May 3, 2015 @ 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Civic Theatre
1100 3rd Avenue
San Diego, CA 92187
$75 | $50 | $35 | $20

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Malandain Ballet Biarritz

Thierry Malandain, artistic director


New Program Information

La Jolla Music Society presents Thierry Malandain’s reimagining of Roméo et Juliette set to Berlioz’s dramatic Choral Symphony.

Roméo et Juliette is about the personal hatred that exists between two of the most powerful families in Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets. It is also, of course, about the tragic fate of two innocent lovers. I have taken the mythical love story about love and death, while relying on Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Dramatique, to lift the gravestone over a dream that was too beautiful.
     – Thierry Malandain

Meet Thierry Malandain, artistic director of Malandain Ballet Biarritz during our reception and dinner at the Westgate Hotel before tonight’s performance.



Hightlights from Roméo et Juliette
Malandain Ballet Biarritz

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PROLOGUE: The Tomb of the Capulets
“This corpse was Juliette’s husband. Can you see that body lying on the ground? It was, alas, Roméo’s wife. It is I who had married them” Friar Lawrence reveals the mystery of Roméo and Juliette’s lifeless bodies.
Cast: Friar Lawrence, Roméo, Juliette, and The Company

SCENE 1: Quarrels and Prince Escalus’s Intervention
“Hatred in your hearts and insults in your mouths!” For years, the Montagues and Capulets nursed an inextinguishable hatred for each other. Exasperated, Prince Escalus decrees, under pain of death, that fighting is definitely prohibited in his town.
Cast: Mercutio, Tybalt, Prince Escalus, and The Company

SCENE 2: The Ball at the Capulets’s
“Go dream of dance and love, go, dream of love till morning,” said Roméo. Juliette prepares herself for the ball given in her honour. It will be during the ball that they will fall in love with one another.
Cast: The Company

SCENE 3: Love Scene
At night, Roméo hides in the garden of the Capulets. Like the Garden of Eden, the place evokes perfect love.
Cast: Roméo, Juliette, and The Company

SCENE 4: Roméo, Mercutio and Tybalt
“Soon, Roméo’s dreamy thoughts provoke gaiety in his friends. My dear, said the elegant Mercutio, I bet Queen Mab visited thee!” Disguised as Queen Mab, the “fairy of dreams”, Mercutio tries to cheer up Roméo. Tybalt arrives and insults Roméo. Newly married to Juliette, Roméo refuses to fight against his wife’s cousin, so Mercutio takes his place. That is when Tybalt mortally wounds Mercutio and Roméo, in despair, kills Tybalt.
Cast: Roméo, Mercutio and Tybalt

SCENE 5: Back in time: Roméo and Juliette are united
“Married!” Friar Lawrence, who was hoping the wedding would put an end to hatred and would bring about the reconciliation of the Capulets and Montagues, consecrates in secret the union of Roméo and Juliette.
Cast: Friar Lawrence, Roméo and Juliette

SCENE 6: Death of the Two Lovers
“In order to avert her fate, I made her take a drink that same evening, to lend her the pallor and cold of death.” Roméo, ignorant of Friar Lawrence’s stratagem, arrives at Juliette’s tomb and drinks poison at the moment that his beloved is awakening from her sleep. And while they throw themselves into one another’s arms, Roméo begins to feel the effects of the poison. Juliette then grabs Roméo’s dagger in order to join him in another world.
Cast: The Company

“Swear all of you, swear by the holy crucifix, to seal among you an eternal chain of tender love, friendship, and brotherhood!” The city was finally reconciled by Roméo and Juliette’s death; Friar Lawrence, who was the instigator of this involuntary sacrifice, remains alone, a living testament to the helplessness of Man against the forces of destiny.
Cast: Friar Lawrence and The Company


Joey Alexander Born on June 25, 2003 on the island of Bali, pianist Joey Alexander originally learned about jazz from his dad, who exposed his son to a variety of classic albums from his extensive collection. At the age of six, Joey began teaching himself to play piano using a mini electronic keyboard given to him by his father. He was immediately able to pick out the melody of Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t,” but he didn’t stop there. Joey’s dad nurtured his gift of swing and improvisation by taking him to jam sessions with veteran musicians in Bali and Jakarta.

