Gramilano has just uploaded a video to YouTube with Margot Fonteyn and Ivan Nagy. They are dancing the balcony scene from George Skibine’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, which uses music from Berlioz’s choral symphony Roméo et Juliette. The extract was part of a gala in 1976, when Fonteyn was 57.
George Skibine’s first choreographic work was Tragedy in Verona, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for the Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas in 1950 using Tchaikovsky’s ‘Overture-Fantasy’ of the same name. Skibine returned to the story, again for de Cuevas, in 1955 with his wife, Marjorie Tallchief, as Juliet and Skibine himself as Romeo. The first performances were given in the open air at the Cour Carrée at the Louvre.
Biographer and critic Herbert Weinstock wrote,
Thousands of us had come to see what the Comité Officiel des Fêtes de Paris and the Marquis George de Cuevas had made of Berlioz’s “Roméo et Juliette.” What they had made of it proved to be an opera-ballet of unparalleled pomp, theatrical effectiveness, and visual magnificence…
…Skibine’s realization of Romeo’s despair and suicide was that of a truly great dancer.