Misty Copeland as Juliet with American Ballet Theatre. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

Celebrate Valentine's Day Ballet-Style With These 8 Productions of "Romeo and Juliet"

Valentine's Day makes February the perfect month for ballet companies to perform Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's famous tale of star-crossed lovers. A few companies presented their versions earlier this month and many are on their way in the next few weeks. We rounded up eight companies including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Washington Ballet, Les Ballet des Monte Carlo, Orlando Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Carolina Ballet and Ballet BC to find out how they're using this classic ballet to celebrate the holiday of love.

New York City Ballet

A 12-performance run of Peter Martins' Romeo + Juliet comes in the middle of New York City Ballet's winter season, spanning from February 13-23 at the Koch Theater in New York City. This year's production marks the debuts of corps dancers Harrison Coll and Peter Walker as Romeo, and former Pointe cover star Indiana Woodward will be making her debut as Juliet. Below, hear Tiler Peck, who will dance Juliet alongside Zachary Catazarro, point out the tricky technical moments in this role and explain what makes it so special to her.



American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre is in the midst of a tour which has already taken them to Washington, DC, and Detroit, MI, where they just completed a run of Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet at the Detroit Opera House. Misty Copeland, Hee Seo and Isabella Boylston all took turns as Juliet, and principal Stella Abrera made her debut in the role. We loved seeing her heartfelt social media posts on the experience.


The Washington Ballet

The Washington Ballet brings John Cranko's 1962 adaptation of Romeo & Juliet to the Kennedy Center Opera House for a six-show run opening February 14. Cranko's version hasn't appeared at the Kennedy Center since the Joffrey Ballet performed it there in 1984. TWB artistic director Julie Kent, then a sophomore in high school, performed as an extra. She told Washington radio station WTOP that she "played a townsperson throwing fruit," though of course she went on to dance Juliet many times over the course of her career with ABT.

We love all of the footage they've been posting, like this rehearsal of opening-night duo Brooklyn Mack and Maki Onuki (and this wild sword fight including impressive acrobatics).


Les Ballets de Monte Carlo

The Monaco-based company is bringing Jean-Christophe Maillot's Romeo and Juliet on a US tour opening in New Orleans on February 24 and then heading to Minneapolis from February 27-28. The company will also be in Chicago from March 3-4 performing Maillot's The Sleeping Beauty. Maillot's version of Romeo and Juliet assumes that the audience is familiar with Shakespeare's story and instead tells the story from Friar Laurence's point of view. You can catch a glimpse of this postmodern rendition below.


Orlando Ballet and Colorado Ballet

For both of these companies, performances of Romeo and Juliet act as an occasion to celebrate the retirement of a beloved dancer. Orlando Ballet performed Romeo and Juliet last weekend with Chiaki Yasukawa dancing Juliet in her final performance after an 18-year tenure with the company. And Colorado Ballet's Sharon Wehner will give her last performance with the company after 22 years in a production choreographed by Derek Deane for English National Ballet. Company dancer Yosvani Ramos, formerly with ENB, will dance Romeo to Wehner's Juliet. Colorado Ballet's production runs from February 16-25.


Carolina Ballet

Carolina Ballet is in the midst of artistic director Robert Weiss' Romeo & Juliet spanning February 1-18 at the Fletcher Opera House in Raleigh, NC. You can get a sneak peek of the production with this behind-the-scenes fouetté footage.


Ballet BC

The Vancouver–based contemporary ballet company presents the world premiere of Medhi Walerski's Romeo + Juliet from February 21-24 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Though set to Prokofiev's original score, Walerski is known for his cutting-edge and modern style. This production will be his first full-length narrative work.

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A male dancer catches a female dancer in his right arm as she wraps her left arm around his shoulder and executes a high arabesque on pointe. Both wear white costumes and dance in front of a blue backdrop onstage.

Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa in Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams

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Wanyue Qiao, American Ballet Theatre

Wearing a powder blue tutu, cropped light yellow top and feather tiara, Wanyue Qiao does a piqu\u00e9 retir\u00e9 on pointe on her left leg and pulls her right arm in towards her.

Wanyue Qiao as an Odalisque in Konstantin Sergeyev's Le Corsaire

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Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Houston Ballet

Three male dancers in tight-fitting, multicolored costumes stand in positions of ascending height from left to right. All extend their right arms out in front of them.

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson (far right) with Saul Newport and Austen Acevedo in Oliver Halkowich's Following

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Leah McFadden, Colorado Ballet

Wearing a white pixie wig and a short light-pink tunic costume, a female ballet dancer poses in attitude front on pointe with her left arm bent across her ribs and her right hand held below her chin.

Leah McFadden as Amour in Colorado Ballet's production of Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Maria Coelho, Tulsa Ballet

Maria Coelho and Sasha Chernjavsky in Andy Blankenbuehler's Remember Our Song

Kate Lubar, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Alexander Reneff-Olson, San Francisco Ballet

A ballerina in a black feathered tutu stands triumphantly in sous-sus, holding the hand of a male dancer in a dark cloak with feathers underneath who raises his left hand in the air.

Alexander Reneff-Olson (right) as Von Rothbart with San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan in Swan Lake

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

India Bradley, New York City Ballet

Wearing a blue dance dress with rhinestone embellishments and a sparkly tiara, India Bradley finishes a move with her arms out to the side and hands slightly flexed.

India Bradley practices backstage before a performance of Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bella Ureta, Cincinnati Ballet

Wearing a white dress with pink corset, Bella Ureta does a first arabesque on pointe in front of an onstage stone wall.

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Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Alejándro Gonzales, Oklahoma City Ballet

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Alejandro González in Michael Pink's Dracula at Oklahoma City Ballet.

Kate Luber, Courtesy Oklahoma City Ballet

Nina Fernandes, Miami City Ballet

Wearing a long white tutu and crown, Nina Fernandes does a saut de chat in front of a wintery backdrop as snow falls from the top of the stage.

Nina Fernandes in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

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Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue blazer, white blouse and gray jeans, is photographed from underneath as she walks and looks to the right.

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BCBG blazer: "It has some shoulder pads and a really cool pattern," says Generosa. "It reminds me of my mom and '80s fashion."

Zara blouse: She incorporate neutrals, like this white satin button-up, to balance bright pops of colors.

Angelica Generosa looks off to her right in front of a glass-windowed building. She wears a blue blazer, white blouse, gray jeans and carries a small green handbag.

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Madewell jeans: Comfort is a major factor for Generosa, who gets her fashion inspiration from her mom, friends and people she comes across day to day.

Chloé bag: "I tend to have smaller purses because I'm quite small. Bigger bags overwhelm me sometimes—unless it's my dance bag, of course!"

The Details: Studio

Angleica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool leggings and pink pointe shoes, balances in a lunge on pointe with her left leg in front, facing a wall of windows.

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Label Dancewear leotard: "This was designed by my good friend Elizabeth Murphy, a principal dancer here at PNB. Her leotards always fit me really well."

Mirella leggings: "I get cold easily," says Generosa, who wears leggings and vests to stay warm throughout the day.

Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool tights and pink pointe shoes, jumps and crosses her right foot over her left shin while lifting her arms up to the right.

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Freed of London pointe shoes: "When sewing them, I crisscross my elastics and use an elasticized ribbon from Body Wrappers," which helps alleviate Achilles tendon issues, she says. She then trims the satin off of the tip of the shoe. "Then I bend the shank a bit to loosen it up and cut a bit off where my arch is."

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