After Julie Kent’s final performance of “Romeo and Juliet” on Saturday June 20, she received a 23-minute standing ovation.
The roaring applause from both onstage and offstage as Kent gave her final bows, is a testament to her reputation in the ballet-world.
After a 29-year career with the American Ballet Theatre, Saturday’s performance at the Metropolitan Opera House marked the end of an era, as Kent’s fans and fellow dancers honored her incredible talent.
On Twitter, earlier that day, Ballet dancer David Hallberg tweeted, “In honor of #JulieKent and her final bow tonight with @ABTBallet…What was your #IconicJulie moment in her career?” Fans answered with her various performances in shows such as “Swan Lake,” “A Month in the Country,” and of course, “Romeo and Juliet.”
Many people see Kent not only as a beautiful dancer, but also as a gifted actress who brings real emotion to every role that she plays.
As Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet,” the way that she performs the famous balcony scene is celebrated by many Ballet fans, as she seems to float through the sequence effortlessly.
Kent decided that it was time to retire, not because of an injury, not because of her two children, and certainly not because she lost her passion for the art form. Instead, Kent reportedly thought that the next generation deserved their chance to grow; she expressed how, “The next generation can’t really come into their own until they’re put into a position where they have to.”
The dancer believed that it was time to move on to a new challenge in her life, simply stating, “You just have to move forward, you know? You have to keep moving forward in life, because that’s what life is.”
Who knows what Julie Kent will tackle next? All we know for certain is that her legacy as an American Ballet Theatre principal dancer will live on for generations to come.