(image from Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake".)
From the creator of the all-male 1995 London "Swan Lake", British choreographer Matthew Bourne explores more paths of traditional gender-bending, this time with the classic Prokofiev ballet Romeo and Juliet. Bourne’s new plans include killing-off Juliet, implementing an entirely male cast, providing Romeo with a male lover, and renaming the ballet "Romeo, Romeo". He is intent on portraying a convincing gay relationship among the main characters. Quoteth he:
“It’s more to do with dancing than with sexuality. A male dancer, whether he’s gay or straight, fits into a relationship with a female partner very happily. Getting away from that, making a convincing love duet, a romantic, sexual duet, for two men that is comfortable to do and comfortable to watch — I don’t know if you can. I’ve never seen it done.”
Homosexual undercurrents in Shakespeare’s work are nothing new, and there has been an abundance of speculation regarding the sexuality of Romeo’s bff4e Mercutio, as well as cousin Benvolio. If all goes well during initial rehearsals this summer, the company could begin "Romeo, Romeo" as early as next year.