Romeo and Juliet Celebrates Its Brno World Premier on Friday

Ballet NdB will live-stream the performance worldwide. Photo: Rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet. Photo credit: Kuba Jíra.

Brno, Mar 6 (BD) – Brno is the answer to many trivia questions.

Question: Where did Gregor Mendel study pea plants and establish Mendelian Genetics?
Answer: Brno.

Question: Which city hosted two of the most (in)famous military figures of the past quarter millennium — a ceremonial arrival for Napoleon Bonaparte on Nov.  20, 1805, and a parade for Adolf Hitler on March 17, 1939?
Answer: Brno.

Question: What is the birthplace of physicists Ernst Mach (ratio of object speed to speed of sound) and George Placzek (foundational nuclear researcher, Manhattan Project); writers Milan Kundera (“The Unbearable Lightness of Being”) and Bohumil Hrabal (“Closely Watched Trains”); composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Academy Awards for film scores in 1936, 1938); and botanist Jiří Josef Kamel (Camellia flower)?
Answer: Brno.

And, more to the point for this week:
Where did “Romeo and Juliet”, one of the most popular ballets of all time, have its world premiere on Dec. 30, 1938?
Answer: Brno.

Romeo and Juliet is an iconic Shakespearean play that has inspired artistic interpretations in virtually every genre. The ballet version of Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous ballets.

This Friday, Romeo and Juliet will have its eighth premier in Brno.

The venue will be Janáčkovo Divadlo. But to celebrate this version, which is being billed as the 80th anniversary celebration, Ballet National Theatre Brno will stream the performance live for a worldwide audience. Click here to see the live-stream schedule.

To get a taste of the drama that will be performed, click here to see the promotional video.

Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev adapted the play for ballet in the 1930s. He would have ideally performed it in Russia, but its message became incongruous with the political and cultural times in his native land. It’s world premiere in Brno came about through the efforts of choreographer/dancer Ivo Vana Psota, a legend of his time. Prokofiev was not allowed to leave Stalinist Russia to attend the world premiere.

That first run of Romeo and Juliet was at Mahen Theatre, which was then known as Divadlo Na hradbach.

This version of the ballet has been developed by a new generation of creative producers. Czech Martin Glaser is the director and three Slovak artists — Mário Radačovský as choreographer, Alexandra Grusková as costume designer and Marek Hollý as stage designer — have added their own interpretations of the age-old love story.

According to Ballet NdB, “the intention of the creators is to process the original into the dance-contemporary shape, resonant with a taste of today’s ballet audience.”

There are eight performances scheduled through the end of April

For more information and tickets, go to NdB’s official website for the performance here.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”108″ gal_title=”Romeo and Juliet Costume Gallery. Credit: Alexandra Grusková”]

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