Moscow City Ballet have brought Prokofiev's classic version of the tale of star-crossed lovers to Manchester – and it is a beautiful example of how classical ballet should be. Prokofiev's music is evocative and tells the story virtually by itself, but it is enhanced by Artistic Director Victor Smirnov Golobanov's stunning choreography.
The two leads, Liliya Orekhova (Juliet) and Daniil Orlov (Romeo), make a stunning couple and both are superb dancers. Orekhova is especially good at conveying her emotions and is an entrancing Juliet. Their death scene is dramatic without being overplayed and the audience can feel the despair of Juliet as she finds her Romeo dead before her.
Other dancers which stand out are Artem Minakov as Mercutio and Talgat Kozhabaev as Tybalt. Their fight scene is excellently done and the way that they exchange blows while leaping through the air is a great show of skill. I must also mention Lyubov Lysak (Nurse), who shows great comic timing within the boundaries of ballet.
The orchestra, conducted by Igor Shavruk, work hard to create the music which fills the theatre; yet it is not so loud that it detracts from the stage or even covers the sound of the dancers shoes on the stage. Meanwhile Natalya Povago's Italianate set design provides the perfect backdrop for the action.
Overall, this is a lovely show which deserves a much bigger audience than were in the theatre on the night I attended.