Romeo and Juliet (includes The Dance of the Knights, Montagues and Capulets)
Sergei Prokofiev


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Prokofiev's fiery ballet climbs 23 places in this year's Hall of Fame

Prokofiev originally wrote Romeo and Juliet for St. Petersburg's Kirov Ballet in 1935, and had initially wanted to change the ending of William Shakespeare's timeless love story to a happy one. In the end, he considered, almost certainly correctly that this would have been a step too far.

The huge demands Romeo and Juliet placed on the dancers meant it wasn't performed for a few years, receiving its premiere in Brno in 1938. Prokofiev wrote new sections for a 1940 production and it was then that the music really took off, eventually forming the basis of three popular suites of which 'The Montagues and Capulets' (sometimes knows as The Dance of the Knights) was the centrepiece and is now the famous section of the ballet.

Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson in Graeme Murphy's 2011 production of Romeo and Juliet for the Australian Ballet.