Using the original score by Prokofiev, Juliet awakens in time for Romeo to see she's alive
Mark Morris, the choreographer-performer and sometimes-conductor who has been the enfant terrible of the contemporary dance world for more than 25 years is about to première his full-length version of "Romeo & Juliet," set to Sergei Prokofiev's score. But true to Morris practice, he'll surprise his audiences. This version will have a happy ending, and don't expect to find a balcony anywhere on stage.
In truth, the idea belonged to Prokofiev and Soviet dramatist Sergey Radlov, who wrote the scenario. The composer's original score, dating from 1935, was recently discovered by Princeton musicologist, Simon Morrison, at the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art in Moscow. Although the ballet, based on Shakespeare's play, has become a classic since its 1940 Russian première by the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, the score has never been performed according to the composer's intentions. Soviet censors forced Prokofiev to reverse the ending he intended, add solo dances for the ball and balcony scenes, and make other changes.
"Romeo & Juliet, On Motifs of Shakespeare" opens July 4 at the Bard College Summerscape Festival. The evening-length work will tour to Berkeley, Calif.; London; Urbana, Ill.; Norfolk, Va.; and Lincoln Center, N.Y.; during the 2008-09 season.