Roméo and Juliette – The Geneva Ballet

Ah! On Wednesday evening I attended the opening night of the Geneva Ballet’s Roméo and Juliette at the Joburg Theatre. I was so engrossed in the dancing that I didn’t even sneak a few pics with my camera, but let me tell you, it was an absolute visual treat.

I guess it helps that the story is so well known, but it just flowed so beautifully, right from the puppet-like enactment of the famous prologue, which was whispered quite eerily by on of the dancers. You know the one:

Prologue R & J

I don’t really have the vocabulary for speaking about dance, but all I can say is that the performance was mind-blowing. The dancers danced barefoot, and portrayed the story with such emotion that I found myself breathless at times. The fight scenes were thoroughly exciting, the masque ball was delightfully spontaneous, and the lovers’ dances were so intimate that I felt like I was intruding at times.BalletGeneveRomeoJuliet2011ChristopherDuggan_101

The choreography was outstanding. Joëlle Bouvier has reinvented this story by stripping it down to the bare skeleton, discarding superfluous characters and subplots. She has made use of a minimalist set (just a curved ramp which was used to utmost effect) and very few props (a few long poles which served as a instruments and pall-bearing tools, and a white sheer cloth that is hung from the ceiling). The costumes were beautiful and simplistic. The music was perfect – Prokofiev’s original composition (prerecorded, sadly. I do always love a live orchestra.)gb-romeo-juliet-shroud_1000

And Juliet! Ah, she was just amazing! Sara Shigenari managed to capture Juliette’s youthful innocence by a playful and yet very moving performance. The other principal dancers were brilliant too. In fact, they were all brilliant. Each dancer added so much to the piece. It was truly wonderful. I highly recommend you get to the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein and catch this remarkable piece of culture before it’s gone. It’s only on until the 21st June. Hurry! Who knows how many more opportunities you’ll get to see such a beautiful performance!md-romeo-busy-blur-of-dancers_1000Catch a glimpse at this link:

(all pictures are from the internet. not mine. sorry.)


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