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Subject: "RB Romeo and Juliet" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2681
Reading Topic #2681

01-05-02, 07:18 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to send private message to Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
"RB Romeo and Juliet"
   So what do esteemed contributors think about Alina's Juliet last night...

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: RB Romeo and Juliet PhilipBadmin 01-05-02 1
     RE: RB Romeo and Juliet Cathryn 01-05-02 2
         RE: RB Romeo and Juliet smelly 01-05-02 4
     RE: RB Romeo and Juliet emma 01-05-02 3
         RE: RB Romeo and Juliet Helen 01-05-02 5
             RE: RB Romeo and Juliet sylvia 01-05-02 6
                 RE: RB Romeo and Juliet Cathryn 01-05-02 9
     RE: RB Romeo and Juliet MAB 01-05-02 7
         RE: RB Romeo and Juliet Paul A 01-05-02 8
             RE: RB Romeo and Juliet Michael LL 02-05-02 10
  RE: RB Romeo and Juliet alison 02-05-02 11

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01-05-02, 08:24 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail PhilipB Click to send private message to PhilipB Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #0
   Not sure if I qualify as 'esteemed', but I'll have a go anyway.
I saw Rojo and Murru on Monday as well, so I have some context for this. I thought Rojo was especially fine - her dancing was very good, as expected, and her acting superb. (And that gorgeous first lift, by David Pickering as Paris, was sublime.) She looked completely exhausted, emotionally, for her first curtain call which just shows how much she put into the role.

Around the two leads on Monday, though, I thought some of the support was shocking. The dancing vignettes peppered throughout the evening were so poorly executed in terms of the dancers being together on turns and jump I sometimes wondered if the dancers were deliberately not trying to be in synch. Even their positions relative to each other were poor. Mercutio (Bennet Gartside) and Benvolio (Ed Watson) looked like they hadn't rehearsed together at all, they were so poor when dancing together. And the Harlots needed to just follow Vanessa Palmer who knows exactly what to do with the music - the others seemed to be hearing a different tune.

But last night... a closer viewing position meant I couldn't see such things as well and focused more on the leads. Not that one had to make an effort - Kobborg is the finest dancer at the Royal, after Acosta, and danced and acted royally. And Alina... what can one say. The audience went slightly nuts after Act 1 and at the end gave one of the most enthusiastic reponses I have heard. The House put the lights on when there was at least one more call in them. She is utterly beguiling, a completely innocent and childish Juliet made wholly tragic by her instant overwhelming adult love for Romeo. The moment when Romeo first saw Juliet was magical, and the 'balcony' pdd out of this world. Such romance.

I haven't seen anyone as so-obviously great as Alina is right now. I wonder, do people with a longer history of ballet than myself recall anyone who was so destined for greatness from Year 1? She isn't merely very very good, like Bussell was at her age, she looks likely to be considered the greatest ballerina of her generation when she's finally done. Who else has been so striking so young? Maybe that's a separate thread.

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01-05-02, 09:33 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Cathryn Click to send private message to Cathryn Click to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #1
   Not being remotely esteemed myself, I'm still recovering from it. Alina was just fabulous. I had dreadful dreadful seats so missed SO much of the action, but the bits I saw were just breathtaking. I completely agree with Philip above that she went from innocence to desperation, and it was just heartbreaking. I've never heard applause like it.

I also thought the harlots were fantastic. They were having so much fun!!

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01-05-02, 10:02 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail smelly Click to send private message to smelly Click to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #2
   She was absolutely out of this world, simply amazing. It is the second time i have seen her as Juliet and i would gladly see her do it a million more times. It goes without saying that Kobborg was good (although i wouldn't say it was the best performance i have seen him do) and i enjoyed the three harlots. Parts of the rest of it was a bit scrappy - a little underehearsed perhaps, but Alina lit up the stage whenever she was dancing.

Possibly the most beautiful, moving and convincing individual performances i have seen.

getting quite carried away here...

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01-05-02, 09:58 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail emma Click to send private message to emma Click to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #1
>Around the two leads on Monday,
>though, I thought some of
>the support was shocking.

Definatly not esteemed.
I was there Monday too and didn't really enjoy it
The spacing looked so strange and everyone seemed a little 'flat', that monday feeling perhaps?

Rojo was beautiful though.

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01-05-02, 10:09 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Helen Click to send private message to Helen Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #3
   With reference to PhilipB's post, the dancer I thought destined for greatness from the moment I set eyes on him was Anthony Dowell. I can't think of a woman I have felt was in the same class.

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01-05-02, 11:54 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail sylvia Click to send private message to sylvia Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
6. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #5
   I had terrible seats with not one but TWO very tall people in front of me but enjoyed last night anyway.

I guess I'm not so attached to the old set because I think the new one looks so beautiful, with a much grander feeling and it works so well. I love the image of Juliet on the balcony wandering between the columns where the ballerina's whole body is so much more exposed than the on old set.

The RB looks in such great shape in this production but I have to confess I wasn't paying much attention to the goings-on on the sidelines (next time, I promise!) Johan Kobborg - well I keep repeating myself with this guy! He's not only the finest dancer I've ever seen (such beautiful, expressive and exhuberent solos), he is a truely brilliant actor as well. Any other dancer I could happily watch from the back of the amphi, but with Johan I WANT to sit up close so I see all those subtle changes of expression. He looked so surprisingly young, so boyish and impetuous. I think what was most memorable for me were the moments after their first encounter in the ballroom with Alina on one side of the stage snatching little glances at Romeo while Johan was gazing into the auditorium, looking so starry-eyed and stunned at what he had just seen - I loved that! I actually do think it was the performance of his life. Yes, I'm probably one of the few who was even more dazzled by Johan than Alina! But it's good to see Alina dance this role at such the right time in her life. They're two such extraordinary dancers on their own and I'm sure it's their partnership that will be one of the "greats". And it was awfully cute to overhear some in the audience speculating if they really were a couple because they looked so in love!

