Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is Nacho Duato’s only choreography for the Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) that has a score specifically composed for ballet and a libretto with detailed instructions for the dramatic development of the story.

In 1935, the work encountered a long list of “artistic” controversies that frustrated its premiere in Moscow. The various musical criticisms to the score (they were also dramatic ones) always converged in one: the music was not danceable. Over the years, the supposed rhythmic complexity and experimental nature attributed to the composition have been completely assimilated. Thus the challenge of this new production lay no longer in deciphering the music, but rather to take on, with a contemporary dance company, a creation that tells a “story”. From the perspective of musical direction, the task seemed at first glance similar to conventional ballet conducting. But the resemblance was only apparent. Nacho Duato’s choreography in each of its parts remained, as it was custom, detailed and personal. The real difference in comparison to his other ballets became simply that this was about four times longer.

The first representation of the new production in January 1998 was also my first collaboration as a conductor with the CND. It was always an enriching experience to re-enact the performance in different theatres with their respective orchestras. Curiously, it was the last representation in 2018, with the Staatskapelle in the pit, which in the Staatsoper Unter den Linden of Berlin brought us closer to the musical interpretation that we had always imagined.


Conductor: Pedro Alcalde
Orchestra: Bohemian Symphony Orchestra – for the premiere 1998

Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Choreography: Nacho Duato
Original libretto: Radlow, Pjotrkowsky, Lawrowsky and Prokofiev, based on the play by William Shakespeare
Libretto used: Nacho Duato, an adaptation in two acts of the original libretto
Original idea for Costumes, Set and Lighting: Nacho Duato
Set: Carles Pujol and Pau Rueda
Costumes: Lourdes Frías
Lighting: Nicolás Fischtel – based on an initial project by Miguel Ángel Camacho

Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND)
Venue: Palacio de Festivales Santander
Date: 8th January 1998


08-01-98 Palacio de Festivales Santander Spain 3
14-01-98 Teatro Campoamor Oviedo Spain 2
22-01-98 Teatro Arriaga Bilbao Spain 4
29-01-98 Teatre Auditori Sant Cugat Spain 3
13-09-98 Teatro Real Madrid Spain 6
22-09-98 Opera de Lyon Lyon France 6
01-10-98 Saint Quentin Paris France 4
13-11-98 Teatro Maestranza Seville Spain 3
10-02-99 Teatre Auditori Sant Cugat Spain 3
29-05-99 Sherover Theatre Jerusalem Israel 4
04-02-00 Théâtre de le Havre Le Havre France 2
09-02-00 Théâtre Graslin Nantes France 7
26-05-01 Teatro Real Madrid Spain 3
12-07-01 Teatre del Liceu Barcelona Spain 5
09-05-02 Festspielhaus Recklinghausen Germany 4
30-05-08 Teatre Auditori Sant Cugat Spain 3
13-06-08 Teatro Carlo Felice Genoa Italy 5
22-11-08 Saitama Arts Theater Tokyo Japan 3
29-11-08 Biwako Hall Biwako Japan 1
20-06-18 Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin Germany 2
Total performances 73