October 2019


Nationale Opera & Ballet, Great hall

Running time

3:00 hours, 2 breaks



Romeo en Julia

Shakespeare's greatest tragic romance

To this day, the city of Verona in Italy is still flooded with letters every week addressed to ‘Julia Capulet, Verona’. There could be no greater testament to how deeply Shakespeare’s classic tragedy continues to touch hearts around the world.

From Canada to Hongkong

For his first full-length Dutch production in 1967, Rudi van Dantzig joined the ranks of dance-makers to borrow inspiration from the tale of Verona’s star-crossed lovers. With his gripping, realistic and engaged interpretation of Romeo and Julia, Dutch National Ballet’s former artistic director created a masterpiece with the power to stir audiences in the Netherlands and far beyond, becoming part of the repertoire of companies from Canada to Hong Kong.


Lively street scenes

Featuring a new generation of dancers in the title roles, Dutch National Ballet brings Van Dantzig's beloved ballet classic – and seminal work in the company's own evolution – back to the stage. Romeo and Julia is a feast for the eyes with its lively street scenes, stately court dances, realistic staged fights and heartbreaking encounters between the two lovers.

Subtile character portrayals

Van Dantzig based his own choreography in part on the original 1940 ballet version by Leonid Lavrovski. Yet the psychological and social immediacy of Van Dantzig’s Romeo and Julia sets it apart from all other versions. Through subtle characterisations and a sensitive evocation of mood and emotion he shows how the feud between the noble families of Montecchi and Capoletti destroys everything in its wake, not only the carefree youth and budding love that proves fatal to Romeo and Julia, but also the social fabric of Verona itself.

Romeo en Julia
Romeo en Julia

Stumpuous staging

Part of the enduring success of Van Dantzig's Romeo and Julia owes to its sumptuous staging. Toer van Schayk's set design is a Renaissance painting come to life in vivid scarlet and pastels.

Romeo en Julia

Rudi van Dantzig (1933-2012)

If there is one word that best describes Rudi van Dantzig, it is ‘inspired’. For the twenty years that he was artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, Van Dantzig forged the company into a cohesive whole. His choreographies testify to a strong social commitment and ongoing quest to ‘attain the unattainable’. Among his most famous works are Vier letzte Lieder, Monument voor een gestorven jongen, Onder mijne voeten, Romeo and Julia and Swan Lake. Van Dantzig also made his name as a writer. His debut novel For a lost soldier, crowned with two awards (Geertjan Lubberhuizenprijs and Gouden Ezelsoor), was followed by The Trail of a Comet (a memoire about Rudolf Nureyev), a biography of Willem Arondeus and Memories of Sonia Gaskell, published posthumously.

cast & crew