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Romeo and Juliet(Birmingham Royal Ballet)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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The core strength of this particular classic ballet lies in its narrative adapted from Shakespeare’s original text. Whilst some scenes are rushed through or complexities shortened, the essence of the plight of the star crossed lovers’ remains and proves to still engage a contemporary audience.

Whilst personally I prefer to see Shakespeare updated to a modern setting or the story enhanced by placing the action in a different era, this production very much plays true to Shakespeare’s intended scene. As this is a ballet, for once I was convinced that the traditional setting helped to compliment the narrative by maintaining its routes and allowing the choreography to tell its version of the story.

It must be said that sometimes the believability of some scenes was hindered by certain sections of movement, such as the gargantuan prolonged death scenes of Tybalt and Mercutio and the flamboyance of some conflicts. However, with the aid of the productions' principals, the ballet's most touching scenes, such as the lovers last night together, are executed with true emotion and grace.

There are also many instances of stunning Pointe work from Nao Sakuma who perfectly assumed the role of Juliet with the essence of the characters childlike innocence and exuberant love for her Romeo.

Whilst Shakespeare’s timeless story is the pillar of this production, it's stand out principal performances make it recommendable.

- Ben Wooldridge


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