A short run - not to be missed
As I said in my booking-ahead-to-have-something-to-look-forward-to-in-winter blog some months ago Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet' has been one of my favourite pieces of music since I first heard its 'Dance of the Knights' as an unusual start-of-the-night choice by a DJ in a club quite a few years ago.
However, it wasn't quite so well received as the score for the ballet when it was composed in 1935 - the Bolshoi ballet rejected it, finding it unsuitable for dancing to. Happily, just three years later tastes had changed. And now The National Ballet of Canada is back at Sadler's Wells with a new production, 26 years after its last visit, which opened last night. The tragic love story, newly choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, is a signature piece for the company.
The set is plain and uncluttered, with lofty installations such as buildings, beds and grilles using the massive aperture of the new Sadler's Wells stage.
The costumes are sumptuously opulent in rich yet muted shades of sages and russets. There's always a sense of relaxation when you know how the plot of what you're watching will unfold; you can give your full attention to the dancers' performance and the music.
And, wow, the dancers. I've rarely seen such expressive, characterful dancing, conveying complex plot twists and affecting depths of emotion, from the youthful playful delight of falling in love, to the deep despair at the senseless loss of a loved one. And as an added excitement, there's swashbuckling swordsmanship in the fight scenes. The standing ovation and 'bravos' were well deserved!
National Ballet of Canada's 'Romeo and Juliet' is on until April 21 - and there are still seats available. Do catch it if you can. Click here to find out more, and to book: tickets from £12 to £45
Photo: Bruce Zinger
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