Star-Crossed Lovers Dance Again: The Return of Joburg Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet

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Once upon a time, in the heart of Johannesburg, the stage of the iconic Joburg Theatre echoed with the graceful leaps and tender pas de deux of Romeo and Juliet. After a pause of seven long years, the curtain is rising once more to reveal the enchanting ballet, presented by the renowned Joburg Ballet. Starting from Friday, 30 June, and pirouetting through until Sunday, 9 July, the passion, drama, and romance of this classic tale will be brought to life over the course of eight unforgettable performances.

Owing to the generous donation of R 250,000 from the Friends of the Ballet, the Joburg Ballet is poised to put on a production that promises to be as grand as it is mesmerizing. Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s tragic narrative of star-crossed lovers caught in the crossfire of their feuding families in Renaissance Italy, the ballet will captivate audiences with a potent score by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography grounded in Nicolas Beriosoff’s original 1969 production.

Dancing her way back into the role of Juliet, Shannon Glover is set to enchant audiences once more. The stage will also see a medley of new faces in the character of Romeo, including the talented Revil Yon, making his company debut after previous performances with Cape Town City Ballet. First-time Romeos Armando Barros, Ruan Galdino, and Gabriel Fernandes are also set to make their mark.

But the allure of this production doesn’t stop at the title roles. The ballet will spotlight an array of supporting characters, bringing depth and richness to the timeless tale. Notably, Gabriel Fernandes, Ruan Galdino, and Armando Barros will be stepping into the shoes of Tybalt, while the playful Mercutio will be brought to life by Ruan Galdino, Ivan Domiciano, Tumelo Lekana, and Luhle Mtati.

Moreover, the ballet will feature performances by Christopher Montague (Lord Capulet), Fiona Budd (Lady Capulet), Natasha Ireland (Juliet’s Nurse), and Craig Hedderwick (Friar Laurence), lending their seasoned skills to the production.

Adding to the grandeur, the Vuyani Dance Theatre, Jozi Dance Company, and the Joburg Ballet Academy will join Joburg Ballet in Romeo and Juliet, amplifying the scope of scenes calling for a large ensemble, such as the bustling Verona city squares and the grand ballroom sequences.

In an effort to make this cultural extravaganza accessible to all, the Joburg Ballet is offering a host of attractive discounts, from half-price tickets for the opening night to reduced prices for morning matinees and special rates for pensioners, groups, and children.

Additionally, patrons can immerse themselves in the creative process by attending the Joburg Ballet Open Day on Saturday, 17 June. This unique opportunity will allow the public to watch rehearsals, engage with the cast, and savour the anticipation of the upcoming production.

Looking ahead, keep your calendars clear for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s presentation of Don Quixote, in association with Joburg Ballet, from 29 September to 8 October. More details and booking information will be announced soon.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the unforgettable performance of Romeo and Juliet brought to you by Joburg Ballet. The dance of love, fate, and tragedy awaits you at the Joburg Theatre!

Shaun Zietsman

Blogger and Content Creator from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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