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Subject: "ENB`s Romeo and Juliet" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1763
Reading Topic #1763
alexandra

14-06-01, 05:29 PM (GMT)
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"ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
 
   Has anyone seen R and J performed by ENB at Royal Albert Hall?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet Bruce Madmin 15-06-01 1
     RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet anna 15-06-01 4
  RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet anna 15-06-01 2
     RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet sylvia 15-06-01 3
         RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet Bruce Madmin 15-06-01 5
             RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet sylvia 17-06-01 6
                 RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet Tomoko.A 17-06-01 7
                     RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet sylvia 17-06-01 8
                         RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet Tomoko.A 17-06-01 9
                             RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet sylvia 17-06-01 10
                         RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet alison 18-06-01 11
                             RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet sylvia 20-06-01 12
                             RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet janet 21-06-01 13
                             RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet Benj 21-06-01 14
     RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet alison 27-06-01 17
         RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet alison 29-06-01 18
     RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet melinda 04-10-01 19
         RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet anna 06-10-01 21
     RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet melinda 04-10-01 20
   ENB`s Romeo and Juliet -Saturday Matinee Margaret Lumley 21-06-01 15
     RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet - Thursday 21st. Brendan McCarthymoderator 22-06-01 16

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Bruce Madmin

15-06-01, 08:00 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #0
 
   I was there on Wednesday for the opening - Tom and Ag did a good job. Tom really looked the lad and good support from Dima too. I struggle still with a balcony on casters though it was not so bad as I originally remembered. But they really ought to loose such spectacular bad taste.

The thing I really loved was sitting next to the aisle and having the dancers rush past from time to time - this is not something that happens anywhere else and it brings it home to you just how graceful and light of foot they are. The place was pretty much full and everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves. There is always much talk about if in the round works or not - I think it does and the production works.

Ok what say others?!


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anna

15-06-01, 02:03 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #1
 
   Sorry Bruce,
Didn't see your message until I had sent my plee. Hope it works in our huge, sterile venue in Sydney!


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anna

15-06-01, 01:58 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #0
 
   Waiting to see this production when it arrives in Australia. Is anybody in London going to see it?


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sylvia

15-06-01, 02:03 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #2
 
   LAST EDITED ON 15-06-01 AT 02:05 PM (GMT)

I'm going to catch Oaks and Edur on Saturday - the reviews I've seen have me very optimistic, moving balcony aside.


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Bruce Madmin

15-06-01, 02:20 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #3
 
   The following link brings up ealier reviews of the ENB R&J Albert Hall production:
http://www.ballet.co.uk/cgi/reviews_database_search/db_search.cgi?company_names=enb&production=juliet&place_name=Albert

Note that readers can do their own searches at any time by just plugging a few values in to the the reviews search page - here is a direct link to it:
http://www.ballet.co.uk/cgi/reviews_database_search/db_search.cgi?return_to_frontpage=y


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sylvia

17-06-01, 03:38 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #5
 
   LAST EDITED ON 17-06-01 AT 04:29 AM (GMT)


I've just been to see Sat night's production with Edur + Oaks. The arena was completely packed. I echo what Bruce says about the dancers charging past - you get a real rush! The whole ballet felt almost interactive. Lucky I was, first row and centre, my aisle was used for lots of R&J’s entrances and exits. Several times Edur was right in front of me – almost close enough to touch! I usually see the corps as a backdrop to the central couple, but they were absolutely in your face here. And I was so excited to see the dancers do huge jetes, pirouettes etc up close.

Edur is a fantastic Romeo – boyish and playful at first, then heady in love. Oaks is a lovely dancer, light and seemingly free from any restraints. The lifts between them were done without any effort at all, and they threw themselves into the pdd. At times, I did feel her Juliet was a bit one-note. I saw more depth and growth in Romeo than in Juliet. I hate to criticise Oaks because I missed some of the characterisation – someone always seemed to be in the way in the crucial scenes in Act I.

The moving balcony was not as ghastly as I’d read about but I do think it rotating is unnecessary. I think everyone could see Juliet just fine. Otherwise I was impressed at how well the dancers managed to play to every member of the near 360-degree audience.

This guy sitting next to me said it was more of a spectacle than a ballet and I only half agree. I'd hate to characterise it as such as it may put some balletomanes off. I think the ballet works well in the round and the whole atmosphere is so unique, it's worth going for.


