We are super excited to have the Russian National Ballet Theatre come to Riverside in September. They will be performing the classic tale of Romeo & Juliet with choreography by company director Evgeny Amosov. He took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions from us about this work and coming to Riverside.
Interview with Evgeny Amosov from the Russian National Ballet
What is your role with the Russian National Ballet and this production of “Romeo& Juliet”?
I am, Evgeny Amosov, the company director and art director of Russian National Ballet Theatre.
Could you tell readers a little about the history of this ballet? Is your version markedly different in terms of choreography from the original?
Here is a story to share with you. We used to tour in Verona in Italy which is the homeland of Juliet in reality. We visited that house and that famous balcony. There was a dancer trying to imitate Romeo to climb that balcony but failed and broke his leg. So I was thinking if I will work on the choreography again, I won’t arrange Romeo and Juliet first meeting on the balcony but in the yard.
Our version is different from the original one. Our choreography is much firmer and our dancers’ emotion is higher. Compared with the past, we live in a fast paced society and the surroundings have been changed a lot. If we still keep the actors fighting with weapons, they may look like the fighting teenagers on the street.
You are a touring ballet company – how long is this tour and what other places are you travelling to?
The 2017 tour will last for around 4 months and it will travel to around 30 cities in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
What specific challenges does this ballet pose for the choreographer/director, as well as the performers?
The most difficult part for the choreography is that we won’t damage Prokfievs original composition and the talent Shakespare’s script. The most significant thing is that dancers do the performance sincerely. If not, the performance would fail.
Tell us about the mission of the Russian National Ballet. Has it changed? How do you relate to the ballet company personally?
I hope that there will be more audience enjoy and fall in love with ballet, more people to learn ballet. That’s my very beginning wishes and it never changes. I danced for many years before I built up this company and I can’t live without ballet. My company and I are a whole.
What does the company do when they are not touring?
I will try to spend lots time with my family members if there are no tour. The dancers are all like me. Some of them would also check the body and take some treatment during the break. Because there were some hurts happened normally during the tour. Besides, we have lots rehearsals to do as well to train some new actors with new roles and some new shows to practice.
What is a typical day like in the life of a touring Russian Ballet Company?
Normally we take the bus at the morning time to another performance city. When we arrive there around lunch time, we will have some rest and then go to the venue to warm up and do some rehearsal. At evening time, we perform. Dancers usually fall asleep lately after the performance because they are still excited after the show. They always feel happy if there are no shows at the second day, which means they can have a good rest.