St John's C of E Primary School

"Use your God-given gifts to serve others." 1 Peter 4: 10

World Book Day - Romeo and Juliet Prokofiev 6.3.23

Romeo and Juliet is a ballet by Sergei Prokofiev based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It was composed in 1935. 


Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev ( April 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He wrote other works based on stories: a ballet about Cinderella, an opera based on the novel War and Peace and an orchestral piece based on the children’s fairytale ‘Peter and the Wolf’ 


This piece taken from Romeo and Juliet is named ‘The dance of the Knights’ which is the main part of the ‘Montague and Capulets’ section. The Montagues and Capulets are two warring families who come together when Romeo (a Montague) falls in love with Juliet (a Capulet). At the end of Shakepeare's play, the ending is sad as the two young adults die. Prokofiev changed the ending so they lived happily every after. This didn’t go down well with the Bolshoi ballet company – some people thought Prokofiev was being influenced by what was going on politically in Russia at the time and so he had to rewrite it to make the ending more tragic (just like Shakespeare had intended).

Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, No 13 Dance of the Knights (Valery Gergiev, LSO)

Romeo and Juliet - Dance of the Knights (The Royal Ballet)