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The Royal Ballet at the O2

Posted on November 26, 2010

the royal ballet at the o2 arena.photo courtesy of elliott franks and rohThe Royal Ballet will bring Romeo and Juliet to the O2 arena in June 2011. It will be the first time the company has danced in an arena in the UK.

In three performances, from June 17 – 19, Juliet will be danced by Tamara Rojo, Alina Cojocaru and Mara Galeazzi, with Carlos Acosta, Johan Kobborg and Edward Watson dancing Romeo. Steven McRae and Roberta Marquez will dance an exclusive performance for young people.

Extra dancers and actors will be involved in the bigger scenes of Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet. The performances will take place on a special sprung stage at one end of the arena – not in the round, but with no proscenium arch. The Ballet Boyz, William Trevitt and Michael Nunn, will film introductions to each act. The action will unfold on stage and on giant, live-relay screens, so that the audience can see the dancers close up. The music will be played by the Royal Philharmonic, conducted by Barry Wordsworth.

The Royal Ballet will be the first ballet company to dance at the O2, presenting the shows in association with concert promoter Raymond Gubbay. To celebrate, there will be up to 2,000 specially-priced £10 tickets at every performance. The arena floor will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that some audience members will have front row seats for £10. Top price tickets will cost £60. Tickets go on sale on Sunday, December 5.

Monica Mason, director of The Royal Ballet, said, “I am thrilled that The Royal Ballet has the opportunity to perform at the O2 and to introduce our work to so many new people. Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest ballets in our repertory and it will be both exciting and challenging to present it in this vast venue.”

Picture: Steven McRae and Roberta Marquez at the O2. Photograph courtesy of Elliott Franks and the Royal Opera House.

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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