|This year, The Australian Ballet presents one of its most ambitious commissions to date. Celebrated choreographer Graeme Murphy puts his unmistakable signature to Shakespeare’s
Romeo & Juliet in this year’s must-see production.
Forget what you think you know about this story
– The Australian Ballet takes the Bard’s famous tragedy to never-before-seen dimensions.
Romeo & Juliet will have its world premiere in Melbourne on 13 September 2011, before
heading to Sydney from December 2.
In his first-ever collaboration with the company, internationally renowned fashion designer
Akira Isogawa has teamed with Murphy to
create the costumes for this lavish work.
Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet,
David McAllister, says audiences will be in awe
of the production’s scale.
“Graeme Murphy is a genius at retelling traditional stories with modern narratives that reflect our times. He goes where others fear to tread, and audiences are going to be greatly rewarded,” said McAllister.
“Combined with Akira Isogawa’s exquisite
costumes and that commanding Prokofiev score,
this will be the ballet event of the year.”
This work has been created in dedication to living dance legend Dame Margaret Scott, a key player in the development of The Australian Ballet. Scott was the founding artistic director of The Australian Ballet School and discovered a young Murphy, nurturing him throughout his career as he moved from
dance to choreography.
About the production
The ever-imaginative Murphy has shaped a whole new world for the famous star crossed lovers to inhabit. The central characters remain – the passionate but ill-advised Romeo, innocent and
wilful Juliet, the overbearing families of Capulet and Montague, alongside fiery Mercutio, handsome Paris and deadly Tybalt.
But the action is not restricted to fair Verona.
This book-to-ballet adaptation is set across multiple continents and refuses to be defined by a particular era – a nod to the story’s global themes of love,
war, greed and factionalism.
Murphy explains how the warring Capulets and Montagues became an allegory for current-day unrest.
“The main premise is that war kills our youth; and just like in the Shakespeare tale, old men start conflicts which our young are responsible for
fighting,” observes Murphy.
“Romeo and Juliet are fighting for love, the most valuable commodity of all, while around them the world continues to be full of senseless fighting
which ultimately leads to both of their deaths.”
As Romeo himself declares: “these violent delights have violent ends”, and there can be no happy ending for the young couple.