Creating an authentic, youthful character onstage often requires an enormous amount of artistic maturity. Such is the case with former American Ballet Theatre principals Alessandra Ferri and Angel Corella. In this 2000 performance of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet with La Scala Ballet—where Ferri was also a principal and Corrella a frequent guest—they portray the star-crossed lovers in the balcony pas de deux with pure innocence and passion.
From Ferri's leap off the stairs and girlish sighs, to Corella's unabashed panache, the audience is swept up into the scene's tender, breathless excitement. Corrella's solo showcases his brilliant technique with swooping renversés and double sauts de basque. Meanwhile, Ferri's virtuosity shines through in her willowy backbends, in which she melts into Corrella's arms. Perhaps the most touching moment of all is at 6:10, when Ferri's Juliet seems to emerge from her reverie and remember that their love is forbidden—before Romeo promises that he will be true to her regardless. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!