The most known tragic history of love
Romeo and Juliet

Ballet in two acts

Libretto - Sergey Prokofiev, Sergey Radlov, Leonid Lavrovskiy and Adrian Piotrovskiy, based on the same name novel by William Shakespeare

Music - Sergey Prokofiev

Choreography - Leonid Lavrovskiy

Premiere - January 11, 1940, Kirov Theatre (now Mariinsky Theatre) in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg)

From a smile to despair, from fierce malice to eternal love - Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" is considered his greatest work. The play has forever settled in art, including a soulful ballet, one of the most popular ballets of the 20th century.

The story about the unhappy love of a young man and a girl from warring families, familiar to every educated person, excited many composers, but Sergey Prokofiev managed to create a masterpiece, a ballet symphony, which is still staged in the most famous theaters of the world and played at classical music concerts.

The idea of ​​the ballet came to Prokofiev in 1930, but the production was constantly postponed: artists and musicians considered the music "non-dance", "non-ballet", many refused to participate in the performance. Nevertheless, the premiere took place and was crowned with such success that the ballet received the prestigious Stalin Prize. “Romeo and Juliet” premiered on Moscow stage in 1946, and since then this ballet has always occupied a prominent place in the repertoire of the Bolshoi Theatre.
Our theater combines not only a well-known plot and classical dance, but also a strong acting game, which is able to convey the philosophical and historical meaning of Shakespeare's play. After all, the story of unfortunate lovers is just a consequence of the confrontation between the two richest families in the era of the Italian Renaissance. And family feud is a relic of ancient times, when blood feud was considered a sacred duty.

On the stage, we can see not only the confrontation between the Montagues and the Capulets, stern power-hungry parents and their tenderly loveing children, the furious Tybalt and the frivolous Mercutio, but also the old and new worlds: militant paganism and submissive Christianity unfold.

Centuries, eras and generations of dancers are changing, but this love story, over which time has no power, excites today's audience.
At a ball in the Capulet house, young Juliet falls in love with Romeo from the Montagues family, who entered the celebration unrecognized. At night, they confess their love to each other and secretly get married. The next day, in a duel, Juliet's cousin Tybalt kills Romeo's friend Mercutio, Romeo kills Tybalt and leaves the city. Parents are trying to force Juliet to marry Paris. She drinks sleeping pills to pretend to be dead, hoping to wake up in the crypt and meet Romeo there. Romeo does not know that the poison that his beloved drank is not lethal, he drinks his poison in despair from the death of Juliet and dies. Juliet wakes up, sees a lifeless Romeo and stabs herself with a blade. The Montagues and the Capulets reconcile.
Act 1

Early morning. Romeo can't sleep. He wanders the empty streets of Verona, dreaming of love. Slowly the square fills up with people. Meanwhile, young Juliet is having fun with her nurse, who dresses her up for the ball. Benvolio and happy Mercutio, a faithful friend of Romeo, persuade him to go to the Capulet's ball. To remain unrecognized, young people from the Montague family put on masks.
Full text
Ball at the Capulet's house. Romeo and his friends enter the hall. Romeo is amazed by Juliet's beauty. Taking advantage of the fact that Tybalt takes Paris away from Juliet, Romeo approaches the girl. He does not hide his delight and admiration. Romeo's mask accidentally falls, revealing his face to Juliet's gaze. But Romeo is recognized by Tybalt and, fearing possible complications, hurries to leave the house. Juliet is still under the impression of meeting Romeo. Who is this beautiful young man?

Moonlight night. Romeo appears before Juliet. They confess their love to each other and swear allegiance. Verona Square is noisy and fun. Juliet's nurse, on behalf of her young mistress, gives Romeo a note.

Romeo begs Father Lorenzo to secretly seal the alliance between him and Juliet. Lorenzo promises his help, hoping to reconcile the warring families of the Montagues and Capulets by this marriage. Juliet appears. Lorenzo performs the wedding ceremony. Mercutio, Benvolio and their friends are having fun. Appearing on the bridge, Tybalt notices his enemies and, drawing his sword, rushes to Mercutio. Romeo wants to reconcile them, but it’s impossible. A fight ensues between Tybalt and Mercutio. Romeo tries to separate them, but Tybalt, seizing the moment inflicts a mortal blow on Mercutio from under Romeo's hand. The death of a friend infuriates Romeo. Drawing his sword, he challenges Tybalt to a duel and kills him. The relatives of the murdered man, gathered at his body, swear eternal revenge on the Montagues family.

Act 2

Romeo must say goodbye to Juliet. He is expelled from Verona. The morning rays of the sun burst into the room. The Nurse tries in vain to comfort Juliet. Parents and Paris appear. Juliet learns about her wedding, listens to the confessions of the groom, but resolutely refuses to obey the will of her parents. After the departure of Paris, a hail of reproaches falls on the girl. The will of the Capulets is unshakable. Juliet is desperate. She decides to consult Father Lorenzo. Conquered by the girl's boundless love for Romeo, the father gives her a potion: after drinking it, Juliet will fall asleep, everyone will decide that she has died, and her body in an open - according to custom - coffin will be taken to the ancient Capulet crypt. Romeo will immediately return to Verona, find Juliet awake, and unclouded days of happiness will come for them. Returning home, Juliet pretends to submit to the will of her parents. After drinking the potion, she falls asleep. Her parents come, the Nurse throws back the canopy by the bed, and everyone freezes in horror: Juliet is dead…

Cemetery in Verona. Romeo appears. He cannot take his eyes off his beloved. She is dead - and life has lost its meaning for him. Romeo drinks poison and falls at Juliet's feet. Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo prostrated at her feet. She leans towards him. The young man's lips are already cold. Juliet stabs herself with Romeo's dagger. The Montagues and Capulets stare in a daze at the dead bodies of their children. Silently, they stretch out their hands to each other... The long-term enmity between the Montagues and the Capulets was stopped at the cost of the lives of two loving hearts.