Roméo et Juliette

With a story as familiar as Romeo and Juliet (or Roméo et Juliette, as PNB prefers), it isn’t the what but the how that matters. We all know what’s going to happen in Shakespeare’s tragedy—love, death, and missed connections. Staged here last year to great acclaim, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s ballet pares down the text to its essentials. No blustering Lord Capulet or elaborate Renaissance sets. Instead, in the minimal staging by Ernest Pignon-Ernest, we have the two lovers, quivering with recognition of the passion between them, and a handful of players that act as the impediments. Scored by Sergei Prokofiev, the production showcases the performers rather than the trappings; and PNB has a fine cast of dancing actors to fill the central and supporting roles. SANDRA KURTZ

Thursdays, Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 4, 1 p.m. Starts: Sept. 24. Continues through Oct. 4, 2009

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