19 Dec-8 Jan. Balletto del Teatro alla Scala. In Roméo et Juliette, choreography by Sacha Waltz, music by Berlioz, with guest artists Aurélie Dupont and Hervé Moreau. Sasha Waltz’s 2007 version of Romeo and Juliet is set in an abstract, fractured universe.
The ballet was created for the Paris Opera and it has been acquired by the Milanese ensemble that performs it for the first time with the help of the two original protagonists: Dupont and Moreau.
This Roméo et Juliette lacks many of the original play’s hallmarks: there’s no Benvolio, Paris, or Rosaline; no Mercutio or Tybalt. Instead, there are three main characters – Roméo, Juliette, and Père Laurence - along with a corps de ballet of nine women and ten men, three opera singers, and a large, singing chorus. In her vision, Waltz has given equal importance to love, hate and violence, and the piece’s abstraction is thought-provoking.
However, despite the emphasis on removing the narrative, some of the most interesting parts of this piece come from clear references to the Romeo and Juliet story. The actual Roméo and Juliette sections of Waltz’s work are captivating, but when they stop dancing, it’s hard to be captivated by what’s going on around them. Even in an abstract version of Roméo et Juliette, Romeo and Juliet remain the focal point. .