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Romeo & Juliet
A magnificent production of Prokofiev’s exquisite ballet from The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.
Juliet is danced by Spanish ballerina Tamara Rojo whose impeccable technique makes her without question the best dramatic ballerina in the world. Her Juliet performance in this production sets the standards for all future ballerinas who dare to tackle Kenneth MacMillan's superb choreography.
Carlos Acosta (who we saw and enjoyed so much in “Spartacus”) matches Tamara's artistic brilliance, the two of them showing just why they have been hailed as one of the finest ballet couples ever!
The drama of the star-crossed lovers is beautifully presented with ravishing sets and wonderful costumes. This will be a night at the ballet to remember for a very long time!
Almost everyone found this ballet hugely enjoyable. However, some did feel that the production itself was showing its age.
There were some comments about the sound being occasionally too loud, but in fact this is because the score—and the recording—have some impressive passages that wake up your subwoofer!
However, everyone agreed that the two principals made it into something very special, enthusiastically applauding along with the Covent Garden audience, particularly during the curtain calls.
“The staging is classical, some of the ensemble numbers are disappointing. On the other hand, the 2 stars are wonderful and carry the show forward. They really live their characters.”
“Outstanding dancers in a staging that is a little too rigid. Wonderful music.”
“I enjoyed the interpretation, the music and the costumes, but liked the choreography a little less. It seemed to lack momentum at times.”
“There is a rich and wonderful intensity of emotion in the second part with greater fluidity and scenic invention.”
“Still a problem of too many close-ups of fast moving action for my taste. Makes me dizzy. Close-ups were fine when there was less movement. Otherwise, very good.”
“I very much liked the costumes and the masked characters. I actually prefer singing to dancing, but I enjoyed myself because I loved the music.”
“Loved the dancers, loved the clothes. The music was a little strong in places, but I could almost hear every instrument individually.”
“Perfect production. Luxurious, technically perfect, outstanding dancers. But the choreography and dramatic interpretation was a little ‘dated’. The choreography lacked some of the sensuality expressed in the music.”
“Perfect dancing from Romeo and Juliet. Music a little too loud at times. Not enough light. Unfortunate tendency to have everything going on against a background of darkness.”
“Loved the costumes. The acting was also impeccable. A few scenes warranted more dramatic dancing but for the most part that was thoroughly made up for by what seemed to be on the light side. I loved it!”
“I’m afraid I didn’t like the enormous stage mostly in darkness with the half lit foreground. Found many characters overdressed and little distinction between the Capulets and Montagus.”
“Loved the ‘pas de deux’ between Romeo and Juliet—an exceptional, sexual, passionate performance. I held my breath throughout. They were magical together. The real feeling of love came through in their dancing and acting throughout the whole performance. Memorable.”
“Beautiful costumes, beautiful colours. Staging too academic. Very high technical proficiency shown by Tamara and Carlos.”
“I liked the whole show. Beautiful colours. Magnificent actors. No need for words to understand the story. On the other hand, certain passages did seem slightly over long.”
Dancing / performance: A-
HDVD production: A-
Overall ranking: A-
In addition to the usual Jury ratings we are now also conducting a survey into whether Jury members want to see this production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.
Here are the main findings for “Romeo & Juliet”.
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"
And most interestingly of all:
A noteworthy 65 % answered "Significantly better, rather better or comparable.
NB: This Jury included at least 4 frequent opera/ballet goers, plus a ballet dancer who was a member of the Maurice Béjart troupe.
It also included 5 members who claimed to have little or no experience of “the real thing”.