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Tomoko.A

17-06-01, 03:48 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #6
 
   Thanks for the review, Sylvia. I'm not paying my annual visit at the RAH this year as I'm busy watching the Kirov and I saw Deane's R&J on a normal stage a couple years ago. But glad to hear they are doing very well despite the Kirov's season at the same time.


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sylvia

17-06-01, 04:50 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #7
 
   I saw R+J back in 1999 in Southampton. I wasn't too impressed at the time and the most memorable part was Yat Sen Chang's Mercutio. He was equally great last night - I think he works harder and has more energy than anyone else in ENB! My only sticking point was his death scene - I thought it was a bit overdone, kinda hammy. Otherwise no complaints. And Shi Ning Liu was the most villainous Tybalt I've ever scene. The guy owns that role!

Deane's version last night seems really different from the 1999 version I watched. It's not the same is it? I know they have Nuryev's R+J in their repertory - does anyone know if that's the one they used in 99?


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Tomoko.A

17-06-01, 10:49 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #8
 
   Sylvia, like you I saw R&J in 1999 in Southampton ! I've just checked the programme. The both arena and 1999 versions are by Deane. The both were desined by Roberta Guidi di Bagno. Deane made the arena version in 1998 and then recreated it in a traditional theatre setting in 1999. The Nureyev's R&J will be introduced by their new director.


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sylvia

17-06-01, 11:14 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #9
 
   Thanks for the info Tomoko. I'm looking forward to Nureyev's R&J, but I'm going to hate losing Deane's arena version. I should probably pack in as many as I can while they're still around!

I was pretty sure I remembered you saying you'd been to the Mayflower which is why I brought it up here, and didn't start a new thread! I'm a uni student at Soton, so it's a massive, expensive pain making the frequent trips to London for performances. Nevertheless, I'm already planning my next trip to RAH!


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alison

18-06-01, 05:53 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #8
 
   The '99 version was of course *not* done in the round, but was an adaptation for proscenium-arch theatres, which would be why it looked different. If I remember rightly, it didn't get very good reviews.


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sylvia

20-06-01, 10:07 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #11
 
   I thought for the hell of it, I'd go down and check out Fernanda Oliveira's debut in R+J. Turns out it was a school matinee which put a whole different spin on things. I had a great seat in the first tier box in the centre, but I'm unconvinced that it was really worth it.

Oliveira and Nathan Coppen certainly look the part, with their youth and beauty. Oliveira, from Brazil, has been in ENB for less than a year. Though still in the corps she's already danced Odette and the Sugar Plum Fairy, and resembles a young Tamara Rojo. I thought she did a fine job and the performance showed she could handle the technical challenges of a leading role. There were a few awkward moments where I felt her acting a bit overwrought (Juliet's discovery of Romeo's death) and other areas where I felt nothing at all (the family scenes). But there were moments - when she's on her own after being told to marry Paris, and also later in the potion scene - she had so much tension in her body - I thought she would break herself in half. She would be completely still but I could still see the muscles in her arms moving. Or when she moves towards the bed to retieve the potion, she paused looking back longingly at the window. I suspect she'll continue to grow and add her own flourishes to the role.

I guess the same can be said for Coppen, a soloist with ENB. His Romeo was sweet and boyish, though he seemed a bit lifeless at Mercutio's death. Still he seemed very confident and was a lot of fun to watch. I didn't find him very passionate but he really brought life into his pdd with Oliveira.

It was very surreal to see Shi-Ning Liu as Mercutio after his fantastic Tybalt a few days ago. He made a very lively and exciting Mercutio, upstaging Romeo in the market scenes and outside the Capulet House, in my mind. I thought he lacked the humour that Yat Sen Chang brought to the role, and much prefer him as Tybalt. Daniel Jones just didn't have that carzed streak of insanity that Liu had. I still have doubts about the way Mercutio's death is played. It doesn't look realistic at all, and the audience knew it. The kids in front of me were wondering why he kept going on, and on, and on.

I had a much better view than before, so I could enjoy the patterns in the corps. I think this production is much better at showing off it's corps than it's stars. I kept marvelling at how seamless Dean's choreography is - the market scenes are so much fun to watch. The ballroom scene wasn't any less intense, and it's wonderful watching the Capulet guests marching in from 6 different entrances. And it's a nice touch how the lighting alters with changes in mood. The three pdd - the ballroom, the balcony and the bedroom are really lovely and Oliveira and Coppen were beautiful to watch, though one of the lifts seemed a bit rough.

