Ballet Hoo! index
Countdown to the performance
Programme 1 summary
Programme 2 summary
Programme 3 summary
Programme 4 summary
Meet the Birmingham Royal Ballet team
Meet the participants
What the project has meant to me
A day in the life...
The story of the ballet
How you can get involved with dance
Ballet's project partners
Press and media coverage of the project
Click here if you would like to support BRB's
work in the community
21 days to go
The first act of Sergei Prokofievís Romeo and Juliet includes 21 separate musical numbers. The whole ballet has 52 linked pieces of music in it.
The ballet of Romeo and Juliet, which the young people of Ballet Hoo! will be performing, consists of about 90 minutes of music, excluding the two intervals, and has 52 different musical items. For example, the first five items in Act I are 'Introduction', 'Romeo', 'The street awakes', 'Morning dance' and 'The Quarrel' (between Tybalt and Mercutio). These may sound like unrelated pieces of music, but in fact there are many themes running through the entire ballet which link them all together. They crop up continuously depending on who is on stage and what is happening.
All of the main characters have at least one theme. Juliet for example is represented on a solo flute through much of the ballet and her theme is a flighty upward scale that is heard when she appears on stage for the first time. Its fast, optimistic and energetic nature represents her youth and excitement. Click here to listen to it. As she matures throughout the ballet, her theme also changes, becoming less child-like.
The famous 'Dance of the Knights', No.13 from the ballroom scene in Act I, features an angry theme in the low brass, which is first heard during the earlier fight scene. This theme represents the Capulets and in particular Tybalt. It recurs throughout the ballet whenever the Capulets are in conflict with the Montagues. Click here to listen to it.
Romeoís theme is heard right at the beginning of the ballet on strings and oboe. It is charming and confident, but slightly naive-sounding theme that, like Julietís, represents his youth and relative innocence but also his confidence. Click here to listen to it. This theme also recurs many times. For example, you can hear it in the ballroom scene when he first meets Juliet, and also when he is trying to prevent the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt in Act II.
Romeo and Juliet have several love themes. One is heard right at the very beginning of the ballet before the curtain goes up. This theme isnít heard again until the third act of the ballet. Two more can be heard during the famous 'balcony pas de deux' at the end of Act I, and several times later in the ballet. Click here to listen to one of them.
The best way to listen to all the music to Romeo and Juliet, and to hear the clever way in which all the themes tie into the action on stage is to come and see the ballet! Click here for details.