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Romeo and Juliet ballet starring Russia's Polunin to premiere at Arena di Verona

Polunin noted that Johan Kobborg had gathered a star cast

MOSCOW, August 26. /TASS/. The premiere of the Romeo and Juliet ballet by Sergei Prokofiev starring Russia’s Sergei Polunin and Romania’s Alina Cojocaru will take place at the Arena di Verona Roman amphitheater, the press service of Polunin who initiated the project informed TASS.

"We’ve been friends with Johan Kobborg for 10 years, and I always wanted to work with him as a choreographer, as a director. <…> Polunin went on to praise him as a genius of classical ballet further stating, "I wanted to help Johan bring out his talent in a new way. I wanted him to choreograph a classical ballet, but in a new format, in a new vision," commending it as the "classical ballet of the future." The star performer further elaborated, "For the first such collaboration, we took Romeo and Juliet, a classical story, classical music, classical ballet. And in the future we will tell completely unknown stories, create something completely new," Polunin stressed.

David Umemoto (Canada) is the stage designer. A total of 26 ballet dancers are involved in the project. Polunin noted that Kobborg had gathered a star cast.

Polunin also extolled Alina Cojocaru, highlighting that, "she's a world level dancer, the perfect Juliet." He recalled that when he was in "high school and she was a star already." The dancer stressed, "It is a big honor and responsibility for me to dance with Alina." Polunin will be performing Romeo for the first time.

Nikolas Gaifullin (USA) will take the part of Tybalt, while Valentino Zucchetti (Italy) will be Mercutio.

According to the Russian ballet star, the dancers are transformed into different characters during the performance. "Everything looks like an interesting film. Emotions are served quickly, there is nothing needless, everything is clear. Definitely it won't be boring," he said.

The names of the costume designers are being kept under wraps. The billboard refers to them as an "anonymous creative collaboration." "These are my friends who wanted to support me. However, we agreed that we’ll not disclose their names yet. It’s more interesting. But the costumes are incredible!" Polunin said.

He added that the new production would show audiences "in what direction…ballet should develop." Polunin suggests that spectators "should go to the ballet not as a museum, but for today's time display." That’s why we have a classical but modern type of scenery, classical but modern costumes, classical but modern choreography." He also stressed that "Our Romeo and Juliet" is not "modern itself, but exactly the classical steps and combinations [were] choreographed in a modern way," the dancer explained.