Romeo watching Juliet dancing: Anticipating RNZB's Romeo & Juliet

Enrolment in this course entitles you to purchase one reduced-price ticket for the opening night of the Royal New Zealand Ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday 16 August 2017. The ticket is for 16 August only and is a B Reserve seat. You can enrol for just the course ($70) or for the course plus a reduced-price ticket ($70 + $63 = $133). You will receive your ticket at the course.

Please enter the promotion code: R&J to purchase your ticket in addition to the course fee.


Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is set in the 15th-century city of Verona - long before his own lifetime and far from his home. The earliest Renaissance dance master we know by name – Domenico da Piacenza – left detailed descriptions of his many compositions.

Over two sessions, and working with musicians playing early instruments, you will see this story come to life through ballet.  One of the highlights is watching Juliet dance Graziosa, a ballo by Domenico da Piacenza. This is when Romeo first glimpses Juliet, and the rest is legend!

You may choose to learn the dance, join in with the musicians, or observe, and perhaps even sketch, the dancers.

This course will help whet your appetite for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s new production of Romeo and Juliet. Choreographed by Francesco Ventriglia, the story is set to the classical ballet score of Sergei Prokofiev and premieres in Wellington on Wednesday 16 August 2017.

Participants enrolled in this course receive a 10% discount on tickets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet performance of the Ryman Healthcare Season of Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday 16 August.

Target audience:
This course is for anyone interested in dance, the theatre and the related arts of music and design. It will also benefit students of arts and theatre and those interested in writing about dance.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will have:

  • gained an appreciation of the different stages of the choreographic process
  • considered what is involved in the translation of a literary work onto the performance stage
  • observed the process whereby a dancer develops the characterisation of a role
  • enhanced your choreographic appreciation and enjoyment of attending a live performance.

Class limit:
This course is limited to 25 participants, so please enrol early to avoid disappointment!

Jennifer Shennan enjoys teaching dance studies within the context of the related arts of music, design and literature. She has reviewed dance performance, and also authored and edited books on dance history, with a specific interest in Pacific dance traditions. She has an MA in dance anthropology.

Related links:
Royal New Zealand Ballet

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140
Phone 04 463 6556, Email:

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.