Romeo and Juliet at the Bolshoi Review – Dramatic and Etherial

Romeo and juliet, Photo by Damir Yusupov
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I have had the delight of viewing Metropolitan Opera performances as part of Fathom Events. I have not yet explored the wide-ranging offerings that include Broadway shows, live concerts, sporting events, comedy shows, original programming and more. When I learned that performances from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow are now offered at the movies, how could I resist seeing Romeo and Juliet?


My experience with the MetOpera HD was very positive. I can have a view of the stage and the performers that I can never have in person. In depth and fascinating information is offered visually, with behind the scenes filming and interviews with individuals involved with the production. The Bolshoi Ballet performance had some of these features but was surprising in that the moderator was translating between Russian, French and English and there was also a short synopsis describing the action of the upcoming scene in six different languages. Since this reaches individuals in 35 countries, the language aspect is important.

Romeo and juliet, Photo by Damir Yusupov

“The peerless Bolshoi Ballet is accessible to ballet fans of all ages, through cinema screenings in local communities across the U.S.,” said Julie Borchard-Young, co-President of BY Experience. “The impact and reach of the Bolshoi’s inspirational performances continues to expand via broadcasts to cinemas, offering audiences the opportunity to travel virtually to the Moscow stage.”


“It’s a privilege for Fathom to present our fourth season of the Bolshoi Ballet in U.S. cinemas,” Fathom Events VP of Programming Kymberli Frueh said. “The popularity of these events grows with each season, consistently delighting balletomanes with masterful content, distinguished artists and works from some of the world’s most revered choreographers.”


My seatmate has been regularly attending these ballets for about two years. I agree completely with her observation that these movies bring ballet to new heights. Why? You see movement that you can’t see in a live performance. Facial expressions become available and advance the dramatic elements in the ballet. Explanations bring a deeper understanding and greater appreciation when watching the performance.

Romeo and juliet, Photo by Damir Yusupov

My experience of viewing Romeo and Juliet was ethereal.  Offered on January 21st, the basic drama plays out, when, in Verona, Romeo and Juliet fall madly in love while their respective families, the Montagues and the Capulets, are caught in a bitter rivalry ending in heart-wrenching tragedy. Alexei Ratmansky, former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, staged the company’s premiere of this production. This presents a dramatic urgency and a fresh re-telling of Shakespeare’s beloved classic. His brilliant and detailed adaptation set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev’s romantic and cinematic score reignites the story of literature’s most celebrated star-crossed lovers like no other classical ballet choreographer today.

This performance was so rich.  There was the music that told the story with high drama.  The costumes held attention being so colorful and intricate. The facial expressions told the story powerfully.  And with all of this, the dancing seemed to just flow and at times the dancers seemed to be floating.


The cast was amazing. Ekaterina Krysanova as Juliet was the perfect Juliet in addition to being the perfect dancer. It was interesting to hear an interview with Vladislav Lantratov who was Romeo about how he developed his character. The other performer who was interviewed was Igor Tsvirko who danced the role of Mercutio. Dmitry Dorokhov as Benvolio, Vitaly Biktimirov as Tybalt , the Bolshoi Corps de Ballet directed by Vincent Bataillon, and Musical direction by Pavel Kliinichev contributed to a performance that was remarkably dramatic. The interviews by Katya Novikova lent so much to the overall enjoyment. She explained that the amazing costumes for the performance were inspired by clothing worn during Renaissance,


I can’t wait to return next month to see The Lady of the Camellias with music by Frederick Chopin and choreography by John Neumeier.



Tickets for the “2017-18 Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema Series” can be purchased online by visiting the FathomEvents website or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 350 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).



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