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
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
A feast of archive footage is some compensation for this season's narrow scope
Flamenco festival's opening number is no history lesson, but the dancing's all right
Archive footage of Margot Fonteyn among the highlights of a week of ballet programmes
Lauren Cuthbertson is an Aurora to remember in this sumptuous heritage production
East meets west in this sumptuous revival of a work by Taiwanese choreographer compared with Balanchine
Circus acrobats and Shostakovich give each other a lift
Pina Bausch's company stun and delight with this long-overdue return of a historic piece
McGregor's too thinky, MacMillan too tame; Ashton and McRae are the name of the game
Treasury of male dance comes into its own with a sprawling third outing
French choreographer courts chaos by letting kids run wild on stage
Deeply disturbing dance drama is a powerful piece of theatre
Natalia Osipova is one of the great Giselle interpreters of the age