Romeo and Juliet

Wed 24. Apr 19:00 The Grand Building of Vanemuine Theatre
Thu 16. May 19:00 The Grand Building of Vanemuine Theatre

Romeo and Juliet

Sergey Prokofiev’s ballet based on William Shakespeare’s timeless love story

Queen Mab appears at night, sneaks into our dreams and, while we are asleep, mixes a cocktail of fantastic stories. Have you not met her? Mercutio tells Romeo: “I see, Queen Mab hath been with you.” Queen Mab is the driving force of the action: “… she comes in shape no bigger than an agate stone on the forefinger of an alderman, drawn with a team of little atomi over men’s noses as they lie asleep.”

What happens after Queen Mab appears in Romeo’s dream? William Shakespeare’s tragic love story has been touching the hearts of audiences for centuries. Sergey Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet had its world premiere in Czechoslovakia, in 1938 at the National Theatre in Brno, and has ever since adorned the repertoire of all the world’s large stages.

This magnificent masterpiece has ushered in Zuska’s mature phase. The smooth style underlines a dramatic continuity of movement, creating a mesh of complex contrasts. Without breaking the thread of the audience’s emotion, the piece naturally amalgamates classical ballet and floor-work. The ensemble scenes are engrossing, with Zuska orchestrating the space like a conductor from forte to pianissimo. He has each and every instrument under control, everything serves to attain overall synergy. Ample counterturns are implemented in unexpectedly discovered passages in the space between two bodies, tearing into which are movements abruptly changing their direction. This also results in a dramatic change in the direction of the energy currents, while the space is filled with constant commotion. Zuska has definitely maintained our theatre at an international standard.

– Nina Vangeli, Aktualně.cz, 18 November 2013

The production of Romeo and Juliet certainly deserves your attention. A truly progressive, unique performance, it will undoubtedly become one of the watersheds in the history of modern ballet, as a novel creation blending the deeper aspects of human existence and classical drama, with an enthralling musical accompaniment and an inventive choreography.

– Martina Doležalová,, 16 November 2013


Premiere on September 29th 2018 at the Vanemuine Theatre Grand Building
World premiere on November 14th 2013, Czech State Opera

With the performance on October 20th, Vanemuine ballet company celebrates World Ballet Day. An open pre-show rehearsal will be held at 17.00-18.00 on the Vanemuine Grand Building stage, which the audience is welcome to watch. Guarantee your entry with a 5-euro ticket.

Composer Sergei Prokofiev
Musical director and conductor Taavi Kull
Conductor Risto Joost
Director and choreographer Petr Zuska Czech
Set designer Jan Dušek Czech
Costume designer Pavel Knolle Czech
Lighting designers Petr Zuska, Pavel Dautovský Czech


Cast Emily Ward, Georgia Toni Hyrkäs, Maria Engel, Alexander Germain Drew, Bleiddian Bazzard, Raminta Rudžionyte-Jordan, Olivia Lenssens, Gus Upchurch, Alain Divoux, Bradley Howell, Benjamin Newman, Gerardo Avelar, Benjamin Kyprianos, Sayaka Nagahiro, Matthew James Jordan

Vanemuine Ballet Company and Symphony Orchestra