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Ballet, Phil tell ‘Romeo & Juliet’ tale

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Lovers’ tale

What: Fort Wayne Ballet and Fort Wayne Philharmonic present “Romeo & Juliet”
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Saturday. “An Evening in Verona” pre-show party starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and the “Star-Crossed Lovers Masquerade Party” follows Saturday evening's performance.
Where: Arts United Center, 303 E. Main St.
Cost: $30, adults; $25, seniors and youths; and $15, for ages 13 and younger. “An Evening in Verona” tickets are $15 per person; “Star-Crossed Lovers Masquerade Party” tickets are $8 per person. Tickets can be purchased at https://tickets.artstix.org.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 12:01 am

Much-needed harbingers of spring arrive in many forms: slightly warmer weather, eroding snow mountains, choruses of chirping birds, budding trees and blossoming love.

The Fort Wayne Ballet is helping this process along with its annual spring collaboration with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Their upcoming performances of “Romeo & Juliet” are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Arts United Center. A matinee show is also scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

According to a news release, the philharmonic will accompany the dancers with Sergei Prokofiev's original score for the ballet rendition of “Romeo & Juliet.” The philharmonic will be led by Associate Conductor Sameer Patel.

In the centuries-old classic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the young heirs of two feuding families fall in love with each other.

The duality of love and hate is a prominent theme in the play, as the families' continuing conflict causes friction and complications for the relationship they attempt to keep secret. Through unfortunate events, the star-crossed lovers perish, which causes the families to end their fighting.

The performances of “Romeo & Juliet” include guest dancers from major cities across the nation, including Bloomington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, among others.

According to Ballet Executive/Artistic Director Karen Gibbons-Brown, some of the guest dancers have performed for the Fort Wayne Ballet before and were recruited to fill the demand for more male roles.

Before Friday's performance, the “Evening in Verona” pre-show party will include hors d'oeuvres and an open cocktail bar in the Arts United Center's Ian Rolland Gallery. Cost is $15 per person.

The party is meant to be a celebratory gathering before the performance, said Christy Sandmaier, ballet director of administration. The gallery will have eclectic decorations, including candles and centerpieces that follow the theme of the Renaissance era, when “Romeo and Juliet” was penned by William Shakespeare.

The “Star-Crossed Lovers Masquerade Party” will begin after Saturday's matinee performance and costs $8 per person.

At the event, audience members can meet the dancers, get their autographs and take pictures with them.

People attending also will receive “Romeo & Juliet”-themed gifts and treats.