Dance

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Too sexy. Well, too heterosexy, anyway. This was the verdict on MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet which was the centre of a row last year when a party of Hackney schoolchildren were denied a visit on the grounds that the story was totally unsuitable for politically correct seven-year-olds. It is totally unsuitable but for the simple reason that it's bloodthirsty and nearly three hours long. Older children will enjoy the potent mixture of sex and death embodied in MacMillan's thrilling pas de deux. The Royal Ballet is concluding its summer season with five performances of this deservedly popular classic at the Royal Opera House.

Jaded ballet-goers may think they have done this 1965 ballet, but just when you thought you had no more tears to cry for MacMillan's Juliet, a young dancer will find a new way to break your heart. In recent years, ballet dancers have become more famous for tucking their legs behind their ears than for their dramatic abilities and the publicity given to the switchblade limbs of Sylvie Guillem and Darcey Bussell has somewhat distorted audience expectations - never mind the interpretation, count the fouettes. New talents like the 22-year-old Sarah Wildor (right, with David Pickering) and established artists like Fiona Chadwick redress this balance by emphasising the dramatic aspect of ballet.

Sarah Wildor's debut as Juliet was the revelation of last season. 'It was one of those rare, rare occasions when a young artist seems to discover her own powers, and we watch, fascinated, as a talent reveals itself, unerring, beautiful, true. . . Miss Wildor is a talent to watch, to treasure, to nurture'. Clement Crisp (the Financial Times).

'Romeo and Juliet' is at the Royal Opera House on 4,5,6 August at 7.30pm. Mats, 4 Aug, 2.30pm and 6 Aug, 2pm. Box office: 071-240 1066

(Photograph omitted)

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