Conservatory Dance Company remounts unforgettable ballet ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Point Park University’s Conservatory Dance Company will present a production of Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Nicolas Petrov, retired professor of dance, Dec. 5-14 in the Rockwell Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

Written for the Kirov Ballet more than 70 years ago, Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the greatest compositions created for the ballet stage, a sublime work that captures the spirit and essence of literature’s most popular romantic tragedy.

Romeo and Juliet opens Friday, Dec. 5, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 14. Performances will be at 8 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 5, Saturday, Dec. 6, Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13, and at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 6, Sunday, Dec. 7, Saturday, Dec. 13, and Sunday, Dec. 14. Tickets range from $18 to $20, and can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000 or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com.  

Susan Stowe serves as répétiteur. Scenic design is by Lewis Folden, costume design is by Joan Markert, lighting design is by Josh Monroe. Alexandria Ball is the music coordinator, Brandon Martin is the stage manager. Douglas Bentz and David Nash serve as ballet masters.

Petrov, who founded Point Park’s dance program, retired last year after more than four decades at the university. He first choreographed Romeo and Juliet for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in October 1971 at Heinz Hall. It was the first American production of Prokofiev’s work. Petrov concluded his tenure at the university with a memorable production of the famous ballet in December 2013.

An internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer and artistic director with more than 50 years of experience, Petrov has choreographed more than 100 ballets, eight of which are full-length productions. He has performed with Belgrade’s Opera Ballet, Ballet de France, Theatre D’Art du Ballet, and Massine. He toured the world and worked with such notable artists as Olga Preobrajenska, Leonide Massine, Milorad Miskovitch, Duska Sifnios, Paolo Bortoluzzi and Carla Fracci, among others. He formed his own dance company, Ballet Petrov, which performed with great success in Paris, Vienna, Bolen, Lyon, Lisbon and Brussels. In 1967, Petrov came to Pittsburgh and took over the direction and development of the Pittsburgh Playhouse Ballet Department and subsequently launched the dance program at Point Park College (now Point Park University). Petrov simultaneously launched the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, which he directed from 1969-1977, and brought to the city some of the world’s finest dancers and choreographers, including Natalia Makarova, Violette Verdy, Edward Villella, Peter Schaufuss, Leonide Massine, Ruth Page and John Butler.