Romeo & Juliet Ballet – REVIEW

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Romeo & Juliet Ballet – REVIEW

Elizabeth L., Reporter

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Romeo and Juliet is the extremely famous romantic tragedy by the playwright William Shakespeare. Boston Ballet, one of the most famous ballet companies in America performed their adaption of the timeless tale of star-crossed lovers this Spring. Choreographed by John Cranko, it is a gorgeous interpretation of the play.

Romeo and Juliet is the sad tale of two young people in love, caught between two extremely powerful feuding families, the Montagues and Capulets. They refuse to let that stop them from being together, and they marry secretly with the help of Friar Lawrence. Their relationship would be forbidden, and when violence between the two families separate them, they fear they will never see eachother again. After a failed ploy to bring them together, the two both end up dying in one another’s arms in a truly heart wrenching ending.

I absolutely adored this production of Romeo and Juliet. John Cranko (the choreographer) expertly choreographed every movement from the tiniest incline of the head to the grandest grand jeté to better portray the emotion of the ballet. As a dancer myself, I could tell how much time and effort was put into every miniscule aspect of this production. I have seen many ballets, and several versions of specifically Romeo and Juliet, but this was by far my absolute favorite. The highlight of this production was definitely Juliet’s Variation ( a mini solo). It has always been my favorite part of this particular ballet, but Cranko’s choreography was both based on traditional versions of this variation, and adding his own special twist to it.

The music, originally composed by Sergei Prokofiev and performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra was both powerful and lyrical. The ballet dancer who portrayed Romeo, Eric Nezha, was extremely agile and strong, and presented his emotions with such fervor I truly thought the love of his life had just died. As well, Anaïs Chalendard, the ballerina who played Juliet was extremely graceful and exquisite. Her expressions were gorgeous, her extensions (flexibility) were mind-blowing, and her pointe-work was well, on pointe! (I’m so sorry, I just had to.) The sets and costumes were colorful and true to the time period that this story was set in, and the character actors, especially Lady Capulet performed by Dalay Parrondo, were exquisite in making sure the audience understood the story. The entire production, without any words being spoken, portrayed so much emotion that I cried multiple times during the three hour production.

The Boston Globe reviewed the production and said that it was, “better than ever” and that the dancers were graceful and expressive. They also noted that Cranko changed a few aspects so it was not your standard cookie-cutter Romeo and Juliet ballet, but that it was fresh and new and that Cranko had a “eye for detail.” reviewed the production as “a classic love story turned into a fabulous ballet” and said that the dancers were breathtaking.

Overall, I expected a gorgeous, and tragic love story, and that’s what I recieved. The ballet was absolutely stunning and it was very accurate and beautiful depiction of Shakespeare’s original tragedy.


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