Romeo & Juliet is probably my favourite ballet that I’ve seen so far; obviously the story is wonderful, the score by Prokofiev is fantastic (and features that piece of music from The Apprentice) and Kenneth MacMillan’s choreography is just brilliant at combining classical dance with actual storytelling.
I took my Mum to see English National Ballet’s production at the Royal Albert Hall which starred Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo for Mother’s Day a year or so ago, and so for her birthday this year I thought I’d treat her to the Birmingham Royal Ballet production.
The cast we saw starred Chi Cao and Nao Sakuma as the title characters, and their dancing in the famous balcony scene was beautiful as was their individual performances at the very end of the ballet (which is always completely heartbreaking). Sakuma in particular is a stunning dancer, especially when she was en pointe when she just seemed impossibly light on her feet.
Other great performances came from Tzu-Chao Chou as Mercutio who bought humour to every scene, and his final scene was just fantastic; Valentin Oloyannikov as Tybalt was icily commanding in his scenes and Marion Tait was very fun as Juliet’s Nurse. Romeo & Juliet is also a ballet that really gives the corps de ballet excellent chances to stand-out too, with really vivid crowd scenes and characterisation throughout. Special mention should go to the wonderfully costumed Mandolin dancers, led by Mathias Dingman and the harlots danced by Celine Gittens, Jade Heusen and Maureya Lebowitz.
I’d really recommend you try and see this; it’s in Birmingham until tomorrow and then goes out on tour, the details of which you can find here.