Universal Ballet Celebrates 20th Anniversary with "Romeo and Juliet"

Universal Ballet, under the general direction of Julia Moon and artistic direction of Oleg Vinogradov, returns to Los Angeles with three performances of its acclaimed production of "Romeo and Juliet," choreographed by Vinogradov to the Prokofiev Score. The production was originally created in 2002 and performed as part of the arts component of the Korea/Japan World Cup games.  This year, Universal Ballet is performing "Romeo and Juliet" to celebrate its 20th anniversary on its fourth tour of the United States visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.

In his production, Vinogradov, former artistic director of The Kirov Ballet for 25 years, has included the traditional scenes associated with productions of this ballet -- including the Carnival, the Ball, energetic sword fights, scenery with classical Italian architecture, and the spirit of the era of Italian nobility of the Renaissance. 

At the end however, Vinogradov has accentuated a reconciliation of the two families when faced with the dead bodies of their young heirs - and has transformed the scene of mourning into one carrying a message of the futility of fighting and a need for peace.

Aerong Moon, in the Hangook Ilbo (Seoul) said, "Romeo and Juliet" is a new production on a grand scale … a visual treat … [the Epilogue] underlined the continuity of the human experience from the time of the Renaissance up to the present day.  Herein lies the irresistible appeal of the production." 

When Universal Ballet was in Los Angeles in 2001, Lewis Segal said in the Los Angeles Times, "All the dancers embody the identical concept of classical style, the identical sense of placement, line, technical finesse.  Whatever their individual talent or training, they speak the same movement language - an amazing achievement."

Based in Seoul, Korea, with dancers and staff from more than 14 nations, Universal Ballet is one of the leading forces of dance in Asia - dedicated to both preserving the rich tradition of Russian classical ballet as well as creating its own new contemporary works.

"Romeo and Juliet" will be performed August 6 and 7 at 8 pm and August 8 at 4 pm at Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.

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