Five Things About Romeo and Juliet
February 6, 2020
1. Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet was commissioned by Artistic Director Karen Kain to celebrate the company's 60th anniversary in 2011. It was an immediate success for The National Ballet of Canada and has since toured internationally to London, New York City and Los Angeles.
2. Principal Dancers Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova created the roles of Romeo and Juliet in 2011 when Elena was still a Second Soloist. The casting and creation of the ballet were captured in the CBC documentary, Romeos and Juliets.
3. Richard Hudson, the Tony Award-winning designer of The Lion King, designed the sets and costumes, his first collaboration with the National Ballet. He used Renaissance paintings and frescoes as inspiration for the muted colour palette, fabrics, hats, headdresses and cloaks, all of which are authentic to 16th century Italy.
4. Ratmansky’s production features more dancing than some older versions of Romeo and Juliet, in part because he replaces select mime scenes with movement. He represents Romeo’s first sighting of Juliet – and the moment they fall in love – with a lift sequence that alludes to their soaring hearts.
5. Ratmansky has created acclaimed new work for companies around the world and he has a particular interest in ballet history and revivals of legacy works. In addition to Romeo and Juliet, he has staged revivals of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and La Bayadère.