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Romeo and Juliet -- Ferri, et al.


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#16 Dale

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:21 AM

I think one could look to Prokofiev's score as a problem with this Romeo and Juliet or MacMillian, who, in the handful of ballets I've seen of his, is not a very musical choreographer. In an article by Jane Simpson (either in Dance View or Dance Now) suggested his career was thwarted by the desire or need by MacMillian to make evening-length ballets rather than shorter ones, which he had done earlier in his career. It seems to be the padding in all his evening-length works that makes his works fail for me. He is not a good mover of people as other choreographers are. The pas de deux in R&J are the most successful part of the ballet (and I've already made my feelings known about this work elsewhere on the board and many times). That is where his talent lies, for me at least.

Regarding Prokofiev, Balanchine did not get along with him. In a Ballet Review article, Mr. B said that in the old days only composers got residuals from performances. He was very broke and asked Prokofiev if he would share in the money as it was a collaboration. Prokofiev said absolutely not. And Balanchine vowed never to work with him again. And I don't think he did. That could have been why he periodically let the ballet drop from the rep. until he just absolutely found a prodigal that excited him.

As to choreography to Porkofiev, I am a big fan of Ashton's version of Cinderella, but not Stevenson's.

#17 Alexandra

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:25 AM

Jane's article on MacMillan was for Danceview, and it's on line, Kenneth MacMillan, For Better or Worse?

#18 beckster

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 08:03 AM

MacMillian, who, in the handful of ballets I've seen of his, is not a very musical choreographer


Is this a widely-held view? I agree with it, but I've only seen a couple of Macmillan ballets. However, based on this, I suspect this may be the reason why I didn't enjoy Manon or R&J as much as I hoped to. Maybe Macmillan is too freestyle for me :)

#19 Kate B

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 08:43 AM

...but I agree that the pas de deux are exquisite from my limited experience.

#20 Alexandra

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 08:45 AM

Kate, there are some people who've been watching MacMillan for 30 years and love his ballets (and others who don't) so experience isn't necessarily a factor. I'm not a fan of his story ballets, but I've seen performances of the pas de deux that were extraordinary; same with "Manon."

#21 wjglavis

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 02:18 AM

No time to post at length but having seen what everyone else has been saying feel I have to say a BIG, BIG thank you to Sylvia for a posting with which I am in almost total agreement (apart from a few comments re dancers).

I've seen three casts for R&J and liked them all. Was knocked out by Ferri and Roberto but have to say I was, in a way, even more impressed by Yoshida (an intensity of despair I hadn't expected from her and a wonderful youthfulness in the first act) and was really, really impressed by Mara and Johan (preferred her to Ferri and absolutely agree with you Sylvia about taking the letter to Friar L. bit. Johan also gave an extremely convincing account of a young man deeply in love.)

Surely the point of the harlots is to explore different emotional layers: harlots= pure sex, Rosaline = unrealistic, idealized romantic love, Juliet = the real thing and MORE. Though of course there is another parallel between Juliet and the harlots in that Juliet's love is basically being sold to Paris as part of some sort of family alliance.

The street scenes ARE confusing (but great for those of us who've seen the ballet many times because there are so many individual performances to watch) and crowded, noisy and violent but that is the point of them (in Shakespeare as well) since they throw the love between Romeo and Juliet into greater relief.

I adored the music (despite a certain amount of duff playing by the guesting orchestra on Friday night) and thought myself very, very lucky indeed to have seen so many cracking performances - including many by some of the younger members of the company. And I can't have been the only one who was loving it all - we had roars of applause for the last night.

Oh, and I've enjoyed all the Manons in this run as well.

- Wendy

#22 danciegirlmaria

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 04:22 AM

Does anyone know if the divine picture of Johan and Alina in the Romeo and Juliet programme can be found any where else, eg. online or to buy? I know it was taken by Bill cooper but can't get much further than that........
I just think it's gorgeous- such a shame she was injured....... because her partnership with Johan is so perfect.
Did anyone see them in Manon? I was unfortunate enough to see the one where she ended flat on her face but non the less in the first Act when Mr. GM see's Manon for the first time, the look on his face he was incredible.......he was 110% in love with her from the moment he sees her......
Sorry that turned out to be a little longer than I had planned, I can't help but get carried away when I talk about those two :D


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