Time stands still when they first meet. The balcony pas de deux is a whirlwind.
The star-crossed love of Romeo and Juliet will move you!

The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death

ROMEO AND JULIET (ballet in three acts)

Choreography:Kenneth MacMillan
Music:Sergey Prokofiev
Designer:Nicholas Georgiadis
Lighting designer:John B. Read

Photo:Dee Conway

Four hundred years after the death of Shakespeare, the British ballet Romeo and Juliet, based on the Bard's play of the same name, will be performed in Japan for the first time in six years.

While many ballets have been created based on this, the most famous tragic love story in the world, this version staged by MacMillan is counted among the very best, a proud part of the British repertory. The ballet tells the story of Romeo and Juliet, both still in their teens, as they meet for the first time and then meet their deaths within the span of a week amid the rivalry between their two great houses in the city of Verona. MacMillan focuses the story on the "star-crossed" love of these two youths and portrays it here with modern overtones, preserving the freshness of the tale.

In the balcony scene, as the two dance with speed, Juliet's back arches with sublime beauty as she is lifted up by Romeo. With the addition of the bedroom scene where the two part and the final scene in the crypt, we witness through three pas de deux the innocent yet intense passion of the two lovers carry them in a sprint from the pinnacle of joy down unto death. Time seems to stand still when the two first meet at a masquerade at the house of the Capulets, Juliet's clan. The young men of the two houses brawl in the square. Juliet weeps, resisting her family's wishes, alone in her bed, her heart crying out as her throat cannot. The famous scenes in this ballet are too numerous to list. With even the secondary characters in the show giving their best performances, the Royal Ballet offers an air of profundity that is quintessentially British.

The Royal Ballet will be coming to Japan once again with a full cast of stars. Ballet aficionados will want to see each of the several pairs dancing these magnificent roles.


Romeo and Juliet, young members, respectively, of the feuding Montague and Capulet families, meet one another for the first time at a masked ball, and fall into ill-fated love. The two have a secret wedding ceremony, but Romeo, whose best friend, Mercutio, is killed by Juliet's cousin Tybalt, exacts his revenge by slaying Tybalt, and is banished from the city. Romeo and Juliet spend the night together on the eve of his departure, and Juliet weeps hopelessly as he leaves. Demanded by her parents to marry Paris, the man to whom she is engaged, she goes to Friar Laurence seeking help. He gives her a potion that mimics death, and she drinks it. When Romeo, not knowing the truth of the situation, returns to Verona and finds Juliet lying in her family's crypt, he drinks poison in despair. When Juliet wakes to find her lover dead, she ends her own life with a dagger.

Photo:Bill Cooper

Kenneth MacMillan (choreographer, 1929-1992)
Kenneth MacMillan

Born in Scotland, MacMillan served as artistic director of the British Royal Ballet from 1970 to 1977. He also served as its principal choreographer for many years. After making his debut with Romeo and Juliet, Macmillan went on to create many other works that have captivated modern audiences, including Manon, based on the work of 18th-century literature of the same name, and Mayerling, centering on the scandalous end of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria.


Photo:Bill Cooper
Photo:Alice Pennefather
Photo:Bill Cooper
Photo:Dee Conway
Photo:Alice Pennefather
Photo:Alice Pennefather