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Romeo and Juliet LIVE

Sergei Prokofiev

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Based on the play by William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet is one of the most popular ballets in the world. Nevertheless, its creation was difficult. Originally commissioned by the Leningrad Kirov Ballet in 1934, Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet did not premiere at the Kirov stage until 1940 and at the Bolshoi until 1946. Indeed, the 2 companies first refused the theme, then the steps, which ballet dancers declared indansable and finally, the partition, deemed inaudible. Today, this ballet is not considered to be Prokofiev’s most valued piece of work because of the high melodic inspiration, the great variety of rhythms and the memorable main characters. In 1978, Yuri Grigorovich revived Sergei Prokofiev’s production for the Paris Opera, which opened later at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1979. Today’s choreographic version is a revival of this first production. It premiered on April 21, 2010 at the Bolshoi Theatre. In this version, Shakespeare’s tragedy has become extremely abstract. Shakespeare’s world has been generalized, cleared of everyday matters liberating the stage of any details not connected with the main theme. Grigorovich developed the main character from his personal memories of Natalia Bessmertnova, his very first Juliet (1978), and main inspiration.

SYNOPSIS: To Prince Escalus’ dismay, the rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues brings bloodshed to the city of Verona. Romeo, heir of the Montagues, is distraught as his love for Rosaline is not returned. To console him, his friend Mercutio persuade him to attend the ball Capulet has organised to find possible suitors for his daughter Juliet. Romeo attends the ball incognito at the Capulet house. However, when Romeo meets Juliet, the two fall instantly in love with each other. They are overwhelmed when they discover they belong to two rival families...


ChoreographerYuri Grigorovich

Number of acts2 Acts

Total running time2 hours 25 minutes (with 1 intermission)

Date of performance2013-05-12

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