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Romeo and Juliet


                                Music by Frederic Chopin
               (suite of piano pieces orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov)
                             Choreography by Mikhail Fokine
              Premiere: February 23, 1907 Marinski Theatre, St. Petersburg

Chopiniana grew out of Chopin’s Seventh Waltz and had its premiere on February 23,
1907. The favorite oeuvre of its creator, Mikhail Fokine, this work has now become
standard repertoire for many of the world’s leading theatres.

Chopiniana does not have a traditional plot. The curtain opens to reveal a picturesque
group of ballerinas, frozen in anticipation, the embodiment of the Young Man’s dream.
The women rise like a romantic vision, circle around the Young Man, spread out like a
light fog and then freeze again in their original poses.

This ballet is in one regard, a timeless poetic example of stylization, and in another, a
work set distinctly in its own period. Fokine incorporated the cultural experiences of the
past and the blossoming ideas of the present, thus saturating the work with universal
significance. It is not the characters in the ballet that develop, but rather the themes,
moods, and feelings.


                              ROMEO AND JULIET
                                 Full-length Ballet
                        Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikowski
                      Original choreography by Marius Petipa
                             Restaged by Yuri Vetrov

The souls of Romeo and Juliet meet together in Queen Mab’s world of dreams. They tell
us the story of their life and love.
                                         Scene one
Daybreak. Dreamy Romeo walking along the street meets his bosom friends Mercutio
and Benvolio.
Time passes and the street fills with people. The three friends are in the center of the
crowd. The Capulets come. Mercutio picks a quarrel and a terrible fight begins. Women
appeal to fighters to stop.
                                          Scene two
Juliet is playing hide-and-seek with her Nurse. The old woman tells her that the young
girl will grow up soon and turn men’s heads. The appearance of Juliet’s parents with
Tibalt and Paris stops the game. All the family prepares themselves for a ball.
                                         Scene three
The ball in Capulet’s house. Always the joker, Mercutio has neglected Queen Mab’s
prediction about a misfortune at the Capulet’s ball. He put on a woman’s dress and
began to flirt with Tybalt. For the first time, Romeo catches sight of Juliet. The two
young hearts join in love. Tybalt sees Romeo and gets angry. Mercutio hurries to help
his friend and attracts the wrath of Tybalt.
Romeo and Juliet meet after the ball and speak together of their feelings. Nothing can
separate them now, neither families standing, hatred nor even death.

                                         Scene four
Mab plays with a rapier, Life and Death balance on its tip. Who will be the first to stick a
rival’s breast?
                                          Scene five
It’s merriment and revelry in the street. The crowd greets its heroes Mercutio and
Benvolio. They see Juliet’s Nurse and decided to play a trick on her, but the Nurse has a
very important message for Romeo. She must tell him that Juliet is waiting for him in the
church. Still playing with the old Nurse, Mercutio and Benvolio don’t notice that Tibalt
and his knights have passed by them. Remembering their fooling Tybalt at the ball,
Mercutio and Benvolio have a good laugh at his expense.
                                          Scene six
Romeo arrives at the church where Juliet awaits. With their deep love, they marry in the
eyes of God.
                                         Scene seven
Romeo’s friends are still conversing with Juliet’s Nurse when the Capulets appear and
break the pleasant mood. Tensions increase. Tybalt now understands the trick that was
played on him at the ball. To regain his dignity, he has decided to fight Mercutio. Tybalt
and Mercutio begin their battle. Arriving just in time, Romeo and Juliet try to reconcile
the fighters but all in vain. Shortly, Mercutio is mortally wounded. As he dies, he asks
Romeo to avenge his death. Romeo picks up the battle and kills Tybalt. Juliet is in
despair, she accuses her beloved of her brother’s death. But Queen Mab is above these
human passions and accompanies Tybalt and Mercutio to her spirit world, free of hate
and enemies, and the living.
                                         Scene eight
Juliet has been betrothed to Paris, but refuses to cooperate, which angers her parents.
Juliet feels alone in the world. After killing Tybalt, Romeo is exiled and only dreaming
can unite her with him. Juliet cries for death and accepts a potion from Queen Mab. She
falls into a deep and lasting sleep. The next morning on her wedding day, the Nurse is
unable to wake Juliet. Everyone thinks she is dead. Her parents lament and the heart-
breaking news is delivered to Romeo. He immediately goes to Juliet’s side, but doesn’t
want to believe she is dead. In desperation, Romeo asks Mab what to do but Mab keeps
her silence. Stricken with grief, Romeo kisses Mab, but it’s a kiss of death and Romeo
falls to the ground. Shortly, Juliet awakes, but only to find her lover dead. She runs
herself through with Mab’s rapier to join Romeo, where their love overcomes the death
and they live on in eternity.
        A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
        The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
        Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
        Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished;
        For never was a story of more woe
        Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

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