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drb

Dancing Romeo

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Mikhail Lavrovsky discusses performing the role of Romeo in his father's ballet Romeo and Juliet in Georgia Today:

http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=1353

A quote (he has much more to say in the full article):

...17-year-old Romeo is passionate and inexperienced, and obviously it has to be performed by a young dancer. There is a catch though because you ought to have been through a lot in your lifetime to be able to put the message across. You have to be emotionally mature to portray young enamored Romeo. But this is what art is for – to take us to a surreal, phantasmagoric world. If you were trying to convey reality in details, you would end up with a chronicle, a diary of events and not a work of art. Art and hope are related, and they show and magnify every image, and then vividly present philosophical and social aspects to the public. This is definitely an ‘over-reality’. So you have to have lived in order to portray a youngster in love....

He was in Georgia to help Nina Ananiashvili set the ballet on the company that he directed from 1983-5. The newspaper reports that the premiere received standing ovations and that the audience was well-behaved.

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If anyone was fortunate enough to have seen this production, it would be most interesting to hear more about it. :beg:

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Thank you for posting this, drb. I was also struck by this quote.

In any case, the theatre should give you a hope that something might happen, and this something might be rather good than bad. And that would mean that life is good already. The aim of the theatre is to make people convince that something what is impossible to prove does exist, and to make them believe in something ‘improvable’. That’s the job of the actors on the stage.”

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With this ballet currently in performance at the Met, Angel Corella delivering a thrilling performance (both technically and interpretively) in the first cast, it comes to mind that this role was the first that the great Julio Bocca felt compelled to relinquish.

Today on The Winger David Hallberg, who dances Romeo twice this week, commented that Romeo is

...probably the hardest ballet for a male lead.

We've seen remarks above regarding the interpretive challenges it presents. Could someone discuss the technical challenges? I seem to recall that Romeo's changes of direction had become difficult for Bocca. The many lifts, and final PdD with temporarily deceased Juliet must be physically stressful as well. In a complete performance would the emotional intensity count as part of the difficulty (even recovering from it after the performance)?

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drb, thank you THANK YOU thank you for posting the remarkable thoughts of m Lavrovsky. They are old-fashioned, Romantic, but none hte less true for all that.. Art and HOPE, wow..........

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How does one compare the L. Lavrovsky choreography to the R&J currently in rep for ABT, MacMillan? I am confused! :huh:

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How does one compare the L. Lavrovsky choreography to the R&J currently in rep for ABT, MacMillan? ...

Both are readily available on video. I especially like the movie starring Ulanova. The two choreographic versions are locked into the same episodic score, hence story and pacing are very close. Juliet is quite similar in both. It is sometimes said that MacMillan wins the PdD's and Lavrosky everything else... But that is a matter of opinion. I have read, but long ago, an imprecise memory, that Makarova introduced a more Ulanova-like version of the 'sitting on the bed thinking of how to solve the problem' scene to MacMillan's version that has stuck.

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Dear VRS fanatic, I find the Lavrovsky very old-fashioned but nonetheless overwhelmingly powerful and moving and brilliant and wonderful. It is my favorite R&J of them all. In addition to the old production with Ulanova, there is a very impressive performance by Bessmertnova in a Russian video of Grigorovich's (her husband's) production of the Lavrovsky version which I find very moving. In the bedroom scene, Bessmertnova is unbelievable.

Turned in of course, like the Bolshoi was, and with hands like tulips (which I've come to love, but it was strange at first) -- but if you can get past that, there's such majesty in her.

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Dear VRS fanatic, I find the Lavrovsky very old-fashioned but nonetheless overwhelmingly powerful and moving and brilliant and wonderful. It is my favorite R&J of them all...

Paul how much of this edge for Lavrosky's version has to do with the Bolshoi's performance tradition for Romeo and Juliet, as described by Lavrosky fils:

If you were trying to convey reality in details, you would end up with a chronicle, a diary of events and not a work of art. Art and hope are related, and they show and magnify every image, and then vividly present philosophical and social aspects to the public.

Surely what hurts MacMillan's is all those flatly chronicled details between the romance parts.

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What I meant was why discuss ABTs R&J on the M. Lavrovsky thread! :(:o:) I know both versions extremely well and cannot find any point of comparison, except maybe the music. Go ahead, discuss the Lavrovsky and discuss the MacMillan, but they cannot be compared, IMO! :yahoo::beg:

Paul, I find the Lavrovsky a masterpiece and the MacMillan adequate.

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