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Romeo and Juliet by any other composer

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ABT's Romeo and Juliet has choreography by Kenneth MacMillan and music by Prokofiev. There are other ballets to the Prokofiev music -- by Lavrovsky, Ashton, Cranko, and Neumeier. In addition, there's Tudor's to the music of Delius, and Bejart's to that of Berlioz. In the last of these, Romeo and Juliet come back to life.

Suzanne Farrell, who danced in the Bejart (with Jorge Donn), was also Juliet in another version, which I saw once in a program called "Ballet at the Beacon." The music was Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet tone poem and the choreography was by Paul Mejia, who gave Suzanne eight, count 'em -- 8 Romeos. As I remember, in the closing scene they grouped themselves to form her bier.

Needless to say, that's my favorite. ;) Are there other versions? Which one do you like best? Least?

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I remember seeing a version of "Romeo and Juliet" by Maryse Delente, on Berlioz's music., and I liked it. But Delente is a modern dance choreographer, not a ballet one.

Nijinska did a "Romeo and Juliet" in 1926 for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, on a score by Constant Lambert (has anybody heard it), with Lifar and Nikitina in the main roles, and some sets by Max Ernst and Joan Miro. If I remember correctly what I had read about it, at the end the lovers escaped in an aeroplane...

The few photographs of it that I've seen looked interesting.

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Tchaikovsky also started, but never finished, an opera of Romeo & Juliet. He later recycled the music for the love duet into a lyrical orchestral piece that formed the heart of . . . let's see, what was the name of that obscure little ballet . . . oh, yes, Swan Lake. The second act adagio. :D

The original vocal duet was given at the opening gala of NYCB's Tchaikovsky Festival in 1981. It sent everyone out to the intermission smiling.

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That vocal duet made it into final vocal form as the love scene in the composer's opera Iolanthe, which was the first offering on the double-bill that premiered The Nutcracker. It may have also been part of the improvisation that Tchaikovsky put together for his much earlier "Ballet of the Swans" which he performed for his nieces. Man, that Iolanthe/Nutcracker bill must have been one long evening.

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Yes. what I called a tone poem was actually Tchaikovsky's Fantasy-Overture in b minor. That was the music Mejia used for Farrell. Whenever I hear it, I can't get the pop tune that was made from it (in the 30s maybe) out of my mind. The line I remember from the lyrics went "This is the story of a starry night." Maybe that was the song title too.

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