The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
Tudor's 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 Dali's 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.
Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from the Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.
Choreography: Antony Tudor.
Music / Composer: 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. Frederick Delius.
Libretto: Based on Shakespeare's play; narrative ballet in one act.
First Performance: (Incomplete) New York. Metropolitan Opera House. April 6th, 1943. Ballet Theatre.
First Complete Performance: New York. Metropolitan Opera House. April 10th, 1943. Ballet Theatre.
First Performance Cast: 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 Herbert, John Kriza, Donald Saddler, Michael Kidd, Robert Lindgren, John Duane, Rosella Hightower, Nicola Vassilief, June Morris, Hilda Wagner, Jean Hunt, Ballie Wynn, Muriel Bentley, Dividson, Virginia Wilcox, Gromberg, Rosizika Sabo, Shirley Eckl, Barbara Fallis, Albia Kavan, Georgia Hiden.
First Swedish Performance: Stockholm. Royal Opera House. December 30th, 1962. Royal Swedish Ballet.
Notated: Excerpts - Airi Hynninen (Labanotation), 1975-76.
Average Length: N/A.
Number of Dancers: Large Cast.
Costumes / Scenery: ABT, New York Theatre Ballet (Pas de Deux only), Royal Swedish Ballet.