Arts and Entertainment

Juan de Fuca Festival presents

for the Sequim Gazette

The Eugene Ballet Company is coming to town and it’s performing one of the most beloved ballets of all time — the Shakespeare-inspired “Romeo and Juliet.”


Professionally trained dancers, stunning costumes, elaborate sets and lighting will bring the play to life Saturday, Oct. 29.


According to Dan Maguire, executive director of the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts, “The Eugene Ballet Company’s brilliant dancing brings the legendary story of young love and family politics to life with a dramatic intensity that will leave audiences riveted to their seats.”


Choreographed by artistic director Toni Pimble, with a famous score by Sergei Prokofiev, “Romeo and Juliet” is known as a tale of breathtaking passion. A New York Times review of Pimble’s choreography noted that “Toni Pimble’s ballet brought the house down.”


The Eugene Ballet Company is widely recognized throughout the dance world for its creation of innovative new works. The group has performed in 32 states and in many countries — from India to Taiwan.


“Romeo and Juliet” is a tragedy written early in Shakespeare’s career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families.


It was among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. The play has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical theater and opera.


The Eugene Ballet Company website touts its performance of “Romeo and Juliet” as packed full of “exhilarating sword fighting, lavish masquerades, elaborate scenery and virtuosic dancing” that will leave audiences “breathless.”


Carol Pope, Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts office manager, claims “Romeo and Juliet” as her all-time favorite ballet because of its depth and said she’s very excited to attend.


“We have not seen the Eugene Ballet Company perform but we know from other people who have seen them perform that they are fantastic,” Pope said. “These are professional dancers (and) this is their day job.”


The performance, Pope said, is appropriate for everybody.


“It’s a very passionate ballet with sword fights, death and lots of action,” she said. “It’s a good and well-known story.”


Audience members should bring tissues, Pope went on to warn, because “There are people who may be in tears at the end.”


Tickets cost $15-$25 for adults and $13-$22 for youth depending on the section of seating in the auditorium.


“Every penny is worth it,” Pope said. “I don’t think we have had a professional ballet company with a full-length ballet in Port Angeles in two decades.”


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