|Costumes throughout the years|
How do the costumes reflect the changing time periods in Scottish Ballet's Romeo and Juliet?
In Scottish Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's Renaissance Verona becomes 20th century Italy, with the story spanning three different time periods.
The tale begins in the 1930s, a time when a rigid dictatorial system had taken over the country. Lord Capulet and his family represent this system. This is demonstrated by the rigidity in the movements, the very structured choreographic groupings and the relationship of the movements to the music.
Montague and Capulet daywear
The design of the Montague costumes intend to reflect peace. This is highlighted by the change from black and white to sepia in Act II and then finally to colour tones in Act III.
The black costumes of military tailoring and jackboots represent the power, oppression and fear of 1930s Italy. Tybalt is a Mussolini-type character and the Capulets represent old money suits and tailoring.
Look at the soft tailoring of the male costumes of the Montagues in contrast to the stylish bias cut dresses of the Capulet’s dresses.
How do these designs represent the characters?
After the war, the story unfolds in the optimistic 1950s. The more peaceful Montague family tries to re-establish society. The smouldering hate of the two families lurks under the serene surface and another explosion seems unavoidable
Watch video: Act II sepia and colour costume
The picture demonstrates the choreographic movement quality within the act which was inspired by 1950s rock and roll. To find out more about the choreography, see Jackie McGlone’s review.
The Montague family are styled in the era of the 1950s throughout the production. The costumes look contemporary and youthful, with ladies wearing prom style dresses and ponytails, and the men in neutral-coloured fitted suits reflective of the teenage mod trend of the era.
The end of the production is set in the 1990s, when Romeo and Juliet die, victims of the ongoing conflict between their families.
Gallery: look at the costumes from Romeo and Juliet
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