Review of Dances Patrelle, Romeo & Juliet 25th Anniversary Performance at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, New York

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September 14, 2014
By: Lynne Partington

DANCES PATRELLE’s 25th Anniversary Repertoire Season opened at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, New York (Sept.11-14) with a dazzling performance of “Romeo and Juliet”. Beautifully choreographed by artistic director Francis Patrelle, the dance presentation based on the play by William Shakespeare features outstanding professional dancers of the highest quality.  These include Matthew Dibble, Amy Brandt, Julie Voshell, John Mark Owen, and Grant Dettling. Last performed in 1998, this production features Alexander Castillo and Chloe Sherman as the star-crossed lovers.  They both first danced as Mr. Patrelle’s students at the Ballet Academy East in Manhattan.  Now both are with the Los Angeles Ballet.

There have been many choreographic treatments of the challenging plot and score of Romeo and Juliet over the years but Mr. Patrelle’s interpretation is unique and refreshing and gives the traditional tale ingenious twists.  Due to Dances Patrelles dedication to inspiring children and young professionals, the cast features aspiring ballet students alongside a diverse professional cast.

Patrelle’s traditional rendition of the classic Shakespearean tale is set in Italy against a striking backdrop which depicts the houses of Montague and of Capulet. Throughout each of three acts, the timeless tale of love and loss unfolds to Prokofiev’s formidably dramatic score. Bravura dancing and epic storytelling unite in this rendering of ill-fated true love.

As Juliet, Ms. Sherman is delicately convincing: self-effacing, vulnerable and fervent as she finds focus in small details: the way her cloak swirls in the moonlight or the bend of her back as she arches in Mr. Castillo’s arms. Without our being able to pinpoint the exact moment, Ms. Sherman’s girlishness seeps away, just as Juliet’s is supposed to.  A stunning performance.




Dances Patrelle presents

Romeo & Juliet

25th Anniversary Performance

September 11-14, 2014

Dances Patrelle presents Romeo & Juliet, a dazzling 25th Anniversary Performance from September 11-14, 2014 at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, E. 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues, NYC. Performances: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $35-50 (student and senior discounts available) and will be available beginning August 1, 2014 at by phone at 212-772-4448, or in person at The Kaye Playhouse Box Office.In celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday,thisevening-length revival of Romeo & Juliet  will feature Francis Patrelle’s choreography, based on Shakespeare’s Play and Prokofiev’s Score. Jennifer Dunning stated in the 1993 New York Times in 1993, “Francis Patrelle gives the traditional tale ingenious twists…the stories behind the stories.” Following dP’s tradition of educating children and nurturing professionals in the art of ballet, this Romeo & Juliet casts aspiring ballet students alongside a diverse professional cast of the highest quality, including Matthew Dibble, Amy Brandt, Julie Voshell, John Mark Owen, and Grant Dettling.  The roles of Romeo and Juliet will be played by Alexander Castillo and Chloé Sherman. Mr. Castillo and Ms. Sherman both performed for Francis Patrelle as students and now dance professionally on the West Coast.Alexander Castillo was born in Bayside, New York. At the age of thirteen, he started his dance training at Ballet Academy East, under the direction of Darla Hoover. At this time Alexander was also seen in Francis Patrelle’s Yorkville Nutcracker, first as a party child and mouse, and later in the Spanish Divertissement. Mr. Castillo then finished his training at the School of American Ballet under the direction of Peter Martins. Upon leaving the School of American Ballet, Alexander joined the Los Angeles Ballet where he is currently a Soloist. He has danced featured roles in Balanchine’s “Concerto Barrocco,” “La Valse,” “Western Symphony,” and “Serenade”; Jiří Kylián’s “Return to a Strange Land”; and Los Angeles Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” and “Swan Lake.” Mr. Castillo is thrilled to return to New York and perform with Dances Patrelle as a professional. 

Chloé Sherman is a member of Los Angeles Ballet’s corps de ballet. She was born in New York, where she began her dance training at the age of 2 at Ballet Academy East. As a student, Ms. Sherman performed in Francis Patrelle’s “Yorkville Nutcracker,” dancing the roles of Mary and Lead Marzipan. She began studying at the School of American Ballet (SAB) during the 2009 summer course and enrolled as a full-time student that fall. In 2011, Ms. Sherman became a company member with the Los Angeles Ballet. Ms. Sherman has recently performed in a world premiere of Christopher Stowell’s Cipher, as well as featured roles in Balanchine’s “La Valse” and “La Sonnambula.” She is excited to be back in New York to perform with Dances Patrelle once again.


Dances Patrelle (dP) is a dynamic professional ballet company celebratingits 25th season! dP presents two annual seasons in New York — the timeless holiday tradition, The Yorkville Nutcracker, and a spring repertory season featuring world premieres and classic Patrelle favorites. Mr. Patrelle’s body of work includes over 50 original ballets choreographed for Dances Patrelle, and spans an incredibly wide range of styles, from his beloved American Songbook collection, to such contemporary classics as Madame X,Macbeth and Rhapsody in Blue.  Heralded by Lynn Garafola in Dance Magazine as a choreographer with “a personal vision…classical because it is rooted in metaphor and symbolic language [and] populist because of its legibility and broad cultural resonance,” Patrelle has also cultivated a long-time collaboration with composer Patrick Soluri, commissioning four original scores including 2009’s Murder at the Masque for dP’s 20th Anniversary.  Known for attracting the great talent of each generation, Dances Patrelle is pleased to count ballet stars such as Marcelo Gomes, Jenifer Ringer, Donald Williams, Lourdes Lopez,andCynthia Gregory among its dancers.  For 25 seasons, Dances Patrelle has tapped into the human experience, connecting intimately with the audience and continuously reinventing dramatic dance. In 2013, the company was named the resident ballet company of the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center.


“In Francis Patrelle’s ballets, the characters come alive. His choreography is full of heart and soul.” – Cynthia Gregory, Prima Ballerina


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