Hitherto, Romeo And Juliet might not be well-known for its moments of comedy but Moscow City Ballet manage to inject some light-heartedness into Shakespeare's most famous tragedy.
This is encapsulated by the scene in which the hoodlum friends of Romeo (Talgat Kozhabayev) lark around with masks before the Capulets' ball, holding them to their crotches like codpieces, before goosing Juliet's Nurse (Lyubov Lysak).
She, in turn, indelicately readjusts her breasts like Les Dawson appearing in pantomime - apt, given that many of the costumes are more Cinderella than Verona chic.
These moments of youthful high jinks may initially seem incongruous but they are a useful reminder of the fact that the central characters are meant to be barely into their teens. They also serve as a stark contrast with the darkness in the second act.
As the tension starts to mount, sinister figures in hangman's masks and black Miss Havisham-type veils alternately swarm around characters and stand in freeze-frame, hands covering their eyes.
They create a spectral darkness that elsewhere has a tendency to tip into heavy-handed symbolism.
There is an element of silent film too as first Romeo and then Juliet (Alevtina Lapshina) pick up a skull that rests on the desk of Friar Lawrence (Aleksandr Gavrilov) and when Juliet shapes an exaggerated scream of despair when she rouses from her death-like coma in a crypt and finds the body of Romeo at her side.
It's an over-dramatisation that suits the rest of her impetuous, teenage behaviour as she flits across the stage with delightful, bird-like lightness.
Kozhabayev struggles to match that image of youth. Too stiff to convince as her lover, he's overshadowed by the stage presnce of Tybalt (Daniil Orlov) whose imperiousness shines especially when he challenges Romeo at the masked ball and, backed by armoured henchmen, exudes masculine power to the thrum of Prokofiev's Dance Of The Knights.
Through the comic elements and its focus on youth this Moscow City Ballet production certainly breathes fresh life into a familiar story.
Runs until March 20 at Derby Assembly Rooms. Box office: (01332) 255-800.