A male dancer, sitting on a red, velvet surface, holds a female dancer in the air. Both dancers are wearing red.
CPA Series

Hong Kong Ballet: Romeo + Juliet

January 20 & 21, 2023

Tickets from $10–$89. See details below. 

Ancient grudges between triad families. Passion and tragedy. The iconic balcony scene. Set in Hong Kong in the turbulent 1960s, Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers is given a fresh and thought-provoking retelling in Septime Webre’s new Romeo + Juliet. Juliet’s father is an unrelenting Shanghainese tycoon who is determined to marry his only daughter off to a wealthy gweilo (Caucasian), and Webre’s original choreography seamlessly incorporates intense street battles rendered in traditional Hong Kong-style kung fu. Accompanied by Sergei Prokofiev’s dramatic score, retro Hong Kong is vividly brought to life in the epic love story’s captivating dancing, complex drama, and sumptuous cheongsams. This brilliantly imagined adaptation is especially relevant for contemporary audiences, as it fuses dance and drama against a backdrop of a world in flux.

“Transposing the action from medieval Italy to 1960s Hong Kong is an ingenious idea which serves the dual purpose of appealing to the local audience while offering a uniquely Hong Kong product for international tours. Visually the production is stunning.”

South China Morning Post


Tickets available for $69–$89. $10 UNC-Chapel Hill student tickets available with valid UNC One Card. Additional discounts available. Visit our FAQ page for details.


  • Program: We’re excited to offer a robust digital program book for this event. To access this resource, click here. This program can also be accessed via QR codes on event signage.
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 20 minutes (with intermission)
  • Intermission: 20 minutes
  • Additional information: Visit our FAQ page 


Choreography:  Septime Webre 
Music: Sergei Prokofiev 
Costume Design: Mandy Tam 
Set Design: Ricky Chan
Assistant Set Designer: Ryan Lo 
Lighting Design: Ruby Yau 
Original Lighting Design and Lighting Consultant: Billy Chan 
Dramaturgy: Yan Pat To 
Make-Up Design: M·A·C Cosmetics 
Martial Arts Advisor: Hing Chao 
Martial Arts Partner: International Guoshu Association


Septime Webre is an internationally recognized ballet director, choreographer, educator and advocate. He joined Hong Kong Ballet as its Artistic Director in July 2017 after 17 years as Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet in Washington D.C., U.S. from 1999-2016. Previously he served as Artistic Director of the American Repertory Ballet, based in Princeton, New Jersey, U.S. from 1993–1999. In addition, Webre has served as the Artistic Director of Halcyon, a Washington D.C.-based foundation, launching an annual international Festival for Creativity in Washington D.C. in June 2018.  

more about septime webre

During Webre’s tenure at The Washington Ballet, the institution’s budget grew by 500%, and it enjoyed unprecedented advances in the scope and quality of its work on stage, in the size and reach of its professional school and in the development of several far-reaching community engagement programs that he founded. Webre also launched an array of artistic initiatives, including The American Experience, which developed great works of literature like “The Great Gatsby” and Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” into full-length ballets.  

As a choreographer, Webre’s works appear in the repertoires of ballet companies globally, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Austin, Ballet Memphis, Milwaukee Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, and many others, and he has worked frequently in theatre as well as opera. His new works for HKB, Romeo + Juliet, set in 1960s Hong Kong, and The Nutcracker, set in early 20th century Hong Kong, world premiered in June and December 2021, respectively. As a dancer, Webre was featured in solo and principal roles from the classical repertoire as well as in contemporary works by choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, and Merce Cunningham. He has served on the board of Dance/USA and on the juries of a number of international ballet competitions, including those in Varna, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Cape Town, New York, and Seoul. Webre’s work has received numerous honors, grants, and awards. He holds a degree in History/Pre-Law from the University of Texas at Austin and is the seventh son in a large, boisterous Cuban-American family. 


