Romance and tragedy hit the VPAC with “Romeo and Juliet”


The Moscow Festival Ballet performs Romeo and Juliet on Valentine’s Day at the VPAC. Photo by Jasmine Burch

Jasmine Burch

The Moscow Festival Ballet wowed audiences again with their Chopiniana and Romeo & Juliet production, this time filling a sold out house at the Valley Performing Arts Center Friday evening.

The full-length ballet lasted approximately 2 hours, but was over in the blink of an eye. This action packed collaboration, blazing with nostalgic scores and alluring fantasies, captivated the hearts of the audience.

The night began with the simple poetry-inspired ballet of Chopin. Curtains opened, revealing a collection of ballerinas, frozen and shimmering in the radiance of the “moon.” Rising up, the women halo around a young poet, creating  a romantic reverie, just before freezing back in their original poses..

This short tale of Chopiniana served as a prelude to the main performance. In a night of laughs and dancing, the two lovers Romeo (Nurlan Kinerbaev) and Juliet (Maria Klyuyeva) finally met. The ballet then erupted into a brawl amongst Tybalt and Romeo’s best friend, Mercutio who lost his life in the ignoble acts.

The denouement of Romeo and Tybalt’s subsequent fight is orchestrated with ominous tones and brilliant choreography that translated emotion to movement. This scene in particular was most outstanding. This fiery performance intensified the energy throughout the room, leaving the audience yearning for more once it spiraled to the end.

The ballet ended after a roller-coaster of missed opportunities as the two lovers were lifted into the heavens by the corps de ballet dancers. Red lights cast on the feuding families in the final moments of the performance suggested their irreconcilable differences.

Romance, drama, and enchantment is all in a days work for the Moscow Russian Ballet, as this is no simple task, even when channeling one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragic plays.