Batsuchan

Romeo & Juliet--Spring 2013 MET season

65 posts in this topic

I'm on board for Matthews as well. He has outdone himself this season, and reached a whole new level. He is definitely principal material. I hope Hammoudi will be back from his injury soon.

As for the Semionova/Hallberg Swan Lake on Monday night, right now there are very few seats available, although of course certain ABT "hold/VIP" seats might be released tomorrow or Monday morning.

Share this post


Link to post

I'll post more later, but I just want to add a few words about the June 15th matinee with Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns. Gillian was her fantastic self throughout the ballet. She has really become a very accomplished actress. For some reason Cory was off during most of Act I. He's always been a very strong partner and he seemed to have difficulties partnering Murphy in the ballroom scene and the beginning of the balcony scene. HIs solo dancing in Act I was off too. He even put down his hand at one point. But fortunatelty Stearns got his act together for Acts II and III. He and Murphy are very good together. He was such an innocent young Romeo. I already mentioned this in another post but Arron Scott was just perfect as Mercutio. I still think he takes way too long to die, but that's not the dancer's decision to make. I was also extemely impressed by Roman Zhurbin as Tybalt. Usually he plays much older characters and I had no idea until yesterday what he actually looked like. His Tybalt was definitely the Capulet running the show. He was extemelty powerful and actually evil. After he kills Mercutio, Zhurbin's Tybalt has absolutely no regrets. And I think it's quite fitting that the last thing he was reaching before he died was his sword. I will post more about this performance later, either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

Share this post


Link to post

Here are my further thoughts on the June 15th matinee of ABT's 'Romeo and Juliet'.

Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is the adaptation of this work I have seen most frequently. It is also the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ which has the ability to touch me most deeply. This is certainly true of the June 15th matinee of this ballet.

On Saturday afternoon Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns are very natural, unaffected young lovers. Unfortunately, Stearns’ performance is off during Act I. He is usually a very secure partner, but Stearns has obvious problems partnering Murphy during the ballroom pas de deux and at the beginning of the balcony pas de deux. As the balcony scene progresses, however, he finds his groove. Stearns’ solo dancing as well is not up to his usual standard during Act I. At one point he even puts his hand down, looking as if he is trying to avoid a fall. During Acts II and III, though, Stearns is back in form with regard to his dancing, partnering and acting. He is such an innocently realistic Romeo. Especially during Act II of the ballet, Stearns actually becomes the character.

Gillian Murphy has long been a technically gifted dancer, but she has become a superb actress as well. Murphy’s Juliet has a very expressive face and she clearly shows the full range of Juliet’s emotions – from love to fear to sadness. Murphy also uses her body to delineate Juliet’s evolution from a fourteen year old child to a young woman whose love for her husband is all encompassing.

Arron Scott is a phenomenal Mercurtio with regard to both his dancing and his acting. Scott is a happy go lucky Mercutio whose leaps have great elevation and whose turns are dizzyingly exciting. I really think Scott should be promoted to the soloist ranks at ABT. I have never seen Luis Ribagorda before but I am very impressed with his Benvolio.

Roman Zhurbin is a powerfully evil Tybalt who is the real leader of the Capulet family. He seems to believe that it is his duty to rid Verona of the Montague clan and all their supporters. After he kills Mercutio, Zhurbin’s Tybalt shows absolutely no remorse and immediately starts to go after Romeo. His last act before he dies is to reach for his sword.

Victor Barbee is a weak and ineffective Lord Capulet. Kristi Boone is a commanding haughty Lady Capulet, who shows a mother's grief when her nephew, Tybalt, has been killed by Romeo.

I hope ABT continues to dance Kenneth MacMillan's beautiful production of 'Romeo and Juliet' for many years to come.

Share this post


Link to post

I thought Osipova and Hallberg stuck more closely to the choreography of R&J than last year. Last year I thought Osipova, in particular, took too many liberties with the choreography.

Did anyone see Kent and Bolle on Sat evening?

Share this post


Link to post

I saw three performances - Vishneva/Gomes, Osipova/Hallberg and Kent/Bolle. It's hard to say which I enjoyed the most! It's just my most favorite ballet and I could have seen it ten more times. I think the cast I enjoyed the least was Kent/Bolle - while their PDDs were beautiful and they do have a great partnership, it was a little lackluster to me. It will probably come as no surprise that Kent struggled with some of the solo work and her acting didn't seem fresh at all. I always watch other Juliets and think that their bourrees backwards, away from Paris, are never as good as Kent's that I have seen in the past - but on Saturday, she even struggled with these - one of the surest signs I think of her diminishing technical capacity. Also, Bolle who I normally don't worry about at all really struggled in the gate dance with Mercutio and Benvolio. He fell out of turns and also just completely missed some of the steps. Supporting cast was great though! It was fun to see Blaine Hoven back as Benvolio and Roman Zhurbin as Lord Capulet. Grant DeLong is my new favorite Paris and Sascha Radetsky gave another great turn as Tybalt - his death scene was so forceful he actually did a backwards somersault while falling back off the stairs. Salstein was fun-as-ever and technically great as Mercutio, although I do not love his death scene. (I think Matthews' is better in this regard).

