Atlanta Ballet Presents Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette

It is not enough to rely solely on the story of a Shakespearean classic to entrance an audience.  It needs a turn, a directorial swish or a performance that brings something new and enlightening to one of western literature’s most referenced works. In Roméo et Juliette  Atlanta Ballet has that rare performance and in the choreography of Jean-Christophe Maillot, they have found that swish. 

Unusual in Shakespeare, but this well-known tale has the ability to pack a punch stripped of his poetry. Sergei Prokofiev could see that and created an emotionally powerful ballet score.  Atlanta Ballet Orchestra's conductor, Beatrice Jona Affron, gave Prokofiev's endearing masterpiece a delightful twist. 

Roméo et Juliette  is filled with eyebrow-raising moments of dazzling modern feints amidst the classicism, as well as profound explosions of both ecstasy and grief that are profound.  With the return of Alessa Rogers and Christian Clark as the doomed lovers, scene-stealing Heath Gill as Mercutio and the gorgeous set and costumes, Roméo et Juliette  is a rich evening and a major crowd-pleaser for Atlanta Ballet.

Alessa Rogers and Christian Clark  are masterful and have terrific chemistry.  It’s a pleasure to see them dance together again.  Rogers is beautifully passionate and convincing as Juliette, floating in girlish wonder at the ball, diving and soaring in growing ecstasy with Clark in the balcony pas de deux. Clark gives a vivid portrayal of Roméo with boyish impulsiveness and sincerity growing into fatal passion.

The company as a whole brings an engaging esprit to the animated scenes in the town square. Heath Gill made a fantastic return as Mercutio. Sinuous and charismatic, as elegant popping up from a somersault as in flying leaps, a sharply confident comedian, Gill was the center of every scene in which he appeared.  As Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, Jonah Hooper enlivened the sensuous menace. Tara Lee gave a strong portrayal of controlling Lady Capulet.  Thom Panto was smooth as Juliette’s suitor Count Paris. Rachel Van Buskirk was lively as Juliet’s nurse. John Welker has the capacity to convey a myriad of emotions and gave a stunning portrayal of Friar Laurence.

When technically superb Atlanta Ballet enters the stage,  you feel  the heart and soul before the dancing begins. My dear friend, Jonny Hibbert, is NEVER at a loss for words.  Atlanta Ballet's perfectly executed performance of Roméo et Juliette rendered him speechless.  Yes, it's THAT good!

If you missed opening night, Atlanta Ballet's performance of Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette can be seen through Feb. 14.  For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit

Acolytes Alexandre Barros and Miguel Angel Montoya with John Welker as Friar Laurence. Photo by Charlie McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

Alessa Rogers and Christian Clark.  Photo by Charlie McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

Tara Lee as Lady Capulet gives an emotional performance as Alessa Rogers appears to be a dead Juliette.
Photo by Kim Kenney, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.


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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.