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Today we’ve posted a new interview with Birmingham Royal Ballet First Soloist Jenna Roberts on the Company website.

Following an injury in 2007, Jenna was forced to undertake a prolonged period away from the stage. It is fitting, however, that she is show-fit in time for this autumn’s performances of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, having danced the female lead as part of 2006’s Ballet Hoo! project.

Speaking of the role, Jenna says:

‘You really have to do your research, because you could portray Juliet in so many different ways. You have to find a way that suits you and a way that effectively portrays the story to the individual audience. When we did Ballet Hoo! for example, we had an enormous audience of young people who didn’t necessarily know the story, and so it was important to perform in a way that was appealing and interesting to them.’

You can read the full interview here.

You can also see a short clip below from the Ballet Hoo! performance itself, in which Jenna is partnered by Jamie Bond:

This autumn Birmingham Royal Ballet performs Romeo and Juliet in Birmingham, Sunderland, London and Plymouth. Visit www.brb.org.uk/romeo for details.

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We’ve added a gallery of images to our website taken during the Company’s performances of Romeo and Juliet in Salford this spring. The gallery focuses on widescreen moments from Kenneth MacMillan’s classical masterpiece.

Here are a few examples – click here to see all the full images now.

Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Jamie Bond has named Romeo in Kenneth MacMillan’s production of Romeo and Juliet as his favourite role. Speaking of his enthusiasm for dancing in an interview published this summer, he said:

‘If I was to win the lottery next week I would still carry on because I enjoy it and find it rewarding.

‘We’ve got Romeo and Juliet coming up in the summer and again in the autumn; Romeo is my favourite role. When you’re dancing roles like that it’s never just a job, it’s a passion!’

You can read the whole interview here.

Here’s a brand-new rehearsal video for Romeo and Juliet, featuring Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao in the roles of the young lovers.

Birmingham Royal Ballet performs Romeo and Juliet next week at the Lowry, Salford and the week after at Wales Millennium Centre.

The Company then performs the piece in other venues in the autumn. Visit www.brb.org.uk/romeo for details.

A gallery of photographs of the original model boxes for Romeo and Juliet have recently appeared on the Birmingham Royal Ballet website. Above you can see Romeo in the Capulet family crypt.

When a new ballet is created, the designer often creates a model box – a 1/25th scale model of the set – as a reference. This is important as it can then be used to present a new production to the Company for the first time, to give an impression of the end result that they will all spend so many months working towards.

You can see the gallery by clicking here

Here you can see Company First Soloist Jenna Roberts preparing for the role of Juliet ahead of our performances in Salford next week and Cardiff the next!

Iain Mackay also appears as in the clip as Romeo. You can find out more about our Salford and Cardiff dates, as well as performances elsewhere in the UK later in the year, by visiting www.brb.org.uk/romeo.

Can’t see the clip? Click here to watch it on vimeo.com

Birmingham Royal Ballet tours Kenneth MacMillan’s romantic classical masterpiece Romeo and Juliet throughout 2010. The Company performs in Birmingham, Sunderland, London and Plymouth this autumn, however audiences in Salford and Cardiff will get the chance to see it before the summer break – nearly three months ahead of everybody else!

Tickets for the shows, at the Lowry and the Wales Millennium Centre, are already on sale, with booking details available via the links below. With a sweeping score by Sergei Prokofiev and soaring choreography from master of modern ballet, Kenneth MacMillan, Romeo and Juliet continues to be the all-time classic love story. These performances bring a close Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 2009-10 season.

Click the venue names for details:

The Lowry, Salford, Wednesday 30 June-Saturday 3 July
Wales Millennium Centre, Tuesday 6-Saturday 10 July

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s website

Birmingham Royal Ballet on twitter