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Juliet and Romeo at the Kennedy Center 2016

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I took in the opening night of the Juliet and Romeo run at the Kennedy Center. It was, well, different, but not always in a way that impressed me. There wasn't much of a plot; just a lot of dancing with an occasional scene from Romeo and Juliet thrown in. No real character development except for Juliet. In fact, several significant characters could only be inferred through elimination - the guy in the trench coat who was dancing to the opening of Tchaikovsky's piano concerto after 3 people died during a big dance scene must have been the prince because there is a prince listed in the program. The choreography was creative, but occasionally became silly. Maybe I'll like it better after the second time, though I don't know if there will be a second time. Going in with the attitude that I'm going to be watching an abstract dance rather than a story might improve my perspective.

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I'm seeing it next week. Sometimes my season ticket package at Segerstrom feels like it gets masochistic. How does it rate on the actual dancing <-------> writhing/emoting pendulum?

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A couple weeks ago I saw an excerpt from this production in Moscow at a Shakeapeare themed evening at the Benois de la Danse. I found the pas de deux refreshing and felt it really brought out feelings of young love.

Course I am accustomed to the Maillot version from Ballet de Monte Carlo since my hometown PNB adopted it in 2008. Whenever I see. "traditional" R & J, I hate to say it but it seems kind of boring and I feel like the choreography doesn't fit the music very well.

After seeing the exceprt I was really intrigued and tried to squeeze in a trip to So Cal to see the whole thing. Couldn't make it work so looking forward to reading more reviews from all of you.

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I'm seeing it next week. Sometimes my season ticket package at Segerstrom feels like it gets masochistic. How does it rate on the actual dancing <-------> writhing/emoting pendulum?

I'm not sure what you're asking. It's definitely modern dance, and full of movement, but it doesn't degenerate into a bunch of intertwined bodies. How it rates is a matter of taste. It isn't bad; I just think that it's over-rated. I liked it a little more than the Washington Ballet's Carmina Burana but enjoyed the WB's Hamlet more. If I see it again, having been able to work out the plot, such as it was, by working backwards and by reading articles about it, I might like it better. And as long as there's a live orchestra, you can enjoy Tchaikovsky's beautiful music.

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I ended up going to see it again (actually, twice more). It is more enjoyable once you've figured out who is who (the person who was responsible for causing me to make the 3rd trip shares this assessment - she saw it twice). But still there was just something missing. I felt like I should have liked it a lot more than I did. It was dynamic, innovative, athletic, and colorful. A big problem, for me, was the emotional flatness. When the Colorado Ballet performed Alun Jones' choreography, there were even men crying. I didn't notice a single person in the audience reaching for a kleenex; in fact, there was even a smattering of applause after the scene in which Mercutio and Tybalt are killed. Romeo was never given any personality; instead he just sort of drifted along. The most important plot elements - the first meeting between Juliet and Romeo and the deaths of the major characters - are rushed through

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There's a blog called dancetabs.com that contains a review that perfectly expresses my opinion of Juliet and Romeo.

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I just saw it tonight in Orange County and loved it.

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I attended the evening of the 11th. It was danced beautifully and with concentration and verve by the uniformly disciplined and expert dancers in the company; the stark, brutalistic sets were impressive and appropriate; the Tchaikovsky score (a pastiche) was splendidly performed, though I wouldn't say the pieces were always well-chosen. And so we come to an interesting dichotomy: I enjoyed it as a display of outstanding dancing expertise; and I enjoyed the vigorous, fresh, and intriguing conceptualization of the choreography; but, as a depiction of a story, it left me completely untouched. To see it was a bit like reading an intricate and obscure roman a clef: Unless, on a meta plane, you knew from moment to moment what it was referring to, it was frequently difficult from seeing what was being presented onstage to put together just who was who and what was what; and for those very familiar with the tale, a good deal of time is spent looking for evidence of certain incidents and nuances of the story which . . . just aren't there in this telling. The gesticulation tapped a vocabulary which is far from universal--just so much mysterious hand-jive, I'm sure, to most onlookers. In the intermission, I heard much mystification being expressed; and about a quarter of the already-skimpy audience did not return for the second half. The intensity of the dancers impressed me, just as it did on the previous visit of the Royal Swedish Ballet (and I very much look forward to their return!); and, on an intellectual plane, I appreciated the choreography. But I felt neither the danger nor the passion of the relationship between our two star-cross'd lovers.

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