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Bolshoi Theater to show premiere of Romeo and Juliet staged by Alexei Ratmansky

The world premiere of Romeo and Juliet took place in the National Theater of Brno on December 30, 1938

MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/ Moscow’ s Bolshoi Theater is getting ready to present Sergei Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet staged by famous choreographer Alexei Ratmansky.

On Tuesday, the dress rehearsal will take place on the New Stage of the Bolshoi Theater and the series of first shows will be held from November 22 to 26, the Bolshoi’s spokesperson Katerina Novikova told TASS. She added that tickets for all first night performances had been sold out.

She also drew attention to the fact the theater has had one version of Romeo and Juliet ballet in the choreography of Yuri Grigorovich and this ballet is performed at the Historical Stage.

"That production was created in 1979 and was completely renewed in 2010," Novikova said, adding that from now on the Theater will have two productions of the ballet on its billboard.

Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev finished writing the music for the ballet in 1935, but it took several years before the production was released.

The world premiere of Romeo and Juliet (production by Ivan Psota) took place in the National Theater of Brno on December 30, 1938. On the stage of the Kirov Theater (now the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg) the ballet with choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky and the scenery by Peter Williams was released in 1940. The main parts were performed by Galina Ulanova and Konstantin Sergeyev. Since then many renowned choreographers staged Prokofiev’s masterpiece. The most famous interpretations include productions by Kenneth McMillan (premiere on February 9, 1965, the English Royal Ballet), Frederick Ashton (May 19, 1955, the Royal Danish Ballet), John Cranko (July 26, 1958, La Scala Theater, Milan), Rudolf Nureyev (1977, London Festival Ballet).

Only in the current century the Bolshoi Theater saw productions of "Romeo and Juliet" by Declan Donnelan, Nick Ormerod and Radu Poklitaru.

Since 1979, the theater has its own version of Romeo and Juliet with choreography by Yuri Grigorovich and scenery by Simon Virsaladze.

Alexei Ratmansky version

Alexei Ratmansky showed his version of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet in 2011 in Toronto. The production was commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada. Both critics and spectators highly appreciated the performance.

According to Ratmansky, inspired by the genius music of Prokofiev, he did not deviate from Shakespeare's plot and preserved the historical flavor of Italy of the Renaissance in his production.

"When you start working with music, it's impossible not to respond emotionally to it, even if you are not a fan of Prokofiev or the music of the 20th century. There are such formulas, such melodies, such musical drama that it is simply impossible to remain indifferent ", the Bolshoi’s spokesperson quoted the choreographer.

She also cited another confession by the choreographer, in which he said that he had slightly changed the original libretto. "I permitted myself to change one storyline: Juliet wakes up before Romeo dies. Dances with a dead body always embarrassed me, "Ratmansky said.