Few of the many Shakespeare works that have been re-imagined for ballet have had the lasting impact and been embraced with as much affection as Romeo and Juliet. The famous story of two young lovers whose passion is tragically thwarted by the enmity of their respective families has inspired numerous choreographers over the decades, attracted by the enduring power of its themes and narrative and by its potential for dramatic and evocative dancing.
The celebrated Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, in his adaptation of the play, which he created for The National Ballet of Canada in 2011, has given the familiar story a fresh and compelling re-telling. Staying true to the play’s potent theatricality and poignant commingling of romance and tragedy, and plumbing the characters’ emotional depths and human complexity with rare sensitivity, Mr. Ratmansky has created a Romeo and Juliet that is at once bracing and modern in its choreographic vigor, yet timeless in its dramatic urgency.
“★★★★/4 A Romeo and Juliet with soul. A choreographic delight, rich in detail, subtle in its musicality and always dramatically expressive.”
“Ratmansky’s love of speed and virtuosity are in full display in Romeo and Juliet… In his version of Romeo and Juliet, love acts like a triple shot of espresso, jolting the limbs as well as the hearts of the title hero and heroine… this relentless energy gives the ballet its contemporary flavour.” —Ottawa Citizen
“This National Ballet production is as good as it gets.” —American Record Guide
“Totally fresh… refreshing energy and a witty, unexpected slant.” —The Times, UK
“Ratmansky is the king of speed and danger... brilliant at drawing character and he understands how to highlight dramatic moments within the music. A Romeo and Juliet that builds in both excitement and pathos.” —The Globe and Mail
“Dazzling combat choreography... sweeping lifts. A new modern classic for the company’s diamond anniversary.” —National Post
“[A Romeo and Juliet] to treasure for the next 60 years.” —Toronto Sun
Casting subject to change.
Set, Costume and Properties Design:
Lead philanthropic support for Romeo and Juliet is provided by Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., with additional generous support from Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and Walter Carsen, O.C.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Romeo and Juliet Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Enhance your experience and learn more about our productions from Lindsay Fischer, Artistic Director, YOU dance/Ballet Master.
Please note: Peter Ottmann, Senior Ballet Master, will host the Ballet Talks for Romeo and Juliet on Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 20 2016.
Get more insight into Romeo and Juliet through our Virtual Museum featuring set and costume sketches, footwear, artifacts and more from the National Ballet Archives.
This timeless story is magnificently brought to life by the National Ballet's dancers. They relish rich roles like these to connect with audiences, showcase their talents and push themselves to even greater heights.
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Top image credit: Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova in Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Bruce Zinger.