The new Romeos

NYCB introduces two new heartthrobs: Zachary Catazaro and Taylor Stanley.

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  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by Peter MartinsNew York...

    Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Tiler Peck and Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by Peter...

    Tiler Peck and Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Tiler Peck and Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by Peter...

    Tiler Peck and Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Tiler Peck and Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by Peter...

    Tiler Peck and Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Erica Pereira and Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by...

    Erica Pereira and Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Erica Pereira and Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by...

    Erica Pereira and Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Erica Pereira and Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by...

    Erica Pereira and Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by Peter MartinsNew York...

    Taylor Stanley rehearsing Romeo + Juliet

Photograph: Paul Kolnik

Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + JulietChoreography by Peter MartinsNew York...

Zach Catazaro rehearsing Romeo + Juliet


Romeo + Juliet is back at New York City Ballet, but it won't be the same old tragedy. In line with choreographer Peter Martins's approach to keep things young and fresh—he's no fan of the 40-year-old Juliet—he is introducing two new Romeos this season, beginning February 16 with Zachary Catazaro (he's like the Jordan Catalano of NYCB) and February 18 with Taylor Stanley (he really is Harry Belafonte reborn). Their Juliets are more experienced: Catazaro, 22, will dance opposite Tiler Peck, and Stanley, 20, with Erica Pereira. Recently, they spoke about taking on one of ballet's most monumental roles.

How did you find out you were dancing Romeo, and what was your first thought?
Zachary Catazaro: I found out in the hallway of the eight floor. Tiler Peck told me. She said, "I think you're going to be my Romeo." I was like, "What?" [Laughs] I just wasn't expecting that at all.
Taylor Stanley:
I found out the last day of Nutcracker. I was doing Spanish corps in the second act. I guess the rehearsal schedule had come out for that coming Tuesday, and it said, "Pereira/Stanley," and someone came up to me: "You're learning Romeo!" It was cool. It was New Year's Eve, and it was fun to think that that's what was going to be coming next in the New Year.

Did you have the desire to dance this part?
Catazaro:
It's something that every male dancer wants to do. It's a dream role, really. It has everything in it: dancing and acting and self-expression. It's not just positions. There's a story to tell and it's open for interpretation, which is fantastic.

I imagine it must be a relief in that you don't have to be a prince.
Catazaro:
Yeah, that too. It's romantic, of course.... It's human.
Stanley:
You're more of a boy, you're younger, and you are supposed to be acting like a little kid who is new to romance and love. It's cool to go back into that, instead of, I have to be grown-up and more princely.

I hope it's not awkward to be talking about all this together.
Stanley:
Oh, no. I feel like we both know the struggles.
Catazaro:
He's right next to me in the dressing room.
Stanley: We talk about it all the time. [Laughs] It's been quick learning the pas de deux and the miming, the acting. So far, it's just been Erica and me dancing together or just [ballet master Kathleen] Katie Tracey telling us, "This happens next" and "This comes before" and "Now you have to go over here." There's really no one yet in the process; we don't have Mercutio, Benvolio...
Catazaro:
No other characters. We're acting to air.
Stanley:
And you want to feel what you're going to do right away, so it's like, of course, you want to put as much energy into that gesture as you can.
Catazaro:
But also, everyone in my cast at least has done it before. That will help a lot because they'll be there for support. It's just how we do things around here; there are so many ballets being rehearsed. It's not necessarily because they don't want to rehearse, it's just because they can't get time in.

So you're both working with Katie?
Catazaro:
Yes. Occasionally Peter [Martins]. This is the first time that I've worked with her as a coach.
Stanley:
I've worked with her on Fearful [Symmetries]. She's really precise about telling us where to be and the emotions that need to happen behind the movement.
Catazaro:
She's been trying to work with me on loosening up my upper body a lot. [To Stanley] You're a very natural mover, and sometimes I get a little stiff, so she's been really helping me be more fluid with my movement. I'm used to straight, Cavalier kind of stuff. This has been a really good experience, because it helps me grow as a dancer. Anytime I'm going through a position with my arms, I just think of trying to make it softer. As opposed to getting into the position, I can actually grow to the position. Katie's really good with that kind of stuff.

