"Romeo & Juliet"

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"Romeo & Juliet" was A&P's free dance for the 1997/1998 season. With high hopes for the Nagano Olympics, A&P decided to change their style in 1997. They created a wonderful routine with a famous theme: Romeo & Juliet. This routine enabled them to win a bronze medal at Europeans and Olympics, and a silver medal at Worlds.Three years later, this romantic and dramatic routine is still seen as one of the greatest ice dance routines of all time. Here is more info on A&P's "Romeo & Juliet"...

Introduction: the story
The story of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is known everywhere in the World. Romeo & Juliet, the children of two rival families the Montagues and the Capulets, fall in love with each other. The story ends with the two of them committing suicide. Marina & Gwendal's routine was inspired by the story but with an originality: they start from the end!
Want to know more about the Romeo & Juliet story? Visit
this page!

The music
The music is Prokofiev's "Romeo & Juliet". The selections used by A&P include "The Montagues and the Capulets" and "Death of Juliet". Marina & Gwendal start with very slow music, then the music gets more dramatic, then there's a slow sequence again and the music is at its climax at the end.

This routine was performed at:
1997 Nations Cup - free dance
1997 Trophée Lalique - free dance
1998 Champions Series Final - free dance
1998 French Nationals - free dance
1998 European championships - free dance
1998 Olympic Games - free dance
1998 World championships - free dance
1998 Golden Gala - exhibition
1998 Masters Miko - gala
1998 French team tour - exhibition
1998 St Gervais Grand prix - gala

Perfect scores:
Marina & Gwendal received one 6.0 for that free dance at the 1998 Champions Series Final from the French judge.

by Shanti Rushpaul and Murielle Boucher-Zazoui.

Story, highlights & pictures
Unless otherwise noted, the pictures are screen captures from various television broadcasts.

The start & introduction


The start pose represents Romeo & Juliet at the end of Shakespeare's story. Juliet (Marina) is holding the dagger that killed her. Romeo (Gwendal) is lain down next to her. This pose is very original, and to the limit of the forbidden - because Gwendal is lain down on the ice, but it is allowed because his blades are still on the ice.
(photos 2-3 © J.Barry Mittan)


When the music starts, Juliet (Marina) comes to life and removes the dagger from her chest.
(photo 2 © J.Barry Mittan)


Marina sits down on Gwendal's legs, then turns on his back. Then she goes behind him.
(Photo 1 © J.Barry Mittan)


Juliet (Marina) wakes Romeo (Gwendal) up. Gwendal then goes behind Marina and they both get up.
(Photos 1-2 © J.Barry Mittan)


Marina & Gwendal then do some moves at the center of the ice. "We wanted to make this start as flexible and smooth as possible", Gwendal said.
(Photo 1 © J.Barry Mittan)

The first part


When the music gets faster, Marina & Gwendal start doing steps. Their footwork is very fast, intricate, and they are skating very close from each other. This part ends with a lift (third photo): Marina is head down with her legs very high, and she ends in the position captured in the 4th picture.

Slow part


The slow section of the program represents the love between Romeo & Juliet - you can actually see Gwendal kissing Marina on her arm, and then on her leg. This part mainly consists in spirals. Gwendal's beautiful extension is used into great effect here.
(Photo 2 © J.Barry Mittan)

At the middle of the slow section, Marina lifts Gwendal for the first time. These "reversed lifts" are now A&P's trademark, but the very first time they included them in their programs was in Romeo & Juliet. There's a lot of balance in this first reversed lift. Gwendal is almost in a split position, showing his great flexibility again.
(Photo © J.Barry Mittan)


This part ends with another lift. Marina is head down on Gwendal's back. This lift was modified throughout the season: at the beginning of the season, Marina's legs were outstretched. Then, by the time of the Olympics, she had one leg bent. Then at Worlds all of her body was on Gwendal's back, with Gwendal holding her by the leg.
(Photo 3 © J.Barry Mittan)

Last part


The music gets fast again, in the same mood as in the first part. There is a lot of footwork in this part, and the program gets more and more dramatic. That's the climax of the program.

The second reversed lift is included in this part. It is a very impressive move as Gwendal rests on Marina's tighs, and Marina is going backwards at very good speed.
(Photo © J.Barry Mittan)

Final lift & final pose


As I told you before, the routine tells the story of Romeo & Juliet from the end to the start. So, the final lift represents... the balcony scene of course! And the final pose represents Romeo falling in love with Juliet (I guess).
(photos © J.Barry Mittan)

Fan comments

"I love this programme, especially the music the costumes,the beautiful flowover the ice.The only thing I didn't like was the slow start ,of no skating right at the beginning of the programme. "


"This program was really a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!! I mean, the costumes, the music, everything! It was one of their best. It was really exceptional!"


"I think that the program is great. It is a very dramatic dance. It is beautiful I always love the dance steps which they do together. It is a great program."



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