Reviews of the Royal Ballet in "Romeo and Juliet."
The Evening Standard
As it happens both started shakily. Acosta nearly lost his balance in some of the early skylarking and Rojo's nervous infantilism when she was first introduced to Paris had more Blanche DuBois than prepubescent innocence about it.
Whether by accident or design, these uncertainties only made the instant they met all the more transformative.
MacMillan’s choreography eschews the mannered gestures and commedia of earlier productions, favouring a less-is-more approach that still looks astoundingly modern today. Rojo’s supple frame makes light work of the demanding pas de deux which find her sprouting from Romeo’s pelvis and whirling passionately around his torso; at the same time her face and body language are engagingly naturalistic. Acosta is a more than capable support and his variations are as sharp and energetic as ever, but this is Rojo’s performance. Nobody with a soul can have witnessed her dance of utter dejection at finding herself (bigamously) betrothed to Paris without feeling a stab to the heart and a lump in the throat.
Pavel Sorokin conducted a driving account of Prokofiev’s score, but there was some rough-edged playing from the orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The corps de ballet gave an engaged performance, with bouncy footwork and vivid reactions.