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Romeo and Juliet Costumes


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#1 balletstar811

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Posted 09 February 2003 - 05:16 PM

Does it bother anyone else when Romeo and Juliet costumes are contemporary and plain? It was set in such a time of wealth and color and beauty.... I would much rather see historically accurate costumes and sets!!!!

#2 Guest_tutu_*

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 05:03 PM

I actually like it better when the costumes are plain. It makes the dancing visible, instead of the costume. That's not to say that I would like to see the dancers wearing a leotard and tights, but I wouldn't like it if they wore heavy, fancy dresses.
I think that with the costumes around today, they manage to help the dancer express the character while relating to us and our minds. They help relate the characters to our modern day, while keeping the setting of the time period. They may not be historically accurate, but they show us that the ballet is set in a very different time. The costumes, for me, do not detract from the character.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 04:08 AM

This is an argument that goes back to David Garrick, who first presented Shakespeare in "modern dress". The 18th century London press was at first scandalized, but then Dr. Samuel Johnson, than whom there was no more conservative critic, pointed out that the words were still there. I am sort of reminded of Richard Burton's Hamlet where the action started with everybody in 20th-century black-and-white rehearsal clothes, and as the play progressed, changed into sketchy approximations of Elizabethan dress. A clever device.

#4 balletstar811

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Posted 15 February 2003 - 12:48 PM

I still hold to my thoughts: I do not think we should change Shakespeare's perfect pieces of literature, even if they are translated into ballets. I love the dress of the times, and the costumes can still be light -- they would never dress a ballerina in a long gown with tons of undergarments including a farthingale and a corset and expect her to dance! As long as the style and look of the times is captured, then it works for me.

#5 balletstar811

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Posted 15 February 2003 - 12:49 PM

What is your outlook Mr. Johnson? Would you rather see the Shakespearean ballets with "historically accurate" costumes, sets, and scenery, or modern and plain?

#6 Mel Johnson

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Posted 15 February 2003 - 04:49 PM

I'd rather see a beautifully-choreographed and realized ballet based on a Shakespeare play done in practice clothes, with appropriate skirts, of course, than a perfectly period production with bad choreography. We've already changed the literature by dropping the words - why be so exacting regarding costumes? The most gorgeously-costumed ballet I ever saw was also the most wretched allover show - Balanchine's Don Quixote.

#7 balletstar811

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Posted 15 February 2003 - 06:45 PM

Well of course I would not want to see a poorly choreographed ballet, whether the costumes are good or not. :D My point was that I would want to see a renound professional company use the historical costumes instead of contemporary ones, while using also perfect choreography.... and I guess that would mean a very perfect ballet! :)

#8 Guest_Sassybeaver_*

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 08:17 PM

I have to agree with the majority that I feel costumes should make not break the ballet or it's dancers. That seems to happen with famous companies(Bolshoi and La Bayadere). It was an okay show but not one to rave about even though the girl who played gamsetti was one of the better dancers. That also happens with studios that teach more than ballet. They tend to pick the flashy costumes over the ones that really show off the dancer.


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