Martin Harvey also impressed as Mercutio and I thought the three of them, Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio looked really good, on the music, in sync and all that. Ivan Putrov was terrific as the lead Mandolin dancer. The sword-fighting was REALLY enthusiastic! Great audience, lots of extra curtain calls

Very special evening, so much that the tiny little mishaps just added to it. Such a pity Alina and Johan got only one! They confirmed they danced the schools matinee - can I say again, those lucky kids! This is one of those casts you want to see again for the little things you might have missed or to see if they would do it any differently. I can't believe it's going to be another couple years, maybe more, before we get another chance.

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01-05-02, 02:02 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Cathryn Click to send private message to Cathryn Click to add this user to your buddy list  
9. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #6
   TOTAL speculation which I know is roundly condemned on Ballet.co.uk but I wondered if they were genuinely loved up as well. If not, they're fabulous actors - which we've already regonised!!

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01-05-02, 12:05 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail MAB Click to send private message to MAB Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #1
   >I haven't seen anyone as so-obviously
>great as Alina is right
>now. I wonder, do people
>with a longer history of
>ballet than myself recall anyone
>who was so destined for
>greatness from Year 1?

At the Royal Ballet, only Lesley Collier.

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Paul A

01-05-02, 02:01 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Paul%20A Click to send private message to Paul%20A Click to add this user to your buddy list  
8. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #7
>>who was so destined for
>>greatness from Year 1?
>At the Royal Ballet, only Lesley

Collier never did for me: Ferri as Juliet was a revelation.

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Michael LL

02-05-02, 02:29 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Michael%20LL Click to send private message to Michael%20LL Click to add this user to your buddy list  
10. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #8
   Alina Cojocaru is a truly wonderful Juliet and one wonders how she will develop in the years to come. The detail and intelligence of her acting is awesome and she was immensely moving in Act 3. I have seen many Juliets in the last 20 years, but she made me see things I have never noticed before. She is an utterly natural performer, and the dance just flows from her as part of her personality. She is also unusual in that whilst most very young Juliets are overwhelming in Act I (Ferri and Wildor come to mind)and take some time to grow into Act III (as Rojo has now done), Alinas Act III is already heartbreaking. Such a star, and I hope she isn't tempted away or overworked. Kobborg complements her perfectly and dances most beautifully as Romeo, with some superbly controlled turns. Harvey has great presence as Mercutio but is not (yet?) a good enough dancer for the ballroom solo - nowhere near fast enough. Muriel Valtat as the Nurse was tender and touching, and Vanessa Palmer, ever dependable, acted and danced with great elan as the Lead Harlot

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02-05-02, 05:41 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
11. "RE: RB Romeo and Juliet"
In response to message #0
   Would you like to know about Johan's Romeo, Martin's Mercutio etc. as well, Bruce?

All I can say is that I was halfway back in the amphitheatre and a lot of it unfortunately didn't carry back that far. Even with standard opera glasses - what I usually use at that location - I was pushed to see several people's expressions, particularly Alina's, partly due to dim lighting, I think. A friend with full-scale x8 mag. binoculars, however, said that she could see that she was acting well (I'll remember to bring binoculars for Rojo, when I'm even further back in the amphi!). Having seen both of them in their debut last year from the balcony, and commented so positively on how good and detailed Kobborg's acting was then, I know that I must have missed out on an awful lot in terms of not being able to read their facial expressions. Still, beggars can't be choosers, and with only one performance scheduled it was natural that a lot of the audience had to put up with seats rather worse than they are used to. But I do wish I'd managed to see it from closer to.

Their dancing was generally fantastic, though, apart from a few points in the first act where I thought Cojocaru's extensions unnecessarily high and rather unattractive, and a minor problem in Kobborg's ballroom solo. (Kobborg has the distinction of being one of a very small number of Romeos that I've ever seen - Bruce Sansom being another - who manages not to make that solo look just a touch clumsy). The balcony scene in particular was highly impressive technically, and they danced so well together Alina is so light (or seems it, anyway) that at one moment Johan just seemed to sweep her up into a lift with just one arm, and at another he seemed not to touch ground between two of his jumps, although of course he must have done. I did feel that Alina's performance was less passionate and more innocent throughout than some I've seen, but again possibly that was my less than ideal viewpoint?

Otherwise, though, I found the performance less than stellar. I was going to comment that in the less experienced castings of Romeo & Juliet it'd be useful to have more experienced dancers in the supporting roles, until I checked my back catalogue of cast sheets and realised that there are hardly any left in the company, with the exception of Jonathan Howells, who's been dancing Benvolio for some years now (and it shows). Martin Harvey as Mercutio I think needs some more experience in the role, but I did think that Bennet Gartside looked like a potentially promising Tybalt. (I'm never satisfied with ENB's production I was complaining that Mercutio and Tybalt were rather outshining the principals!). Overall, though, I felt that more attention needed to be paid to the other dancers some tidying up was certainly needed, as some of the ensemble work looked rather untidy. And I've never been as aware of how long and drawn-out the final act is in this production I was getting really quite fidgety by the end.

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