I'll be looking forward to hearing other reviews because it was very hard to judge this one objectively with all the sceaming kids. Ok, it wasn't all that bad, but I wouldn't really recommend going to a R+J school matinee if you're hoping to be moved. I guess the "circus" atmosphere of the round must have something to do with it. These kids - they would clap and cheer at every pause or break in the music. I think some of the dancers had a hard time hearing the music over the clapping and were straining to look at the conductor. It was fun to hear so much enthusiasm - I don't recall ever hearing this level of noise or excitement at a regular performance. But Mercutio's stabbing - cheers, Tybalt's stabbing - more cheers. Note, they hadn't even died yet. I don't think they quite got the tragedy of the whole story. Which was fine, though I was a bit perturbed when Juliet stabbing herself got the loudest cheers of all.

Plus they kept woo-hooing and whistling throughout the pdd, which are more obviously erotic than MacMillan's version and has Romeo stretching Juliet on the ground. Of course they loved that. And especially during the kissing - there's a lot of kissing. It was actually quite funny and I had a giggle myself, though I was absolutely dreading the bedroom scene - it starts with Romeo's return to Juliet and they roll around in bed for a bit. I thank God that Derek Dean didn't carry through with his plan to have R+J undress and dance around in their underwear.

Of course it did get annoying at the end. I always get teary when Romeo rushes in into the tomb, his cape flying behind him. There's a moment when Romeo is dragging around Juliet's body, where he lies on his back supporting her with his arms, and gives her a little shake. It looked fake - I don't remember Edur doing that - and brought about loud laughter from the audience, breaking the mood. I won't be surprised if Coppen excludes that next time round. Similarly when Coppen lies down with Oliveira on top, pulling her arms around him, trying to "love her back to life" - I love that so I was plenty mad when the whistling started. By the time it was Oliveira's turn, I got the feeling she was a bit fed up and wanted it all to be over with. Her own death scene seemed a bit awkward and rushed.

I'd be curious to know what the dancers thought of the atmosphere. It must have been especially hard for Oliveira this being her debut and all. I wonder at the wisdom of ENB of letting her make her debut in a school matinee - perhaps they should have given it to more experienced principals, though I can't see them letting Oaks and Edur have a go. In any case, a credit to all the dancers just for making it through. I marvel at the fact that they managed to stay in character, since I kept wanting to laugh. Sweet though, how at the end this one boy in front of me gave the dancers his own mini-standing ovation. All in all, not a very memorable R+J, but a good time nonetheless.


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janet

21-06-01, 03:28 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #12
 
   Does anyone know which version will be presented in Australia - this one or the proscenium arch?


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Benj

21-06-01, 09:09 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #13
 
   Your getting the Albert Hall version.


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alison

27-06-01, 01:00 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #2
 
   It strikes me that what Anna and anyone else who'll be seeing the production in Australia also want to know is whether the performance is likely to fill the auditorium in some of the very large venues that it's touring to over there, so here are some views from that point of view as well.

My viewing of R&J this year has been split between the near stalls and the upper reaches of the circle, which is as far away as you can get in the Albert Hall, and they give very different viewpoints. The circle gives you a good overall view of the choreographic patterns, and there are no dancers' bodies in the way, but it's difficult to project emotions successfully all the way up there. (So if you're going to be sitting miles away from the stage you'd need to consider who's best at portraying their emotions in the steps and with their bodies). The person I actually found most effective at that was Vladislav Bubnov – presumably his Bolshoi heritage was a great help here – who seemed quite able to project that far, and to a lesser extent his partner, Monica Perego, although oddly enough, when I moved to sit downstairs with friends I found them rather less affecting close to! Margaret's reviewed them elsewhere, so I'll just add a few of my impressions – I was not quite as impressed as Margaret, and thought they were better in the early stages than towards the end. I suspect they may have been the most dramatically effective pairing, though I did find Perego's acting curiously stagey during the bedroom pas de deux – didn't feel she was *living* the feelings – although in the final scene she was quite believable, first thinking that Romeo had come to wake her and merely fallen asleep himself, before realising that he was actually dead.

