National Arts Centre


April 2 – 4, 2020

National Arts Centre


April 2 – 4, 2020

About the Ballet

Running time: 2 hours and 50 minutes with two 20-minute intermissions


Alexei Ratmansky created his stunning adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for The National Ballet of Canada in 2011 to open the company’s 60th anniversary season. The production is true to the colour and character of 16th century Verona and jampacked with dancing – fast footwork, expressive pas de deux and gorgeous ensemble pieces blending classical and folkdance elements. Romeo and Juliet is pure Ratmansky, a thoughtful and visually striking revival of one of ballet’s great narrative works.

The Story

Verona is the site of a longstanding feud between two families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Romeo, a Montague, falls in love with Juliet, a forbidden Capulet, and they marry in secret. When Juliet learns she is pledged in marriage to someone else, she takes a sleeping potion to convince her family she is dead. She sends news of her plan to Romeo but he does not receive it. Believing Juliet dead, Romeo takes his own life and she, on waking, takes hers, joining him in death.

Read Full Synopsis


Five Things About Romeo and Juliet
The Choreographer

Born in St. Petersburg, Alexei Ratmansky is a choreographer and former ballet dancer. He is Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre and former Artistic Director of The Bolshoi Ballet. He has created new work for ballet companies around the world, including Romeo and Juliet for The National Ballet of Canada in 2011.

The Composer

Russian-born Sergei Prokofiev was one of the major composers of the 20th century, known and celebrated for his symphonies, operas, piano sonatas and ballets, notably Romeo and Juliet and Peter and the Wolf, widely considered his masterpieces.

More Video

Read More

Prokofiev's Score – A History


“A Romeo and Juliet for our time” —Los Angeles Register

“Of the six versions I have seen by choreographers alive today, this is much the best.” —The New York Times

“A must-see… Ratmansky’s greatness lies in his ability to mirror music in dance. The emotional arc of the characters is cunningly shown in movement. In fact, the music and the dance seem inseparable.” —The Globe and Mail


Alexei Ratmansky

Sergei Prokofiev

Set, Costume and Properties Design:
Richard Hudson

Lighting Design:
Jennifer Tipton

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.

Celebrate the Dancers

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.

Donate Today

Email Newsletter

Be the first to know when casting is announced by signing up for Ballet News.

Sign Up Today