Total Success of Romeo and Juliet

September 05, 2016

Choreographer Oleg Vinogradov has told about his work on the premiere of Romeo and Juliet ballet and shared his impressions of meeting the Novosibirsk opera and ballet theatre after fifty years.

NOVAT: Oleg, welcome to your near and dear Novosibirsk opera and ballet theatre where your career has started. Romeo and Juliet in your choreographic interpretation will open the 72nd season. Please tell us about the production.

OLEG VINOGRADOV: Obviously, Romeo and Juliet holds a special place in my life. I was twenty five years old when I was assigned to stage this production. At that time there was an outstanding production by Leonid Lavrovsky that was greatly recognized. I never thought I'd dare to stage my own ballet. But when our wonderful director of the theatre Semyon Zelmanov and principal director Emil Pasynkov decided to stage Romeo and Juliet and relied on me, of course I said "yes". Was it self-assurance? I don't know. But honestly, I wasn't scared, although I didn't have an image of the production in my head.

N.: So, you took your first step literally blindfolded?

O.V.: Yes, merely intuitively. Once the music started to constantly sound inside my head, the main style of the production formed over time. When I was reading Shakespeare, especially in translation by Pasternak, I suddenly caught this tonality of rhythm arrangement, which I couldn't comprehend before: an extraordinary dynamics of juvenile mischievousness. And then I realized that this production should be very youthful. I already knew, what the choreography would be like... Yes, humorous! Yes, aggressively-optimistic! Yes, era of Renaissance! I reasoned from that era, intonation of that time and atmosphere.

N.: Do you remember the premiere? What did you feel back then?

O.V.: I felt that I succeeded in creating something interesting, I could tell by the reaction of audience and the Company. Sooner we set off for Moscow. It was a total success! We showed to the world what the Novosibirsk theatre was. No matter where I staged this production - we travelled around the whole world with it - the reception was just the same at every place, exultant and amazing.

N.: Fifty years later Romeo and Juliet comes back to our stage. Has the production been changed?

O.V.: I keep a check on correspondence to style of the time. A production should not be archaic, it should be up to date. In certain moments the directing has changed, mise en scene, but not the main text.

N.: Did you get to meet the Company yet?

O.V.: The Novosibirsk opera and ballet theatre is second to no other theatre in the world, no matter where I worked. I am very glad that the Theatre now has Denis Matvienko. I feel like he is going to be responsible when fulfilling his duties, because one has to deserve this kind of theatre and this kind of Company.

N.: Story of your success has started pretty early. There are a lot of young dancers with great potential in our Company.

O.V.: I already noticed several people. They are not principals, not soloists, but I noticed them. I will definitely give them a chance to try. It is always like that with me: main parts are clearly being performed by the recognized, the best, but there is always a younger cast. There were occasions when it performed in production premieres. The more I thought and fantasized about it, the clearer the image of the production was. For me, as for any author, the essential part is to get my message across.