I don't imagine that I was the only one to raise an eyebrow at the casting of Erina Takahashi and Patrick Armand together in this production: it's not an obvious pairing, as they don't appear particularly well matched either in temperament or physique – she may be petite, but, unlike him, seems to have miles of leg and arm, although he seemed to be tossing her around with great abandon despite that. I found them extremely effective together in Giselle earlier this year, but R&J was likely to be a different kettle of fish: it's a lot to ask of your least experienced principal dancer to make her debut in a truly dramatic role in somewhere as big as the Albert Hall, and Takahashi did seem to be struggling with interpretation early on in her debut, although she did come into her own rather more in the third act during the confrontation with her father. For the first couple of acts, though, there were places where I felt she was doing little more than the steps – certainly I didn't actually believe she felt a death-defying love for Romeo. (This was the only performance that I saw completely from the rear of the circle, so I may of course have missed out on some of the nuances. As far as I know, it was also the only pairing where both principals, plus several of the supporting cast, were making their debuts in the production). However, I also saw her second appearance (from far too close in the stalls), which was a distinct improvement over the first – she danced beautifully, and was rather more expressive and effective, although her interpretation still stresses Juliet's vulnerability rather than her passion. With a few more performances to get into the role, she should do quite nicely. Armand's Romeo seemed less passionately intense than those I've been used to seeing from him in the past, but then anything more would probably have swamped his Juliet. He seemed to be projecting to the circle okay, but not as clearly as Bubnov did (and that leads me to an aside: make sure you're seated at least 6 feet above stage level, so that the dancers' bodies don't obscure your view, which was a major problem. Sitting so close, I missed out on many of the major moments because there were too many extraneous dancers in the way, particularly in the ballroom and market scenes).

I didn't book for Oaks and Edur for this production, partly because the dates weren't convenient, but also as I've personally never found R&J to be one of their most convincing roles (although last time I did think from what I saw of them that they'd improved from previous years in that respect). However, to judge from the reviews a lot of people don't share that opinion, so I'm happy to be corrected.

I didn't see Klimentova and Gruzdyev this time around, although I saw them from up close last time – don't know how effective they'd be from a distance. I thought they were generally good then, possibly him more than her, although my appreciation of her performance may have been dimmed by the fact that I'd seen Tamara Rojo's the night before. In fact, if I've seemed a little less than enamoured by the Juliets in this report, it's probably because I still have strong memories of Rojo in the role, and she really was something else! The memory of the exceptional debuts of both Rojo and Johan Kobborg in the Royal Ballet's production earlier in the year may also have made me rather less satisfied with this production than previously, as you realise that in comparison it's rather more superficial and less powerful, despite (or because of?) its size.


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alison

29-06-01, 01:37 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #17
 
   Having thought out all that, I have reason to suspect that some of the pairings may have changed for Australia anyway, so what I wrote is probably fairly useless. Would any of our Australia readers like to report?


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melinda

04-10-01, 02:32 AM (GMT)
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19. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #2
 
   Hello anna,
Did you see the Romeo and Juliet performance?
If you did what state did you see it from?
I performed in act 1 scene 1 and act 2 scene 3 in Adelaide. I didn't dance, myself and four other girls from my ballet school had to act in the market scenes. It was alot of fun. The second time we wnt on stage we had to play blind man's bluff and I was blind folded. I miss the experience and I hope when the english ballet comes again, that I will be able to be part of it.... Do you do ballet?

Bye


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anna

06-10-01, 11:21 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #19
 
   Hello Melinda,
I didn't notice your mail until today!
I am not a ballet dancer I am a ballet Mother. I watched Romeo & Juliet in Sydney and with the aid of binoculars could make out my daughter who is a member of the Corps de Ballet in the Company. I hope the Company comes back again soon, and that you get a chance to be an extra in their production.
Anna


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melinda

04-10-01, 02:35 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #2
 
  
I performed in act 1 scene 1 and act 2 scene 3 in Adelaide. I didn't dance, myself and four other girls from my ballet school had to act in the market scenes. It was alot of fun. The second time we wnt on stage we had to play blind man's bluff and I was blind folded. I miss the experience and I hope when the english ballet comes again, that I will be able to be part of it. Did anyone watch it from Adelaide?

