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Romeo et Juliette, Seattle 1 Feb-10 Feb; NYC 15-16


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#31 sandik

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:36 PM

Paris is a real creep.....not a noble fellow who is simply too little, too late. He sniffs her like a animal might. In the end, I liked this touch -- it really added to the contrast between the sweet, youthful love between R & J, and the strict conventions of society that normally would have married J off (presumably for political advantage) to any well connected male even if he were an animal.


I liked the piece of business very much, but wish that it had been even more explicit -- it's a fascinating possibility, and makes so much more complex a character than the Paris we usually get.

#32 Helene

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:22 PM

But a couple times during the first weekend, it seemed to me that he actually sniffed her, as if he could smell the sex. Other people I’ve asked saw it as well, so I don’t think I’m hallucinating, but we’ll see if it sticks around.


FWIW, I definitely saw this bit of business too (during the 2nd weekend also). In the moment I was put off by it, but then as I grasped this character in this production (intended or not), Paris is a real creep.....not a noble fellow who is simply too little, too late. He sniffs her like a animal might. In the end, I liked this touch -- it really added to the contrast between the sweet, youthful love between R & J, and the strict conventions of society that normally would have married J off (presumably for political advantage) to any well connected male even if he were an animal.


One thing that I found very interesting with this Lady C was her relationship to Paris. Although she’s certainly in cahoots with Tybalt, there’s an erotic charge in her work with Paris – she’s paired with him at a couple of key moments, and he seems far more familiar with her than you might think a potential son-in-law would be.


Joshua Grant did all three Paris's this weekend, because Karel Cruz injured his back and William Lin-Yee, the other Paris, did all three Friar Lawrences, and I have no one to whom to compare him. Grant's Paris is a creep. Right after he sniffs -- at least at Pantastico and Korbes, because I was watching for this Saturday afternoon and didn't notice it with Rausch, or at least it didn't register in that performance -- he pulls her head back into a forced kiss. You can see what her wedding night and the rest of her life would be like from those 30 seconds. This was not an arranged marriage where in twenty years he would ask, "Do You Love Me?"

Juliette was property, and while in some productions Paris is allowed to be a nice guy with whom Juliet could have had a nice life had she not met Romeo, just as Aurora might have been happy with any of the four Princes of Other Places had Desire not shown up, here he could have been any older and/or experienced guy who was going to deflower his young wife in 1.5 minutes and head off to his mistress or the whorehouse. It made me think of The Man She Must Marry in Tudor's "Jardin aux lilacs," not literally, in that Lady Capulet was necessarily a former mistress, but he could have been someone she might have considered, since there was no Lord Capulet around, and he had no particular interest in Juliet personally, but only whether Juliet would be a wife who fed his ego. There was a sense that she was test-driving him.

Grant's Paris shot Lady Capulet such a look of disdain walking out at the end of that bedroom scene, and to me it read very distinctly that if he were to have spoken, his words would have been, "You can't even control the bitch."

And who thought Paris was a throwaway role.

I'm sorry for the length,

Never, ever apologize for the length of what you write here. That's an order.

There&rsquo;s still a little too much silent screaming in this ballet for my taste (not just the Friar, but other characters as well &ndash; I don&rsquo;t really see much in someone mimicking a scream &ndash; I&rsquo;d rather that the choreography find a movement equivalent for that exp<b></b>ressi&#111;n)

I'm with you here. The one place I do like it is when Juliette, on her knees by his head after he dies, does the scream over him while rolling her head back in a circle.

.
But he&rsquo;s got several moments in this work that seem to borrow fairly iconic images from other choreographers &ndash; several of Juliet&rsquo;s moments with the gold scarf are a match for Wallkowitz&rsquo;s drawings of Isadora Duncan, and the long white scarf/strip of stiffened mesh that the Acolytes manipulate during the wedding scene looks very much like the white scarf from Alvin Ailey&rsquo;s Revelations.

He also had a few things that reminded me of Balanchine: off the top of my head, one where one dancer stands behind Juliette -- right now I'm blocking who did -- arm leaning on her shoulder and stretched forward and makes an arc to the outside and she follows his hand in that arc, which reminds me of an iconic gesture in Aria II of "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" and another when Friar Lawrence outstretches his arms up into a V that reminds me for a second of the last movement of "Serenade."

His Benvolio is such a Sunny Jim &ndash; Boal mentioned in one of the Q&As that he&rsquo;s been looking for this one moment after Tybalt kills Mercutio, and Benvolio is so upset that he actually shoves Tybalt &ndash; very unlike his character &ndash; and when I went to watch it the next time, I was really struck by it as well.

It is a striking moment.

