Leonid Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet is like no other. Indeed, this ballet is the standard bearer. Sergei Prokofiev had produced an earlier version of the score that had a happy ending. But with Lavrovsky’s help reframing the scenes and darkening the tone, one of the most heartbreaking scores in theater was produced. It premiered, with Lavrovsky’s choreography, at the Kirov in 1940. Unlike the sensual abandon of productions that followed—MacMillan, Cranko, Goh—Lavrovsky’s lovers are chaste, sculptural. He uses mime imaginatively, offering up beautiful examples of Soviet plastique, a dance concept dear to the Russians. The monumental pose, the heroic gesture, these marbled moments tell the story. The State Ballet of Georgia brings Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet to Montreal for the first time, in a production revisited by the choreographer’s son, Mikhail Lavrovsky. —L.J.
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