Joey’s musicianship and grasp of jazz fundamentals developed at a remarkable pace, and at age eight UNESCO invited him to play solo piano for an elated Herbie Hancock during the piano great’s visit to Indonesia. Joey later remarked to Hancock, “You told me that you believed in me, and that was the day I decided to dedicate my childhood to jazz.”

At nine, Joey won the grand prize at the first Master-Jam Fest, an all-ages competition in Ukraine which included 200 competitors from 17 countries. By 10, he was performing at jazz festivals in both Jakarta and Copenhagen. An invitation from Wynton Marsalis led to his U.S. debut appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall in 2014 where he amazed the audience with his musicality, followed by appearances before the Jazz Foundation of America at the Apollo and the Arthur Ashe Learning Center at Gotham Hall. Wishing to encourage the continued development of Joey’s prodigious playing, his parents sold the family business in Jakarta and relocated to the United States. Success did not arrive overnight, however. Promoters were skeptical that an 11 year-old could drive substantial ticket sales and captivate discerning jazz audiences, but soon recognized his ability to absolutely delight audiences, despite the challenges associated with learning a new language. Joey experienced a major stroke of luck when he received an invitation from impresario George Wein to perform on two stages at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival. Joey took full advantage of the opportunity and brought audiences to their feet with his playful musicality and keen sense of swing.

Over the past two years Joey has been paying his dues and honing his craft: learning what it means to be a bandleader, keeping material fresh after repeated performances, and seeking out sidemen who are also collaborators. Along the way, The Joey Alexander Trio has performed at well-known venues and major festivals across the United States and around the globe, including tour dates in Tel Aviv, Marciac, Montréal, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Bern, Prague, Vienna, Perugia, and his native Indonesia.

Media interest in Joey has resulted in appearances and interviews for The Today Show, 60 Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, and a host of other television, radio and print media. This has fueled a rare level of public notoriety for Joey as a jazz musician, entirely unheard of for one his age, both within the jazz community and among the public at large.

 His 2015 debut album for Motema Music, My Favorite Things, garnered two Grammy Award nominations for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” and “Best Improvised Solo” for his performance of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”, making him the youngest jazz artist ever nominated for a Grammy. His performances on the 58th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast – far more magical than what was expected – received standing ovations from the star-studded audience, bringing his talent to the attention of music lovers everywhere, mesmerizing long-time industry professionals, and inspiring other young musicians to pursue their own dreams.

Through all this Joey has remained humble, focused on developing as a player and pursuing his growing interest in composing. His highly-anticipated sophomore album Countdown (set for release in September 2016 on Motema Music) showcases Joey’s remarkable development as a contemporary jazz bandleader and promise as a composer. He develops fresh takes on well-known tunes, combining them seamlessly with his own original compositions in a way which invites both new and seasoned listeners in, and reflects the true emotional heart and soul of his musical personality.

Joey says that his growth as a composer is due to the hours he spends practicing piano in between his school, media and touring commitments – and his rare moments of free time in which he enjoys doing “regular kid things” like watching movies, playing games, swimming, and tennis. “Sometimes, when I’m just practicing or playing something, new melodic and rhythmic ideas come to me, and I realize that I’m actually starting to compose a song,” he says. “I think that writing memorable tunes comes from listening to so much music from composers and artists I like. I actually find it harder to interpret other people’s songs than to write my own, because I have to figure out and feel what the song is about and find a way to make it my own.”

Wynton Marsalis says of Joey, “There has never been anyone that you can think of who could play like that at his age. I love everything about his playing – his rhythm, his confidence, his understanding of the music.” Now, as he enters his teen years, Joey takes another step in charting his artistic direction with the release of Countdown.

“You know, I love both creating music in the studio and performing for people onstage,” he says, “but I have to admit there’s something special about getting a crowd excited by playing jazz live. In most situations I try to be calm, but I love the intense energy that happens between me and the audience. When they express their appreciation in this way, I am inspired to go deeper as a person and musician, improve my craft and create exciting new sounds.”

Building upon the swing and improvisational style that made his first project a critical and popular success, Countdown is a reflection of the growth and maturity of Joey Alexander as an artist, and a confident next step toward a limitless future.

This performance marks Joey Alexander's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Join us for a pre-concert interview prior to this evening’s performance hosted by Marcus Overton with a member of Malandain Ballet Biarritz.

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Malandain Ballet Biarritz
Thierry Malandain


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Highlights from Roméo et Juliette

Roméo et Juliette in rehearsal