Company was originally going to do Diamonds in New York but NYCB is performing it this season, so changed to Concerto B

I'm so glad they're doing this, because it will give NYC a chance to get a prolonged look at the splendid women in the corps.

Angela Sterling has made a book of her photographs, possibly available in the gift shop.

If that's the book in the gift shop, be prepared for sticker shock.

Laura Gilbreath and Jerome Tisserand are indeed getting married this summer

Posted Image to them!

Boal said he danced a balcony scene when he was with NYCB, but didn&rsquo;t mention whose

It was Sean Lavery's choreography. I'm pretty sure he was original cast with Judith Fugate. I saw them do it in Winter 1991 and Fall/Winter 1991-2, both before and after "Nutcracker." (For a while they had a week of regular programs before the "Nutcracker" run.)

#33 sandik

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:00 AM

Juliette was property, and while in some productions Paris is allowed to be a nice guy with whom Juliet could have had a nice life had she not met Romeo, just as Aurora might have been happy with any of the four Princes of Other Places had Desire not shown up, here he could have been any older and/or experienced guy who was going to deflower his young wife in 1.5 minutes and head off to his mistress or the whorehouse. It made me think of The Man She Must Marry in Tudor's "Jardin aux lilacs," not literally, in that Lady Capulet was necessarily a former mistress, but he could have been someone she might have considered, since there was no Lord Capulet around, and he had no particular interest in Juliet personally, but only whether Juliet would be a wife who fed his ego. There was a sense that she was test-driving him.

Grant's Paris shot Lady Capulet such a look of disdain walking out at the end of that bedroom scene, and to me it read very distinctly that if he were to have spoken, his words would have been, "You can't even control the bitch."

And who thought Paris was a throwaway role.


No kidding -- my subtitle line was "damaged goods," but it amounts to the same thing. Your comment about property reminded me of another production of the play I heard about many years ago -- the producers were quite broke and so when they had to costume the ballroom scene they went to a thrift store that happened to have a stash of 1960s prom dresses -- all pastels and all fairly simple lines. They dressed their ensemble women in those, and made a single costume for Juliet, very elaborate, and the exact opposite of what we used to assume we would see (fashionable ensemble and innocent Juliet) -- it really emphasized the fact that she was the daughter of the house and was on the marriage market -- she looked like she was wearing the contents of their treasury.

He also had a few things that reminded me of Balanchine: off the top of my head, one where one dancer stands behind Juliette -- right now I'm blocking who did -- arm leaning on her shoulder and stretched forward and makes an arc to the outside and she follows his hand in that arc, which reminds me of an iconic gesture in Aria II of "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" and another when Friar Lawrence outstretches his arms up into a V that reminds me for a second of the last movement of "Serenade."


And the posturing that Lady C does in Juliet's bedchamber -- there's that gesture the Siren does in Prodigal Son with one arm up and the other down, both of them bent at wrist and elbow to angle out from the body.


Angela Sterling has made a book of her photographs, possibly available in the gift shop.

If that's the book in the gift shop, be prepared for sticker shock.

Thanks for the heads-up!


Boal said he danced a balcony scene when he was with NYCB, but didn’t mention whose

It was Sean Lavery's choreography. I'm pretty sure he was original cast with Judith Fugate. I saw them do it in Winter 1991 and Fall/Winter 1991-2, both before and after "Nutcracker." (For a while they had a week of regular programs before the "Nutcracker" run.)


Ah, that explains that!

#34 SandyMcKean

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

Grant's Paris shot Lady Capulet such a look of disdain walking out at the end of that bedroom scene, and to me it read very distinctly that if he were to have spoken, his words would have been, "You can't even control the bitch."


That's exactly how I felt about Paris's exit. Another great moment......

There's still a little too much silent screaming in this ballet for my taste

I'm with you here.


Here, I am in the opposite camp. I love all the silent "screaming" in this ballet. Every "scream" gives me goose bumps every time!

#35 Helene

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

I'm trying to ID one of the Montague women who danced at least Sunday afternoon. She was in a brownish dress, had dark blond or light brown hair (at least in the lighting), a full face, and was shorter than some of the other women, which is where my conundrum comes in. The program I have lists the Sunday cast as Mullin, Murphy, Nelson, Neuville, and Samuelson; the Saturday performances list Anspach, Clark, Love, and O'Connor as Montagues, and the corps substitutions aren't noted.

Neuville and Clark have darker hair, and O'Connor and Love are too tall. I don't have a sense of how tall Nelson is, and from the photos in the program, face shape of the dancer I'm trying to identify looked most similar to Pasch, who's listed as a Capulet. On the other hand, I've never been able to recognize Samuelson from her photo, so that may be moot.

Can anyone ID the dancer I mean?


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