets start at $29. Tickets can be purchased at the Kennedy Center box office or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324.