Like tantalizing appetizers before the real meal, snippets of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet seem to be everywhere. The Hollywood Bowl set off figurative and literal fireworks with R&J sections while television's pop-prone So You Think You Can Dance benefited from contestant Melissa Sandvig's ballet background, Los Angeles Ballet's Thordal Christensen's choreography and Prokofiev's balcony scene for its debut venture into classical ballet. For those hungering for a more substantial serving of R&J, American Ballet Theater returns with Sir Kenneth MacMillan's searing and soaring full-length ballet. Choreographers before and since have essayed Shakespeare's eternally fascinating love story and Prokofiev's seductively dissonant ballet score, but MacMillan triumphed in capturing Prokofiev's elusive juxtaposition of dramatic sweep in the scenes of the larger conflict and the exquisite tenderness, passion and hope in the star-crossed lovers moments together.

July 16-18, 7:30 p.m.; July 18-19, 2:30 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly