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Ballet by John Cranko based on the play by William Shakespeare • Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Romeo and Juliet //

In 1962 John Cranko presented his first dramatic ballet »Romeo and Julia« less than two years after being appointed ballet director in Stuttgart. And that with such resounding acclaim that the world premiere is regarded as the cornerstone for the ballet company’s success story. For the past 50 years, the Stuttgart Ballet has performed this signature piece at the Stuttgart Opera House and in guest performances around the world. In the meantime, »Romeo and Juliet« has been added to the repertories of numerous and equally renowned international ballet companies.

The success of this piece is due not least of all to Cranko’s masterful art of narration. He conveys the tragic story of the star-crossed lovers so sensitively and articulately that one need not be familiar with William Shakespeare’s drama to understand exactly what is happening on stage. Using sorrowful and humorous elements and fleshed-out characters, Cranko offers a panorama of images which reflect the complete array of life’s facets. The dancing itself is just as varied as the characters and moods – from Cranko’s world-famous, breathtaking pas de deux to colourful ensemble scenes, exciting swordplay and brilliant solos. Jürgen Rose’s coherent set and costume design is another factor that contributes to the unique magic of »Romeo and Juliet«, as he transforms the stage into a sun-drenched Mediterranean Verona.

The score for this ballet is based on Sergei Prokofiev’s composition from 1936. With its rhythmic energy, deep lyricism and subtle portrayal of the Shakespearean characters, the music accentuates the drama of this tragic tale.