Balletto di Roma, Italy, 2011
Tour Dates
  • 21 May - 4 Jun, 2011

Tour Dates: 21 May - 4 Jun, 2011

[…] flexible and energetic, Bledi Bejleri, doesn't loose his depth even giving into his beloved without reservation."


Balletto di Roma Biography

Balletto di Roma was founded in 1960 as an artistic joint-venture between two Italian ballet icons, Franca Bartolomei, principal and choreographer of the main Italian Theatres and the étoile Walter Zappolini, who was Director of the Ballet School in Teatro dell'Opera di Roma from 1973 to 1988. The company has produced more than one hundred ballets in Italy and abroad, both the company’s own works and those by national and international contemporary artists.

Balletto di Roma today combines its own traditions with those of the prestigious Balletto di Toscana, founded in 1985 under the directorship of Cristina Bozzolini, first dancer at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Original and innovative choreographies by well established Italian artists in the contemporary dance scene marked the beginning of this new artistic era during the 2001/02 season. In the 2003/04 season the ballet staged Milena Zullo’s Don Chisciotte, starring André De La Roche, and the following year a production of Serata per Tre was choreographed by the established trio of Bigonzetti, Sciliano and Cannito. The 2006/07 season saw Cenerentola, choreographed by Fabrizio Monteverde, featuring an extraordinary performance by Monica Perego, while Mario Piazza’s The Nutcracker again featured the fantastic André De La Roche, and brought more than 10,000 audience members to the Teatro Quirino di Roma. This season will see the realisation of Bolero, Serata d’Autore, featuring four works by Bigonzetti, Scigliano, Zullo and Monteverde. Fabrizio Monteverde’s also penned Giulietta e Romeo, first staged in 1989 and reprised several times since due to the exceptional audience and critical reaction. In the latest production Romeo was portrayed is Raffaele Paganini, and its success can be measured by the exceptional audience numbers.

Thanks to the quality of the performances and the high public demand, Balletto di Roma presented an extensive repertoire in the 2009/10 season, with new productions such as Otello (cor. by Fabrizio Monteverde), Contemporary Tango (cor. by Milena Zullo) and the new staging of Bolero, Serata d’Autore. Balletto di Roma has stayed true to its traditions, upholding the history and quality of its past glories, suggesting it will continue to hold a prominent and important position amongst Italian dance companies in the future.

Juliet and Romeo

The decrepit wall, the strewn ruins, indicate the tragedy left behind: a worldwide conflict that had erased forever 'the age of innocence', reflecting themes of moral convention, surging energies and emotions. It's a background that signals watershed and the want to be reborn to total passion in order to taste until the last breath- every small moment that is life.

We are transported to an Italy that existed shortly after the Second World War, thirsty for passions previously tempered by the horrors of the past. It is still a small, quaint, and provincial Italy, whose existing ecclesiastical culture and pastoral setting nonetheless gives birth to a new bourgeoisie. She, Juliet becomes a symbol of the irresistible desire to escape from the rules of this world. The obligations that such a world imposes on her are mysterious and ambiguous, and will create in her an unstoppable want to escape of which she will find herself a victim. Romeo, on the other hand, is a shy, lonely and timid youth; totally open to the desire and curiosity that love offers, a knowing victim of the volatile impetuousness of his legendary love.

So far, yet so close to the traditional Shakespearean archetypes; all triumphantly crystallized in the classical dance traditions and scoring of Prokofiev. The two lovers as imagined by choreographer and mise-en-scene director Fabrizio Monteverde for his first 'evening' production, created in 1989 for the renowned Ballet of Tuscany, notes an important landmark for Dance Theater in Italy.

For the first time this production affirms- in an arduous challenge of producing a re- composition of a complete ballet. This writing of a completely new dance was not subject to terrible'historical' references, but is an autonomous and fiery interpretation of the Shakespearean plot, that delves with 'inspired fury' in it's sentiments and character if it's protagonists. The production's Roman choreographer, strongly influenced by the cinematic influences of the Italian neorealist (one feels Rossellini and Visconti in the production's interpretation of environment and wardrobe), explores the more constant and raw sides of human nature, drawing also from literary references (one feels the refrains of Brancati in Monteverde's interpretation of Juliet's governess). The ballet's streetscapes become a kind of human whirlpool depicting Southern Italy: lusty women showing their 'wares', a lifeless Juliet dressed with white the virginal purity of a bride ready for the wedding ceremony. At which point enter two protagonists fundamental to Italian culture, the mothers of Romeo and Juliet…

In an autonomous and dramatic rewriting of this story by Montverde, these two women become the true and absolute unmovable engines of their children's demise. The viewer is transfixed by their obsessive, cloying, dark manner: their hate, clothed in silence. These women are both the oppressors and the oppressed: the first being a kind of 'female-object', repressed and superficial the second confined to a wheelchair- bigoted and suffocating. These women become the dea ex machina of the event, with fatal consequences in the death of Mercutio. The production magnifies the strong characters of its protagonists, translates their personalities into nervous choreography that twitches with energy and suspense: it's feel is pure and without frill or ornament. The power of this production's expressivity is owing to its continuing tie to modern choreography in the tradition of Neoaccademic Dance.

"[…] a bold and well-made version […]

Juliet [is] spirited and revolutionary […]

[…] flexible and energetic, Bledi Bejleri, doesn't loose his depth even giving into his beloved without reservation."

"A rigorous production, where the choreographic research - combining classic and contemporary dance – embraces to a high quality a directing and dramatist vision.

[…] powerful dance which goes straight to the heart, enriched by literary and film quotes. Azzurra Schena (Juliet) and Bledi Bejleri (Romeo) are excellent, both aimed and vibrating as all the company is while they are all close and compact in giving the audience the Shakespearian tragedy emotions.

Azzurra Schena is a determined and passionate Juliet who offers intense pas des deux with Bledi Bejleri."