Gomes is by far my favorite Romeo - ever. Others said his dancing was somewhat low-energy on Monday and I do agree that it wasn't as pinpoint as it usually is, but that didn't take away from his overall performance for me. Vishneva was gorgeous but her portrayal isn't my favorite. Basically same great supporting cast as above except for Simkin as Benvolio - he was just fine. But Gomes' interactions with his supporting cast is one of the things that sets him apart. His rapport with Salstein and the Harlots is superb and helps make his Romeo so believable.

I really loved Osipova on Friday - her energy was really high and you got the sense that she was truly enjoying the role, which was great. Her weightlessness and quickness perfectly lent itself to Juliet's youthfulness. I don't know that she has 100% nailed the role yet, but I thought it a great compromise between Vishneva's overacting (IMO) and Kent's subtlety, and felt the most genuine to me. It was really great to see Hallberg dance so wonderfully on Friday - I haven't seen him dance that well in a long time and had started to forget why he was such a superstar. I wish I was seeing him in something else before he goes back to Moscow. HOWEVER, he is not Romeo to me so that was a bit of a let down. I'm loving Matthews a lot this season, as it seems others are too, and thought his Mercutio was very good. Gorak danced wonderfully as Benvolio but didn't nail the character in my opinion. I was glad to see Nicola Curry as Lady Capulet because I think she is a great actress and dancer, but it didn't compare to Stella Abrera's portrayal.

Share this post


Link to post

The gate dance is the dance that Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo perform at the front gate of Juliet's home before they sneak into the party.

Share this post


Link to post

But Gomes' interactions with his supporting cast is one of the things that sets him apart. His rapport with Salstein and the Harlots is superb and helps make his Romeo so believable.

I have the impression that his interaction with soloists is so compelling because it reflects genuine friendship and respect, not acting (although he is a superb actor as well). One of his many endearing qualities is the way he always signals back to the soloists and corps to acknowledge their contributions during curtain calls. He himself worked his way up through the corps and soloist ranks, so that partially explains it, of course, but it always seems very genuine to me.

Share this post


Link to post

But Gomes' interactions with his supporting cast is one of the things that sets him apart. His rapport with Salstein and the Harlots is superb and helps make his Romeo so believable.

I have the impression that his interaction with soloists is so compelling because it reflects genuine friendship and respect, not acting (although he is a superb actor as well). One of his many endearing qualities is the way he always signals back to the soloists and corps to acknowledge their contributions during curtain calls. He himself worked his way up through the corps and soloist ranks, so that partially explains it, of course, but it always seems very genuine to me.

Yes I definitely agree. (Sorry if it seemed like I was saying it was all an act). But I also think that David Hallberg is genuinely friends with a lot of these dancers too - he had a similar trajectory to Marcelo's - and yet it doesn't come across as much so I think it's in the way that they interpret the role different, and for me, Gomes' is much more affective and winning.

Share this post


Link to post

Speaking of the Gate dance (also know as Masks dance), did any of the Romeos nail the turns? Everyone that I saw struggled with them. In the past I've seen dances (including Gomes) do the double-extend-double turns flawlessly.

Share this post


Link to post

Speaking of the Gate dance (also know as Masks dance), did any of the Romeos nail the turns? Everyone that I saw struggled with them. In the past I've seen dances (including Gomes) do the double-extend-double turns flawlessly.

If I am remembering correctly, Herman's turns were spot on in the Gate Scene. I always look to this scene as a real hallmark of how well the main gentlemen are cast against each other; I love this dance. I enjoyed the 3 being similar in build but Benvolio kept "drawing my eye" and not in a good way. At a point when they all 3 should have been together, Mr. Simkin was a bit wild in his execution and I kept thinking he was about to break into a solo while Romeo and Mercutio were perfectly matched.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, Herman's execution of these turns were perfect.

Share this post


Link to post

I think that Herman was already spinning in the womb and that he came out spinning!

Share this post


Link to post

I only saw Osipova and Hallberg on June 14. In Act III I liked her best in the limp scene--I thought she overacted a bit (but did not have Vishneva with whom to compare). I called that performance "Romeo and Osipova"--

Acts I and II were fine, though she appealed to me more as Kitri than Juliet.

Share this post


Link to post

Hmm... I really say that I would not be so excited by seeing Cornejo. I prefer Hallberg's Romeo ... His elegance is beyond words. I think the elegance is most important in ballet. Sadly in recent years it is almost forgotten. I also like Gomes's Romeo. His movements and acting are so princely, too. Of course their technique is awesome.

However, it depends on individual tastes. I understand other people's taste.

Share this post


Link to post