Friday 20th September 2019

Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet - Birmingham Hippodrome

Last week, the A level Dance students attended a performance of the ballet of Romeo and Juliet by acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne. One of our year 13 students, Lucy Bisseker attended and wrote the following review of the show:

"Watching live performances is invaluable to students when trying to gauge and grasp practitioners choreographic and movement styles but also to get movement examples for potential essays. It is a highly insightful and exciting way of learning about practitioners.

Our trip to Birmingham Hippodrome to see Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet was no exception. The powerful, emotional reinvention of the classical ballet, and the use of Prokofiev's score left the audience in awe. The piece was simultaneously beautiful and harrowing with Bourne and his exceptionally talented cast creating a perfect balance of humorous and serious moments through the language of movement. Passion rippled through the dancers' bodies, building tension as Tybalt implements his regimented ideal on the institutionalised youth, contained in a world unapproving of love.

With moods shifting from playful to heart wrenching, you may think that it would be difficult to empathise and connect with some of the characters - but this was just not the case. From the outset the dancers characterisation captured the audiences' hearts with their high-spirited nature and desire for love drawing us in. This was enhanced throughout by the clever use of Les Brotherston's stark set as dancers rolled under beds to switch between dormitories and dangled precariously off high railings.

The most interesting thing about this piece was the progressive nature of the production; the way it was simultaneously so unlike Bourne yet so recognisably Bourne's work, creating this endearing unpredictability. The immense talent of the dancers, the genius of Bourne's non-verbal storytelling and the inventive contributions of his collaborators culminating in a poetic, unpredictable and of course entertaining evening. Truly sensational!"