I am fairly certain that the last time I had the pleasure of seeing Rudi vanDantzig's stunning R&J was as a fairly small child at some point in the mid 90's. So it was with great joy that I shared the RWB's production with my young daughter during this season, after preparing her with a "coles notes" of the story. The company shows off well in this piece which features stunning group scenes performed with fantastic unison and emphasized by Prokofiev's alternatingly angry and soothing score. And the leads acquitted themselves beautifully; Yosuke Mino's playful Mercutio danced the riddles of the text, while former company members such as Tara Birthwistle and Johnny Xiang playing the parents. These all highlighted the strength of young Elisabeth Lamont who made her debut as Juliet during this production. Lamont's artistry was outstanding - she clearly thought through each moment of the story in beautiful detail, showing us Juliet's joy and heartbreak. This was probably one of the few times I've been emotionally moved by this story in years, having studied it so technically and intensively to creative ends.
To be on balance, if the RWB are to re-mount this ballet again they may want to consider an update to the set which at times felt a bit worse for wear. It was complemented nicely by stunning lighting design and lavish costumes, however.