Have you danced with your partners before this?
Catazaro:
Just once. I was supposed to do Divert [Divertimento No. 15] last February, but I injured my foot and had to have surgery. But I did rehearse with Tiler for a while.
Stanley: Erica and I have never really worked together before. It's definitely a new partnership; it's a process, and you grow in every rehearsal. You learn more about their body and their personality and the way they react to you while you're dancing and partnering each other, and Erica is great. There's life in her dancing, and I feel we have a good chemistry so far, and hopefully it will continue to grow. Katie works with us on the playfulness of it all, which has been helping too. It's funny: You're doing all this tricky partnering, and then at the same time, you're a kid. It's funny imagining 14-year-olds partnering each other. [Laughs] I mean, I know it's a ballet, but it's a funny thought.

Do you talk about what kind of relationship you want to have?
Catazaro:
Well, it's nice. Tiler, believe it or not, is my age. [Laughs] She got in really, really early and moved up really quickly. I was still in Ohio when she was in the company.

She was on Broadway when you were in Ohio.
Catazaro:
I know. She was in movies when I was, like, seven. [Laughs] She'll be like, "Okay, for this part here, you're going to be really tired, so maybe save it a little bit." Just little tips here and there.

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Users say

17 comments
ninagracechloefaith
ninagracechloefaith

hey t stan we love you sooooooooo much still please reply to us because we love you!!!! so this deborah gets a shout out and we dont come on that is so NOT fabulous :(

ninerschlofaithygrace
ninerschlofaithygrace

I LOVE YOU TAYLOR! our real e- mail is marklayfamily@gmail.com PLEASE SEND US A SHOUT OUT We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chloeninafaithgraceweloveyou!!!
chloeninafaithgraceweloveyou!!!

Hey taylorrrrrr we love you sooo much mr. stanley we really want to meet you and we are still in love with you so please give us any shout out we will accept anything PLEASE we arent stalkers just huge fans :)! please answer you are so cute and we thing you are an amazing ballerina did you ever get that dog you wanted?? we are just 4 innocent 14 year old so please answer thanks luvya T-STAN MY MAN!!!

harrypotta
harrypotta

Heyyy t-stan! we love you please please please write back!!! deborah got a shout out!!! what about us pleaseeee we love you!!!!!!!!!!!

garceandninaarethebiggesttstanfans
garceandninaarethebiggesttstanfans

Hey Taylor Stanley! Me and Nina really love you a lot and we were wondering if you had a show or performance coming up that we could go to cuz we love to watch you dance you are our favorite male ballerina! and we might have a party for you this year for your birthday again but we will follow through this time! ;love ya t stan our fave man!

chloeandninaluvtaylor
chloeandninaluvtaylor

taylor we love you and we want to come to your next show HOW CAN WE GET THEM!???

Taylorstanley151
Taylorstanley151

Hi girls I had a great birthday i'm sorry I couln't come to your party! I'm so flattered to have fans like you girls! hugs and kisses!

PJ
PJ

ELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELMELM

ninagracechloemadison
ninagracechloemadison

WE LOVE YOUOOOOOOO COME TO OUR PARTY PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! TAYYYYYLOORRRRRR

chloeninagracemadisonlauren
chloeninagracemadisonlauren

We love you taylor we realllllllllllllly want you to come to our party that we are throwing for you we love you like soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo muc and we would feel fabulous if you came love, your #1 fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ninagraceninamadisonlauren!
ninagraceninamadisonlauren!

Dear taylor Stanley, we are huge fans.....we love your dancing! You are amazing! we were going to throw you a party on may 30th.....we have everything planned! You would make the party awesome! we go to school at Mother teresa catholic elementary school...liberty township, oh! you can come at 1:00. We absouloutly love you!

chloeninagracemadisonlauren
chloeninagracemadisonlauren

we love you tayolor stanley1 we are evnhaving a party for your birthday! .. haha well you need to come please we love you sooooo much its at mother teresa chatholic elementery school in ohio PLEASE RIGHT BACK WE LOVVEEEEEEEE YOUUUUUUU love

chloeninagracemadisonlauren
chloeninagracemadisonlauren

we love you tayolor stanley1 we are evnhaving a party for your birthday! .. haha well you need to come please we love you sooooo much its at mother teresa chatholic elementery school in ohio PLEASE RIGHT BACK WE LOVVEEEEEEEE YOUUUUUUU love