Romeo and Juliet, Royal Ballet | Dance reviews, news & interviews
Romeo and Juliet, Royal Ballet
A couple off-stage bring Latin blood and smells to the evergreen ballet classic
The finish regenerated - yes, as if for the first time - the horror of imagining yourself alone with the dead body of your only love
It suddenly stepped up in stakes when in a tempo change in Nuñez’s solo, she made her preference for Romeo clear, and he rushed heedlessly to her to clutch her around the waist and lift her. A pact of love sealed, the wheels of fate regeared on a risky new road. In another observant detail, they both had a way of halting, holding each other’s gaze in stillness, holding time suspended for a heartbeat.
Of such true details was a tapestry stitched that richly represented the immortal, constantly retreaded young lovers, and led to a finish of powerful emotions, regenerating - yes, as if for the first time - the horror of imagining yourself alone with the dead body of your only love, and killing yourself alone in the stone-cold dark.
But the impact and integrity of a performance like this rests on a serene amplitude of general excellence in the characterising. Elizabeth McGorian’s Lady Capulet is an evergreen marvel, the most elegantly dutiful of wives to the irascible, dangerous Capulet of Gary Avis, and her breakdown over Tybalt’s body was, as ever, a cameo of stunning grief. A quirky, sweet Nurse from Kristen McNally, and an eyecatching marmoreal Rosaline from Melissa Hamilton (whose debut as Juliet in March I eagerly await).
Much of this well-knit dramatic playing rests on the high quality of the orchestral delivery of the dark forces of Prokofiev’s music - praise to conductor Pavel Sorokin, who for me suits this heavier score better than Prokofiev’s scintillating Cinderella.
- The Royal Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet until 31 March
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