It is one of The Norwegian National Ballet's biggest successes, bringing in more Critics' Award nominations than any other production in recent times. Romeo and Juliet allows the dancers to appear at their best in strong character roles such as Mercutio, Tybalt and Benvolio – not to mention the star-crossed lovers themselves, Romeo and Juliet.
The Norwegian National Ballet version was created by British choreographer Michael Corder. He feels that not only is Romeo and Juliet one of the world's most beautiful love stories, but also a kind of Godfather story about two families that hate each other: «Shakespeare's text and Prokofiev's wonderful music create something reminiscent of a mafia drama,» he says.
Of course, Romeo and Juliet is also one of the most frequently performed classical ballets ever. Choreographers such as Frederick Ashton, John Cranko, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Neumeier and Rudolf Nureyev have all created their own versions of Shakespeare's timeless story.
The last time the Norwegian National Ballet staged a production of Romeo and Juliet, in spring 2011, Christine Thomassen was nominated for the Critics' Award for the rule of Juliet, while Aarne Kristian Ruutu won the award for the role of Mercutio. Nuri Ribera previously won the same award for her Juliet. This season offers another chance to see Ruutu as Mercutio.