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Old Fashioned

Romeo & Juliet

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Along with an updated website (yay!), casting for R&J has been posted. The four Juliets are Sara Webb, Barbara Bears, Leticia Oliveira, and Mireille Hassenboehler, dancing with Simon Ball, Zdenek Konvalina, Ian Casady, and Marcelo Gomes ( :wub: didn't realize he would be guesting again), respectively.

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The review of opening night.

And yet — while the Houston Ballet corps brings youthful vigor to every market scene — how many market scenes with folksy dances can an audience take today? With the kind of magnificent-looking but cumbersome sets few ballet companies can afford anymore, this 1987 production is also full of necessary road-humps: Interlude scenes in which dancers parade through some silly or solemn business downstage while the heavy furniture shifts behind a scrim.

Maybe we need to learn to slow down again, to savor such beauty. But a friend may have summed it up best when we decided Romeo & Juliet was like Godiva candy: A worthwhile indulgence, but it feels a little like eating the whole box at once.

R&J is far from being my favorite ballet, but does anyone else get the impression the reviewer is speaking of multiple-act story ballets in general while implying mime is unnecessary?

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I feel that the critic here may actually be commenting on Stevenson's particular version. The complaint here- about so much mime and village folkdancing, echoes the review I just read of Ballet Florida's production of Stevenson's Dracula. I haven't seen Stevenson's R&J- so I don't know for sure, but I have seen his Dracula, as performed by Houston Ballet, and I remember that while the production was gorgeous to look at, there was NO dancing. I could see how R&J could lend itself to the same choreographic treatment.

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