Romeo and Juliet fall deeply in love, but their families are engaged in a vicious feud. A street skirmish brings Romeo into conflict with Juliet's cousin Tybalt – with horrifying consequences.
Leonid Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet is the iconic 20th-century Russian ballet. Lavrovsky was part of the original creative team that developed Prokofiev's score – now one of the most popular modern ballet scores. Prokofiev was originally commissioned by the Bolshoi, but they rejected his work citing the 'undanceable' rhythms. It wasn't until 1940 that the score was heard in Russia, with the Mariinsky dancing Lavrovsky's choreography. The premiere marked a new era in Soviet ballet, in which Lavrovsky was the pioneer.
Prokofiev's score pushed Lavrovsky to include innovative techniques, drawing on several different dance styles and varying magnificent crowd scenes with intimate pas de deux. Lavrovsky also made extensive use of expressive mime to introduce greater realism, and the result captures the lovers' emotions with agonizing clarity.
News and features
31 July 2014
The Royal Ballet Principal on why he loves MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.
30 July 2014
Sarah Crompton talks about the company’s distinctive style and the dancers she’s looking forward to watching in summer 2014.
29 July 2014
The company, formerly known as the Kirov, have dazzled Covent Garden audiences on 11 occasions since 1961.
29 July 2014
What did you think of the Mariinsky's performance of Lavrovsky and Prokofiev's Shakespearean ballet?