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Moscow City Ballet's Romeo & Juliet @ The Waterside Theare, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 5th Nov 2013 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

Romeo & Juliet
As a jobbing actress I confess that I know little about ballet, as my dance training was primarily in contemporary, jazz and tap.  I’m not qualified to talk about the techniques of the Moscow City’s corps de ballet, except to say that they do indeed possess grace, vitality and excellent dexterity.  However, I was very keen to see how one of Shakespere’s greatest tragedies could be translated into a ballet, as the only ballets I’ve seen are based on fairy stories.

The opening tableaux depicting the four dead bodies held aloft by black cloaked spirits, with the Lords Capulet and Montague standing behind with crossed swords, provided a dramatic start and I knew then that they’d got it right and this was going to be an interesting production.  As the warring families fought in the streets, with even the girls doing hand-to-hand combat, you could feel the hatred between these 2 feuding families.  The drama is enhanced by Prokofiev’s score and when Tybalt enters to the powerful sounds of Dance of the Knights (you’ll recognise it from The Apprentice), we know there’s trouble brewing and all is not going to end well!


When Romeo meets Juliet, I found the meeting surprisingly passionate and tender and the intensity of their feelings for one another was expressed beautifully.  For me knowing the story and following it through as Mercutio is killed by Tybalt and Romeo kills Tybalt, setting in motion the ultimate demise of the star-crossed lovers, helped to keep me engaged throughout.  Without the Bard’s wonderful language, it was still easy to follow the story and I felt they had captured the drama, passion and intensity of the play to great effect.

I liked the vibrant, striking use of colours and the simplicity of the vulture costumes was very effective.  I also thought the backdrops worked well, particularly the one with the red domed church, which had a 3 dimensional effect and what looked like gold leaf edging.

The Moscow City Ballet celebrates its Silver Anniversary and also brings the Nutcracker to The Waterside on 5th & 6th November. The Nutcracker boasts Tchaikovsky’s rich score, complete with stunning costumes and sumptuous sets.  This enchanting ballet tells the story of Clara’s magical adventure with her Nutcracker Prince, including a visit to the delicious Land of Sweets and the delightful Sugar Plum Fairy, and is a real festive treat.

Founded in 1988 by Victor Smirnov-Golovanov, who sadly died in April this year after, Moscow City Ballet remains in the safe hands of his wife Ludmila Neroubashchenko, who has been leading the ballet company for the last few years. Ludmila will now officially take on the position of Artistic Director and will continue to preserve Victor's unique choreography and productions, as well as the commitment to promoting ballet in the Russian classical tradition to audiences all over the world.

Ludmila Neroubashchenko said, “We are committed to continue entertaining audiences with our Russian jewels performed by world class dancers. This season we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, so we hope to commemorate it with a magical and entertaining tour in memory of Victor Smirnov-Golovanov, former Bolshoi Ballet soloist and distinguished choreographer.”

Moscow City Ballet is accompanied on tour by the Moscow City Ballet Orchestra who provide a dynamic vitality to this remarkable season of dance. Book your tickets now at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre Box Office 0844 871 7607 (bkg fee) or visit (bkg fee)
Performances:   Nutcracker Tue 5 Nov 7.30pm & Wed 6 Nov 2.30pm & 7.30pm

The tour continues to:
7th November Romeo and Juliet New Victoria Theatre Woking   
8th & 9th November The Nutcracker New Victoria Theatre Woking   
Before going to Abu Dhabi and Dubai and then back to the UK. Further tour dates and company information can be found on
Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks, Yvonne. As a ballet novice myself (ahem), I found your review to be interesting and informative!
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