The timeless drama and storytelling of Shakespeare’s plays have inspired generations of theatregoers and artists across the globe for hundreds of years. This summer, Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrates the enduring power of arguably the world’s most prolific playwright with one of the most breath-taking adaptations of his tale of star-crossed lovers, Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.
William Shakespeare’s tragic and passionate narrative comes to life in this epic production, featuring a stunning design by Paul Andrews which recreates the grandeur and heat of Verona with gargantuan pillars and Italian architectural style.
A cast of over fifty dancers execute Macmillan’s esteemed choreography, from the balcony scene’s romantic, ecstatic pas de deux to large-scale sword fight scenes and the lovers’ heart-breaking end. The spectacle is accompanied by Prokofiev’s instantly recognisable score, played live at every performance by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
This combination of spectacular score and expressive choreography creates a performance that is powerful, poetic and a firm favourite with audiences worldwide.
David Bintley, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, commented: “Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is the most important full-length ballet of the 20th century. It broke the mould of classical ballets because everything within the ballet supports the narrative. The stand-out elements are the pas de deux, particularly the balcony scene. As a narrative piece of dance making, I would say this is probably the greatest one ever made.”
The iconic lead roles of Romeo and Juliet themselves will be performed by twelve of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s world-class dancers. As David Bintley explained, “Juliet has got to be the most coveted role in the repertoire. I don’t think I’ve ever met a female dancer who didn’t want to do it. It’s not too difficult, you spend a great deal of the time being lifted up and carried around beautifully and you get to do some pretty extreme acting to that glorious score.”
Romeo and Juliet is at Birmingham Hippodrome 26-30 June. Tickets are available at birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling the box office on 0844 338 5000.
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