The Royal Ballet: The corps de ballet rehearse Romeo and Juliet

Watch the corps de ballet rehearse Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk/romeo

Kenneth MacMillan poignant setting of Sergey Prokofiev’s classic score draws out the emotional and psychological intensity of the tale. Romeo and Juliet contains three passionate pas de deux: the lovers’ first meeting, the famous balcony scene and the devastating final tragedy, in which Romeo dances desperately with the lifeless Juliet. The story is set against a wonderful evocation of 16th-century Verona, and includes a bustling marketplace that erupts into a violent sword fight, and a lavish ball held in an elegant mansion.

MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet first arrived at Covent Garden in 1965. Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn took the title roles on the opening night – MacMillan had originally created the work on Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable. Nevertheless, Fonteyn and Nureyev’s performance had a rapturous reception, with 43 curtain calls and almost forty minutes of applause. The ballet has been at the heart of the Company’s repertory ever since, amassing more than four hundred performances. This classic production has been toured around the world and in 2011 was adapted for arena-scale performances at the O2 Arena.

DUATO | KYLIAN | NAHARIN

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CASTRATI

Choreography by Nacho Duato

SECUS

Choreography by Ohad Naharin

PETITE MORT

Choreography by Jiří Kylián

Fear, vulnerability, passion – the dark extremes of human emotions dominate the three works of the ballet program “Duato | Kylian | Naharin”. While “Castrati” by Nacho Duato revolves around the fear of an aspiring singer before castration, Jiří Kylián’s “Petite Mort” deals with the aggressive as well as the vulnerable sides of sexuality. “Secus” is an abstract work by Ohad Naharin, based on power, extremes and raw meat.

Music by Vivaldi and Jenkins is the basis for Nacho Duato’s contribution to this ballet evening. However, the focus of “Castrati” lies on the dark side of the castrati era. Jiří Kylián’s piece equally revolves around the genital – since the French term “petite mort” describes nothing else but the sexual highpoint. The music is by Mozart. And for the very first time Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin will work with the Staatsballett.

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