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Mandolin Dance in R&J

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After watching the very impressive Steven McRae Mandolin dance on youtube, I was confused.

At ABT (basically the same production) the Mandolin dance is a tour de force for Mercutio. But the Royal version--well he was dressed like the rest of the Mandolin players and certainly didn't appear to be Mercutio.

After watching the Fonteyn and Nureyev version (all of which is on youtube), this was confirmed (as was someone's comment in an earlier thread that the leapfrogs were a later addition)

Any ideas why there is this difference between the productions?

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if memory serves macmillan began having his mandolin dance led by mercutio when it was staged at ABT, tho' even there there were times when a lead-mandolin-dancer was also cast - robert wallace for ex. - the original was keith rosson - who was only shown in this 'lead' - the first cast mercutio was david blair. i don't know that the mercutio/mandolin dancer duality ever took place inte royal ballet production but UK members will know for certain.

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if memory serves macmillan began having his mandolin dance led by mercutio when it was staged at ABT, tho' even there there were times when a lead-mandolin-dancer was also cast - robert wallace for ex. - the original was keith rosson - who was only shown in this 'lead' - the first cast mercutio was david blair. i don't know that the mercutio/mandolin dancer duality ever took place inte royal ballet production but UK members will know for certain.

BRB uses a "lead mandolin dancer" rather than Mercutio (and the costumes for this version of the dance are absolutely hideous!). The only comment I can make on the RB is that in the few performances I have seen there, it has not been Mercutio.

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