Dance news, reviews & info

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson appeared on the This Morning sofa and on Breakfast to talk about the Royal Ballet’s new exciting venture – Romeo and Juliet in the O2. It is the first time the company has performed in an arena, and it marks a major change from the somewhat more intimate setting of the Royal Opera House. There will be four performances from the 17 – 18 June with 12,000 seats available each performance.

Watson said he hoped the choice of venue would bring ballet to a bigger audience, “It’s really exciting that we are getting out there and a lot of people can have the opportunity to come and see what we do.”

There are however concerns that the venue will be too large for a ballet to be successful as audiences will not be able to see the detail of the dancers movements and more importantly the emotions they are portraying through dance. The dancers admitted that they were concerned about appearing very small on such a big stage but revealed that there will be screens to help create the intimacy that is essential in a story ballet. Whether the ballet will attract 40,000 theatre goers however remains to be seen.

Romeo and Juliet is a popular ballet and an integral part of the Royal Ballet’s repertory, but it may prove to be a bad decision given the emotive nature of the ballet. After all audiences go to the ballet to see real dancers performing in real time. If it is screens they are after then can easily switch on an arts channel.

Edward and Lauren also talked to Eamonn Holmes about their reactions to the Black Swan film which has recently helped bring ballet into the public spotlight. Lauren explained, “It is a horror film and for us in the ballet world it was hard to watch because it’s based on our profession.”

However she continued that the film had been fantastic in bringing ballet to the forefront and as the arts correspondent on Breakfast revealed this has had a very positive effect on the dance world. Adult ballet classes across the country has seen a rise in numbers. At ENB the adult ballet programme is oversubscribed due to many adults being inspired to unearth their old shoes and revisit a childhood hobby.

The ballet phenomenon really has taken on a life of its own and if the O2 experiment is successful ballet could be set to become even more fashionable.

Find out my reactions to the Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet in the O2 here on Sunday.

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