Sunday, 4 May 2014

Scottish Ballet's Romeo and Juliet

Hello Everyone,


I was lucky enough to get a hold of a couple of tickets to go and see Scottish Ballet's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen. I haven't seen this ballet before, and was looking forward to it. I was not disappointed. The choreography, which was a revival of Krzysztof Pastor's 2008 work, with the added effect of archival footage showing the passage of time from 1930's Verona to 1950's, and then into the 90's. 

Image courtesy of Andy Ross/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html


The first act, although slightly slow, established the story very well. An interesting introduction of Juliet walking slowly through the end of a battle highlights her almost transcendence from the violence of the feud. The simple baby blue dress that doesn't change throughout the ballet, along with Romeo's suit, contrasts with the bright colours of the Montagues, and the darker tones of the Capulet's costumes, showing the youthful innocence of the love that she and Romeo share. This is again shown in their pas de deux, which has within it the teasing and laughter that only a first teenage love can have.

Image courtesy of Andy Ross/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html

The Capulets in the beginning in an almost fascist-style black uniform are portrayed as the 'evil' of the two clans, contrasting with the easy laid back appearance of the Montagues. The classic chess black and white knight metaphor highlights the timelessness of the tale, as well as the changes in the film and costume of the dancers to reflect the passing of time.

Image courtesy of Christina Ross/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html

The second act was more action based, and did not give an awful amount of time to the principal's pas de deux. The fight scenes were perfectly choreographed, with a slightly more real feeling to it, than abstract movements. However, the finale of the ballet was beautiful, the love between the two principals was clear, moving the audience into an emotional teary silence.

Image courtesy of Andy Ross/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html

Andrew Peasgood (the alternative Romeo that we saw, the original is Erik Cavalleri) as Romeo complimented Luciana Ravizzi's (Sophie Martin as the original) Juliet beautifully. There is a lyrical connection between them that captured the young carefree love of teenagers. Although Martin does not possess the clearly more youthful appearance of a traditional Juliet, the younger face of Cavallari toned this down, pointing out the maturity of the characters, and that perhaps age doesn't really matter. This was touched upon with the pas de deux between Juliet and her mother, when she lovingly touched Juliet's lower stomach, emphasizing the maturing of a woman, and the continuation of the family line (which unfortunately will not happen). This is a poignant moment between the dancers, full of love and feeling behind it.

Image courtesy of Christina Riley/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html

The portrayal of the mother throughout the ballet is a confusing one, but one that shows off excellently the complicated role of a mother, stuck between love for her child and husband, and her loyalty to her family and its discipline. This balance was struck brilliantly by Eve Mutso, who played Lady Capulet. A striking figure in a dress of black velvet, she tried to steer her children in the direction she thought best, and protect them from outside threats. In a slight deviation from the original text, it is Lady Capulet that brings the priest to Juliet, who then gives her the potion that indirectly causes the deaths of the young lovers.

Image courtesy of Christina Riley/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html

The highlight of the ballet had to be Jamiel Laurence (Victor Zarallo as the original) in the part of Mercutio, in which he was exquisite. Ingrained into his very movement was a charisma and elegance that cannot be taught. It was he that moved you to laughter when he joked with the Capulets and to tears with the look of betrayal in his eyes as he was stabbed in the back. He was the perfect person in that role.

Image courtesy of Christina Riley/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html

I really enjoyed seeing Scottish Ballet's version of Romeo and Juliet, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone. This is a superb piece of work, and if I could go again I happily would (hint hint).

Gracexxx
Wish my grande jetes looked like that!
Image courtesy of Andy Ross/ Sourced http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/romeo-juliet/romeo-and-juliet-gallery.html