One Minute World Arts- Romeo + Juliet: Prokofiev’s Classic, Hong Kong Style

Hong Kong Ballet presented its US premiere of Romeo + Juliet, a new rendition of the famous ballet based on Shakespeare’s classic love story, at New York City Center on January 13. Choreographed by Septime Webre, the company’s artistic director, the production re-located the setting of the story in Hong Kong in the 1960s – instead of its original medieval Italy, a turbulent but vibrant period when the economy was rising and the movie industry growing. The staging impressively captured the prosperous street scenes of Hong Kong’s “Golden Era”, while unique Hong Kong elements were incorporated into Webre’s choreography, such as kung fu being utilized to strengthen the fight scene.


In order to re-shape the production’s narrative, some characters of the original story would have to be re-designed according to a new plotline; for example, Juliet’s father was re-invented as a strong-minded Shanghainese tycoon, determined to marry his daughter off to a wealthy Caucasian, which would enable the viewers to explore the complicated relationship between the Chinese and the foreigners. Although the choreography of Romeo + Juliet was not so much appreciated by critics, its outstanding stage and costume design won unreserved acclaim. With visual impact and dramatic tension created through impeccable details, dancers were well facilitated to carry the weight of this re-interpreted, heart-wrenching masterpiece on stage.




由香港芭蕾舞團製作的《羅密歐+茱麗葉》(Romeo + Juliet),於113日在紐約市中心劇場(New York City Center)舉行全美首演。此版《羅茱》由該團藝術總監衛承天(Septime Webre)編舞;他以俄羅斯作曲家普羅高菲夫(Sergei Prokofiev)的同名經典樂曲為本,將故事背景從中世紀的義大利,轉換為經濟民生與電影工業皆蓬勃發展的1960年代香港;台上除了極力重現香港黃金時代的繁華街景外,舞蹈本身也融入獨特的港式元素,例如在打鬥的動作中添加功夫招式等。





Photo Credit ©Christopher Duggan, Tony Luk