The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (1943)


The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

In rehearsal, 1976, American Ballet Theatre
Dancers: Fernando Bujones and Hilde Morales with Antony Tudor
Photo courtesy of Hilde Morales


Tudorís interpretation of the ill-fated love story by William Shakespeare remains the only ballet version of Romeo and Juliet presented in one act. One of the most shocking memories of Romeo and Juliet is the fact that Tudor could not finish this forty-five minute epic by the date of the premiere. A finished version was presented four days after the premiere.

Of note is the story of how the costumes and sets were designed: "I originally wanted sets and costumes by Salvador Dali because I had conceived the décor in terms of Fra Angelico and Dali handles those notions very well. However Daliís ideas did not harmonize with mine," Tudor stated.

Eugene Berman eventually was brought on and he designed the scenery and costumes by drawing inspiration from Renaissance paintings, notably by Botticelli. The designs were a success with both the audience and critics.

Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Frederick Delius
A Walk to Paradise Garden from A Village Romeo and Juliet; Eventyr, Over the Hills and Far Away; Brigg Fair; Prelude to Irmelin, orchestrated by Antal Dorati
Based on Shakespeare's play; narrative ballet in one act
First Performance
(Incomplete) New York
Metropolitan Opera House
April 6, 1943
Ballet Theatre
First Performance Complete
New York
Metropolitan Opera House
April 10, 1943
Ballet Theatre
First Cast Performance
Hugh Laing, Alicia Markova, Nicholas Orloff, Jerome Robbins, Antony Tudor, Lucia Chase, Dmitri Romanoff, Sono Osato, Borislav Ronanine, Miriam Golden, John Taras, Galina Rozoumova, Richard Reed, Hubert Bland, Rex Cooper, Stanley Herbertt, John Kriza, Donald Saddler, Michael Kidd, Robert Lindgren, John Duane, Rosella Hightower, Nicola Vassilief, June Morris, Hilda Wagner, Jean Hunt, BillieWynn, Muriel Bentley, Dividson, Virginia Wilcox, Gromberg, Rosizika Sabo, Shirley Eckl, Barbara Fallis, Albia Kavan, Georgia Hiden
First Swedish Performance
Royal Opera House
December 30, 1962
Royal Swedish Ballet
Excerpts - Airi Hynninen
(Labanotation), 1975-76
Average Length
Number of Dancers
Large Cast
Costumes / Scenery
ABT; New York Theatre Ballet (Pas de Deux only); Royal Swedish Ballet
Licensing Information
Contact Us

 Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from
The Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.



 The Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, P.O.Box 783, Ocean Beach, NY 11770
© Copyright 2009 Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. All rights reserved.
Site Map | Privacy | Contact Us