Bye


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Margaret Lumley

21-06-01, 10:36 PM (GMT)
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15. " ENB`s Romeo and Juliet -Saturday Matinee"
In response to message #0
 
  
The question all the ENB ‘regulars’ were asking was ‘Will Romeo and Juliet be the same without Derek ?’. ( Derek Deane is reputed to be on long term sick leave and has not rehearsed the company). The answer is ‘No’- it is much better this time without the attention grabbing publicity stunts like the photo shoot in ‘Loaded’ and the entreaty to the dancers to indulge in their sensual side before performing. The focus on Agnes Oaks and Tom Edur as the real life Romeo and Juliet was tasteful and entirely appropriate..

The production

The production is more of an ‘ice-show’ than ballet.120 dancers moving in formation,’busy crowd scenes and the principals being followed by a spotlight. Male dancers had to make running entrances half way up the arena to be in the centre of the action.There are novelties such as the 4 tarts who travel the length of the arena flashing their knickers, the revolving balcony and the bed that transforms itself into a tomb.

The costumes

The costumes by Roberta Giudi di Bagno were designed to give the look and feel of Renaissance Italy.The ballroom theme was red and burgundy velvet and if you sat in certain aisles you could see the quality of the evening wear close up.The quality was good- but at times the design was lacking. Putting Juliet and especially Daria Klimentova who has the ballet body to die for in a red velvet maternity smock for the ballroom scene is a travesty. Paris could be improved if he could lose the velvet biscuit tin hat.

The dancers

What a difference 3 years has made Monica Perego’s Juliet- I had always labelled her as a fine dancer who could spin like a top and expected her Juliet to be ‘knowing’,assertive with little emotional depth. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She was shy and skittish as a young girl and just got better with her ‘coup de foudre’ in the ballroom and she was so eager to get to her Romeo she jumped off the balcony before it stopped moving !Unfortunately this scene was marred by the blinding ‘searchlight’ that chased her and her partner and prevented them from fully living the roles.Despite this,she projected emotion to reach the ceiling- and it did.

Vladislav Bubnov, the dark and well schooled Russian was a gentle and sensitive Romeo. An elegant mover, everything he did was just so aesthetically pleasing and the soaring grand jetes which travelled the length of the arena certainly impressed. The sword fighting and violence were too vulgar for him. As always a convincing actor,you could not fail to be moved by his reaction after killing Tybalt and the tomb pas de deux was done with such reckless intensity that it was beautiful to watch. He is certainly Scottish Ballet’s loss and ENBs gain- and they have acknowledged it by his recent and well deserved promotion.

Daniel Jones as Tybalt was magnificent. He was a menacing, badly dressed thug always spoiling for a fight and looked most at ease with any choreography that involved violence, his sword fighting and jumping at his opponent were frightening. If Tybalt attracted trouble the leering Chang as Mercutio was attracted to the tarts like a magnet, he added some much needed wit and showed some spectacular manege.

Overall

The Saturday matinee was nearly full, so despite the flaws the production was a highly enjoyable afternoon.


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

22-06-01, 09:31 AM (GMT)
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16. "RE: ENB`s Romeo and Juliet - Thursday 21st."
In response to message #15
 
   Derek Deane’s rather crass publicity in previous years for ENB’s arena productions had until now kept me well away from the Albert Hall. But this year my wife booked tickets for Romeo and Juliet. While I feared the worst, there was no need to worry. This production was alive, full of theatre and its intentions were completely honourable. It was also good to hear the orchestra perform in a lively acoustic (a rarity in dance).

Other posters mentioned the surprise they felt as dancers rushed past them in the aisles. Nothing had prepared me for the frisson I felt at their first entrance,even if one girl gasped all too audibly “oh #####!” as she lost her footing on the stairway. It added to the gaiety of the night.(Bruce's software seems to dislike the expletive, but you get the idea).

The drawback of an arena production is that during complex action, the sightlines can be obscured as members of the corps rush past. But the advantage is the opportunity to watch the dancing very closely, as one rarely can through a proscenium arch. It is a harsh test of a company and one that ENB passed with flying colours.

Thomas Edur and Agnes Oaks were admirable. Stylistically he is quite superb. Oaks is incredibly special – a dancer, an actress and a poet of the rarest quality. A consummate artist.

I liked Derek Deane’s choreography, especially his writing for Juliet in Act 3 and her sequence of anguished duets with Paris and Lord and Lady Capulet. How much of this is special to Deane, and how much is derived, I don’t know.

Even if ENB has been through an anguished time, it is, on last night’s evidence, in very good shape. They are bringing this arena production to Australia. It should go down a treat.


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