The premiere of Sergei Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet ballet took place on December 1938 in Brno, Czechoslovakia, after many attempts under the former USSR. These difficulties were due to the offset with realistic line imposed by the Bolsheviks during the first 30 years of the twentieth century. With its rhythmic complexity, the ballet was first described as impossible to dance, pushing its author to use the piece in the development of three orchestral suites and several pieces for piano.
Romeo and Juliet and the danse of knights
Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it consists of three acts, five scenes and 50 pieces, many of them being very popular, especially number 13, the Dance of Knights. It represents an innocent instant; Romeo meets Juliet Capulet at a party to which he was not invited. The sinister and obscure atmosphere of the piece may be an omen or a warning.
Because of its rhythm and composition, its dramatic and descriptive strength, its delicacy and the inclusion of some unusual instruments in an orchestra, Romeo and Juliet is one of the masterpieces of Prokofiev.
The famous piece of the Dance of Knights has an extraordinary strenght. Its mysterious beginning is of great psychological and chivalrous vigour, and even hardness. The romantic spirit of Shakespearean drama is enhanced by this surprising theme: Capulets and Montagues, dancing together a weighing Allegro, while Romeo and Juliet fall in love as soon as they touch hands, as this was enchantment.
La première du ballet Roméo et Juliette de Sergei Prokofiev a lieu fin décembre 1938, à Brno, Tchécoslovaquie, dans l’ancienne URSS, après de nombreuses tentatives de lancement. Ces difficultés, étaient la conséquence du décalage avec la ligne réaliste imposée par les bolcheviques, au cours des 30 premières années du XXe siècle. Avec sa complexité rythmique, le ballet fut premièrement qualifié d’indansable, poussant son auteur à employer le morceau dans le développement de trois suites orchestrales et plusieurs œuvres pour piano.
Video of the Danse of knights
The danse of knights by Lidia Baich
Romeo and Juliet ballet Characters
Lord Capulet, patriarch of the House. Lady Capulet, his wife. Juliet, daughter. Juliet’s nurse. Tybalt, nephew of Lady Capulet, very beautiful and charming. Pâris father of Escalus, Escalus wishing to marry Juliet Romeo, son of Montague. Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin and friend. Mercutio, a friend of Romeo. Brother Lawrence, a Franciscan monk, Romeo’s confessor and friend of the family. Rosaline, Romeo’s first love.