A Dance Touching the Soul

18/02/2012 19:30

Review of the ballet adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Balet Bratislava (Nová scéna Theatre), choreography: Mário Radačovský, music: Sergei Prokofiev

Photo: Balet Bratislava

A recently-formed ballet company, Balet Bratislava, started its first season with great expectations on the part of both critics and the audience. As the first title they offered the most popular ballet adaptation of all times, Shakespeare's tragedy of forbidden love, Romeo and Juliet.


As I am a passionate admirer of Shakespeare, I always get pleasure in seeing whatever adaptation of his plays. That is why I did not hesitate a minute and got me a ticket for the show. I did not know what to expect as I have very limited knowledge of ballet, but Balet Bratislava with its neoclassical choreographies tries to attract different age groups with a slogan: Don't be afraid of ballet. And I must tell you they do a great job – I fell in love with ballet at first sight.


Mário Radačovský, the head of the company, world-famous dancer and talented ballet choreographer, adapted the story for modern audience. The stage and the costumes are a minimalist version of their more fanciful classical ballet counterparts. I really liked the colour contrast and simplicity of the female costumes. The empty scene encouraged the spectators to concentrate fully on the compelling moves of brilliant dancers.

Photo: Balet Bratislava

The choreographer reduced the number of dancers to fourteen in order to draw the audience’s attention to five principal characters of the story. I admired dancing duets which were technically difficult to perform but very exciting to watch. The performances of all the dancers were impressive, all their expressions and moves were natural and truthful.   


The highlight of the ballet performance was the scene of Romeo and Julia's first common night. It was full of gentle touches, sensual looks and strong emotions – a mixture of burning passion and overwhelming fear. As if they foresaw the short duration of their happiness.


Three dancers alternate in the role of Julia and two in the role of Romeo. I saw Katarína Košíková as Julia and Arthur Abram in the role of Romeo. The young and talented dancers formed a visually perfect couple on the stage, which only enhanced my final impression.     


We can hope Balet Bratislava will come up with more productions of outstanding quality in the near future and raise interest in dance as it managed successfully with Romeo and Juliet.  


Anna Kucejová

The next performance: February 23



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