One of Asia’s premier ballet companies, Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) is internationally recognized as a vibrant arts institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Established in 1979 and led by Artistic Director Septime Webre, HKB has a dynamic repertoire performed by nearly 50 dancers from all over the globe and award-winning education and community programs. 

More about hong kong ballet

With nearly 50 dancers from all over the globe — Hong Kong, Mainland China and other parts of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and throughout North America — HKB has won recognition both regionally and internationally. HKB’s repertoire includes celebrated re-stagings of the classics, neo-classical masterworks by George Balanchine, original full-lengths created for HKB and an award-winning series of ballets for young audiences. In addition, HKB performs works by some of today’s most sought-after choreographers, including Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Justin Peck, Jirˇí Kylian, Nacho Duato, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa as well as dynamic new works by HKB’s Choreographer-in-Residence Hu Song Wei Ricky, Yuh Egami, as well as numerous emerging Hong Kong choreographers. 

With almost 50 tours to 11 countries, HKB most recently toured throughout Europe, Mainland China and the US, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and in New York at the Joyce Theatre and the renowned Fall for Dance Festival. In addition to its performances on stage at home and abroad, HKB maintains a full schedule of community engagement initiatives throughout Hong Kong to ensure the art of ballet is accessible to all. Since its debut in 2020, the HKBALLET@HOME online channel has garnered over 2 million views, connecting with ballet lovers across the globe. 


To celebrate the arrival of Hong Kong Ballet, CPA is partnering with the Chelsea Theater to present a pair of Hong Kong film favorites—just in time for the Lunar New Year! Learn more here.


For a sneak peek at Romeo + Juliet, click the dropdown below.

Photo Album

Street Scene

Photo by Conrad Dy-Liacco
Mahjong game under iconic neon lights and billboards

Juliet’s Family

Photo by Tony Luk
Juliet and her fiancé Mr Parker, a welthy gweilo (foreigner)

Floating Restaurant

Photo by Conrad Dy-Liacco
Little Mak, Romeo, and Benny slip into a party at a floating restaurant

Ballroom Scene

Photo by Conrad Dy-Liacco
A lavish gala dinner at the floating restaurant, inspired by Jumbo Floating Restaurant, a Hong Kong landmark
Photo by Tony Luk
Juliet’s mother and Tai Po (who is both Juliet’s father’s associate and Juliet’s mother’s lover)

Balcony Scene

Photo by Conrad Dy-Liacco
At the balcony, Romeo and Juliet declare their love for each other

Temple Scene

Photo by Conrad Dy-Liacco
Romeo and Juliet secretly commit themselves to each other at a temple, with Romeo’s Sifu and the Amah present

Kung Fu Scene

Photo by Tony Luk
Little Mak and Tai Po trade escalating insults and a fight ensues

Bedroom Scene

Photo by Conrad Dy-Liacco
Romeo and Juliet spend the night together in Juliet’s bedroom

Funeral Scene

Photo by Tony Luk
Romeo poisons himself in his despair


Student Ticket Angel Fund Sponsors:

  • Kimberly Glenn Phillips and Ambassador Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, Junior
  • The Phillips Ambassadors Program
  • Kumi Sato and Donald Kanak

Lead Performance Sponsors:

  • Patricia and Thruston Morton

Performance Sponsors:

  • The Carolina Asia Center
  • Wyndham Robertson
  • Cheray Duchin
  • Ben Cha
  • Song Bing

Performance Supporters

  • Brae Blackley
  • Bernard Charnwut Chan
  • Alison Friedman
  • Sophia Kao
  • Kaiser Kuo
  • Henry Lee and Angelina Bussinger Lee
  • Jessie Lee
  • Dee Poon
  • Frank and Ellen Proctor
  • Daniel Rupp
  • Douglas and Viki Singleton
  • Camellia Tan
  • Lakshmi Mahey Laroia
  • Cathy Barbash
  • Frankie Fang


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