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Publication and Press Releases
2013
May
Geneva Ballet to perform new interpretation of "Romeo and Juliet" in July
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     Switzerland's highly acclaimed Geneva Ballet will visit Hong Kong in July for performances of a new representation of Shakespeare's eternally appealing tragedy "Romeo and Juliet".

     The story begins with Juliet's funeral before switching back to the town of Verona, which is echoing to the sounds of fratricidal fighting between two opposing families - the Capulets and the Montagues. Then, at a ball, Romeo, a young Montague, falls in love with Juliet, a young Capulet, and the two share tender vows under the girl's balcony. Some time later, Juliet's cousin Tybalt provokes Mercutio, a close friend of Romeo, and kills him in a duel. Mad with rage, Romeo kills Tybalt and is condemned to exile.

     To reunite the two lovers, Friar Laurence proposes a solution to Juliet. First, she must take a powerful narcotic that will make her appear to be dead. Once she is taken to the family vault, she will wait for Romeo, who will come to meet her, so that they can escape together. Unfortunately, on the fateful night, Romeo enters the tomb of the Capulets without having been warned of the subterfuge. Convinced that his Juliet is dead, he takes his life. When the girl wakes up it is too late. She, in turn, takes her life.

     The production is choreographed by Jo?lle Bouvier. For Bouvier, it is not the picturesque and historical aspects of Prokofiev's ballet that count, but the universality of the fable. This is why Bouvier avoids prescribing a precise era on stage, and uses extracts from Prokofiev's three orchestral suites with the choreography concentrated on the essential articultions of this timeless drama.

     In 1962, to honour its re-opening after a devastating fire, the Grand Th?tre de Genve created its own ballet company - the Geneva Ballet. From its beginnings, the company has been dedicated to illustrating the plurality of style in 20th century dance and has worked with many renowned artists such as George Balanchine, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin and William Forsythe. In 2003, Philippe Cohen was appointed to head the company. He continued to seek out new choreographers to bring to Geneva, giving them carte blanche for their productions. He also continued to enrich the repertoire with works by renowned choreographers. In 2009, Bouvier created a contemporary version of the classical ballet "Romeo and Juliet" for the company, which was critically acclaimed in its US premiere at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 2011.

     "Romeo and Juliet" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). It will take place at 8.15pm on July 19 and 20 (Friday and Saturday), and at 2.30pm on July 21 (Sunday) at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $160, $260, $360 and $460 are now available at URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20 per cent is offered for group booking package.

     To tie in with the performances, a free ballet workshop (conducted in English) will be held at 8pm on July 17 (Wednesday) at Rehearsal Room GR2, 8/F, Backstage, Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Those with ballet training are welcome to enrol. A limited quota is available on a first come, first served basis.

     Enquiries on programme and workshop, please call 2268 7323 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/dance/program_251.html . Ticketing enquiries can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk .

Ends/Friday, May 10, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:01

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