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Star-crossed lovers put on their ballet shoes

Sunday is cinema night for many, and with K Cineplex set to screen the ballet version of Romeo and Juliet it could also be date night.

The timeless classic by William Shakespeare is brought to the screen by the Bolshoi theatre in an adaption created by world-famous choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Audiences in Nicosia, Limassol, Laranca and Paphos will enjoy a refreshing new version of Shakespeare’s beloved and undying love story. Set in Verona, Romeo and Juliet fall in love, and then realise their families are rivals. The Montagues and the Capulets are embroiled in a bitter struggle that ends in tragedy.

This version of the tale features the famous score by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. Prokofiev finished writing the music for the ballet in 1935 but it took several years before the production was released. Ratmansky was inspired by Prokofiev’s score, and especially by the Romeo and Juliet theme song, to preserve the historical flavour of Italy of the Renaissance in his production. “When you start working with music, it’s impossible not to respond emotionally to it, even if you are not a fan of Prokofiev or the music of the 20th century. There are such formulas, such melodies, such musical drama that it is simply impossible to remain indifferent,” the choreographer said.

Although Ratmansky remains close to the original text of the play, he does make one important change. In this version of the tragedy, Juliet wakes up before Romeo dies, as he said that “dances with a dead body always embarrassed me.”

Speaking on the choreography, Ratmansky said that he created the dances for athletic dancers of this generation. “I wanted to give all of the characters some real dancing. I concentrated on making classical steps look spontaneous and motivated and worked on the upper body expressiveness.”

Screenings of the ballet will take place in more than 1,700 cinemas in over 30 countries.

Romeo and Juliet
Screening of the ballet by the Bolshoi ballet. February 18. K-Cineplex Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. 7pm. €8/10. Tel: 77-778383

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