Nudity in Upcoming Romeo and Juliet Provokes Protests

Classic Arts News   Nudity in Upcoming Romeo and Juliet Provokes Protests
Nudity in Russian National Ballet's upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, premiering July 31 at the Princess Theatre in Launceston, Tasmania, has drawn complaints from Christian groups, the Australian Associated Press reports.

Graham Hutchison, the company's Australian promoter, said there have been many complaints about the upcoming ballet's bedroom scenes—apparently the first nudity ever presented in a classical ballet.

"We've certainly been contacted with various church groups and whatever saying how dare we present something of that nature," Hutchison said.

Web sites advertising the production on the company's upcoming tour all carry a warning about the nudity.

Nevertheless, people are up in arms. Gold Coast councilor Rob Molhoek said that there was no difference between this Romeo and Juliet and a "nudie bar." "My concern is the boundaries just keep getting pushed further and further and the lines keep getting more and more blurred."

Hutchison appeared unruffled by the complaints, and insisted that the nudity was contextual. "Certainly when it relates to parts like bedroom scenes in this day and age it would not be considered appropriate that young people have this incredible love affair and are always clothed. . . . It's nudity—it's not people fornicating on stage," he said, and added, "I must say I think some people must have a lot of time with nothing to do."

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