Mats Ek’s Juliet & Romeo in London
Yesterday I had the opportunity to see Swedish dance at its best as Mats Ek’s widely acclaimed Juliet & Romeo was performed at Sadler’s Wells in London. It was an outstanding performance by the Royal Swedish Ballet. The choreography was breathtaking and the dancers were magic. Their movements, their facial expressions and costumes were just out of this world. Juliet & Romeo has toured several European cities and has been getting wonderful reviews. The company performing Juliet & Romeo includes 23 different nationalities. This greatly contributes to making the performance so vibrant. It was also wonderful to see Ana Laguna back on stage.
It should be said that Sweden has a very long dance tradition. The first professional ballet company was founded in Stockholm by King Gustaf II in 1773. Only Paris, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg have older ballet companies. Modern dance in Sweden grew strong in the 1930s-1940s and has continued to play a significant role in our culture. One of the pioneers of modern choreography was of course Birgit Cullberg. Her Cullberg Ballet is still very much a powerhouse for European contemporary dance. Her son Mats Ek has continued his mother’s work and has been a choreographer for more than forty years. His Juliet & Romeo was one of the best ballet performances I have ever seen.