HomeDanceRussian State Ballet of Siberia: Romeo and Juliet

Russian State Ballet of Siberia: Romeo and Juliet

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Written over four hundred years ago, William Shakespeare’s iconic tale of love, lust, feuds and tragedy – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – was brought sensationally to life this weekend at The Regent Theatre, Ipswich.

With a score written by Sergei Prokofiev (some three hundred and fifty years after Shakespeare penned this classic) the audience was spellbound from the start, as the fabulous and flamboyant musical conductor Anatoly Tchepurnoi took up position at his lectern.

Performed by the amazing Russian State Ballet of Siberia, and accompanied by the incredibly talented orchestra of the same name, this truly was an evening of emotionally charged choreography, magnificent costumes, pitch perfect score, and of course, remarkable ballet.

Our evening of pure escapism starts with a backdrop in bustling Renaissance Verona – with feuding between the Capulets and the Montagues.

Wearing a disguise, Romeo Montague gate crashes a party at the Capulet house, where he meets Juliet Capulet…. And falls instantly in love with her.

Following this meeting, we are treated to an exceptional solo dance by Romeo, he is giddy and in love and his energy is projected effortlessly via pirouettes, grand pirouettes, and jetés.

To seal their love, Romeo then goes to visit Juliet (the iconic balcony scene) and they dance a fabulous duet together – their love is sealed.

With the hope that their marriage will finally end the animosity between both families, their wedding is blessed by the Friar, but soon after, Romeo’s best friend Mercutio is killed by Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, and so the real tragedy begins! A distraught Romeo kills Tybalt and is forced into exile.

Juliet turns to the Friar for help, and so he devises a plan for her to drink a sleeping potion to make her appear as dead. But the Friar omits to tell Romeo of this plan….

Her stricken family have her limp body taken to the morgue and this is where we see Romeo dance with both passion and grief (believing his beloved to be dead, not sleeping) and is accompanied by the whole corps de ballet in the guise of death. Absolutely devastated, Romeo takes his own poison and dies, centre stage.

When Juliet wakes, moments later, she is consumed with absolute heartbreak and agony. The corps de ballet (still in their guise of the cloak of death) has remained with us on stage, and one by one, they hand down the dagger to our stricken prima donna to tragically take her own life.

This double suicide, iconic story of love and passion was an absolute treat to watch and was totally befitting of the rapturous applause from the delighted audience.

All the performers, dancers, members of the orchestra, set designers and costume makers should take full credit for a highly polished, truly magnificent evening of ballet magic that left my head spinning happy pirouettes long after the final curtain call.