Inspired Partnership Results In Sumptuous ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Ballet

May 12, 2024

Romeo and Juliet by Indianapolis Ballet and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

L-R Trvor PinterParsons & Yoshiko Kamikusa – Courtesy of Moonbug Photography. Used with permission.

Ensconced in the immense house of the venerable Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University, it felt like a momentous, rarified experience when I attended an Indianapolis Ballet and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestr co production of Septime Webre’s “Romeo & Juliet.” Based on Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same title, the ballet, choreographed by Webre, set to the music of Sergie Prokofiev. I saw the production on May 3.

Led by maestro Jack Everly, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra was simply stellar. No stranger to ballet, Everly spent fourteen years conducting the American Ballet Theatre orchestra in New York following his appointment by Mikhail Baryshnikov. IB Artistic Director, founder, and former dancer, Lyras, was one of the original Juliets in the original Webre ballet thirty years ago.

The timeless “Romeo & Juliet,” written by Shakespeare sometime between 1591 and 1595, centers on the doomed romance between two Italian teenagers from warring families. The play’s balcony scene, featuring Juliet’s call to her lover “Romeo, Romeo, where for out there Romeo?” is one of the most famous in dramatic literature.

L-R Jessica Miller & Nicholas Bentz – Courtesy of Moonbug Photography. Used with permission.

Debuting in 2018, Indianapolis Ballet, under Lyras’s passionate tutelage, has evolved into one of Indy’s premier performing arts organizations. And that distinction showed in the exceptional performance of the company — reflecting a top-notch artistry and technique. The company’s talent was only matched by the ISO which has gone through its own noticeable progression. Due to the addition of many younger musicians, resulting from retirements over the past few years, the orchestra reflected an energy and vibrancy that was clearly evident.

Exhibiting star quality were IO principal dancers Yoshiko Kamikusa as Juliet and Trevor PinterParsons as Romeo. Showing chemistry through seamless partnering that was impeccable in execution, their dancing was enhanced by the musicality and personality they brought to their iconic roles. It was a simply stunning, convincing performance for both artists.

Also praiseworthy were the high caliber performances of Nicholas Bentz as Lord Capulet, Jessica Miller as Lady Capulet, Journie Kalous as Juliet’s nurse, and Mark David Bloodgood as Tybalt— all characters representing the House of Capulet. The House of Montage characters were danced by William Robinson as Mercutio and Eli Dierson as Benvolio.

Romeo and Juliet – Courtesy of Moonbug Photography. Used with permission

The remainder of the company deserve plaudits as well for their outstanding performances, all of which reflected discipline, commitment and a professionalism that mirrored Lyras’s high standards. Overseeing the dancer’s exquisite interpretation of the ballet and their precision filled performances was Repetiteur Jared Nelson and Ballet Master Paul Vitali who also appeared as the Prince of Verona.

Contributing to the world class look of this opulent production of “Romeo & Juliet” were the sets by former Jacobs School of Music Master Scenic Designer C. David Higgins, who came out of retirement to create them. Adding to the lavishness of the production were Lyras resplendent costumes.

For tickets and information about Indianapolis Ballet’s 2024-2025 Season visit and for that of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra visit













photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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