sat 19/10/2019

Romeo and Juliet, Birmingham Royal Ballet & English National Ballet, touring | reviews, news & interviews

Romeo and Juliet, Birmingham Royal Ballet & English National Ballet, touring

Romeo and Juliet, Birmingham Royal Ballet & English National Ballet, touring

Nureyev and MacMillan take powerfully different views of the story

Nureyev's 'Romeo and Juliet': 'This is a story about two young individuals swamped in politics'© Daria Klimentova/ENB

“Rudolf thought, what you wanted out of life you had to get straightaway, because if you thought about it too long, you might be dead,” said the ballerina Patricia Ruanne, the first Juliet in Rudolf Nureyev’s version of Romeo and Juliet. Coming a dozen years after Kenneth MacMillan’s landmark Royal Ballet version, Nureyev’s - for London Festival Ballet - is regrettably eclipsed, for what a powerful piece of theatre it is, and this autumn the chance to see both versions side by side has underscored that even if Nureyev was not the greatest choreographer, this was a story about individuals swamped in politics - something he knew about, from experience.

It was the Mercutio and Paris who were my men of the match. Paris, you say? The cipher Juliet was supposed to marry?

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