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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Romeo and Juliet

Royal Opera House / London / Stage

There are a number of great ballets based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but for many dance fans, for sheer scale and full-throttle storytelling, Kenneth MacMillan’s version is first among equals. Its premiere in 1965 was supposed to star Christopher Gable and Lynn Seymour, Royal Ballet up-and-comers—the choreography had been conceived on them. But the hot classical couple of the 1960s, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, got the first night instead. And no one can say that the older Fonteyn wasn’t touchingly young and innocent. The confrontation between her English restraint and Nureyev’s Russian abandon was sensational. The sets by Nicholas Georgiadis are justifiably famous, and the final moments in the tomb, heartrending. The ballet is in repertory for five months, which means many pairs will have a chance to dance the star-crossed lovers. Among the 11 Juliets are Francesca Hayward, Natalia Osipova, and Anna Rose O’Sullivan. —L.J.

Royal Opera House Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD, UK
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