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Romeo and Juliet

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Dutch National Opera and BalletWaterlooplein 22, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
October 10, 12, 18, 20 14:00, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31 (at 19:30 unless shown)

To this day, the city of Verona in Italy is still flooded with letters every week addressed to ‘Julia Capulet, Verona’. There could be no greater testament to how deeply Shakespeare’s classic tragedy continues to touch hearts around the world.

For his first full-length Dutch production in 1967, Rudi van Dantzig joined the ranks of dance-makers to borrow inspiration from the tale of Verona’s star-crossed lovers. With his gripping, realistic and engaged interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, Dutch National Ballet’s former artistic director created a masterpiece with the power to stir audiences in the Netherlands and far beyond, becoming part of the repertoire of companies from Canada to Hong Kong.

Featuring a new generation of dancers in the title roles, Dutch National Ballet brings Van Dantzig's beloved ballet classic – and seminal work in the company's own evolution – back to the stage. Romeo and Juliet is a feast for the eyes with its lively street scenes, stately court dances, realistic staged fights and heartbreaking encounters between the two lovers.

Van Dantzig based his own choreography in part on the original 1940 ballet version by Leonid Lavrovski. Yet the psychological and social immediacy of Van Dantzig’s Romeo and Juliet sets it apart from all other versions. Through subtle characterisations and a sensitive evocation of mood and emotion he shows how the feud between the noble families of Montecchi and Capoletti destroys everything in its wake, not only the carefree youth and budding love that proves fatal to Romeo and Juliet, but also the social fabric of Verona itself.

Part of the enduring success of Van Dantzig's Romeo and Juliet owes to its sumptuous staging. Toer van Schayk's set design is a Renaissance painting come to life in vivid scarlet and pastels.

October 2019
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