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theo

Romeo and Juliet at the KC

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I attended the Saturday Matinee performance of Romeo and Juliet.  Eunwon Lee danced Juliet and Gian Carlo Perez Danced Romeo. I thought they were magnificent.  The production itself was also beautiful. However,I feel that Cranko's version lacks ks the dramatic "oomf" that the Macmillan version provides.   It's hard not to compare one version to the other.   When I was a young  ballet student, my mother took me to see the Stuttgart Ballet do three performances of Romeo and Juliet at Lincoln Center back in 1972.    Even though that was my first overwhelming encounter with this ballet, it is the Macmillan version that sticks with me.   I will say this though, I'll take the gypsies over the harlots any day!  For my performance yesterday, the gypsies were danced with joy by Esmiana Jani, Francesca Dugarte and Nicole Ganiero.  They were really fun.

I felt the whole company danced with joy. They are such a pleasure to watch. Julie Kent was in the audience and stayed in the theater to speak to anybody who wanted to stop and talk to her. She was lovely, warm and gracious and I got to thank her personally for bringing this production to KC.  It's easy to see how truly connected she is to the company and they to her.  

Stand out performances:

Eunwon Lee - Juliet: She is really beautiful.  She danced with an airy freedom and expressed true joy.  During the standing ovation at the end of the performance, she was crying. She had clearly given her all and everybody appreciated it.

Gian Carlo Perez - Romeo : I liked him a lot. He is strong and he communicates well with his gestures an mime. I thought he was elegant and an excellent partner to Eunwon.  I wished he could have had more opportunity in this production to develop his character,  but that is no complaint against him.  It's simply the choreography.  He did a beautiful job with the role, I thought.

Rolando Sarabia- Tybalt:  Okay, now HE is a menacing and fearsome Tybalt.  I thought he was great!  Again, my only complaint here is that he didn't have more of an opportunity to present his character.   He certainly made an impression though.  

Andile Ndlovu-Mercutio:  Uh...WOW!  He was joyful, buoyant, comical and such fun to watch.  

These were the stand out performers for me, but as I said earlier the whole company danced with joy and in the market scenes you could really see them  say "we are here, we are a company, we are a team!  We are the Washington Ballet!"

I also want to mention the Washington Ballet Orchestra.  This was the first time I've heard them perform.  I thought they were excellent and they played Prokofiev's haunting score to perfection.

All in all, I love this company.  They dance their hearts out and they dance beautifully.  From the dancers, to the volunteer moms selling Washington Ballet items (I bought a sweatshirt and a bag thank you) to Ms. Julie Kent who made herself freely available to the audience on this day. You can see that they are deeply invested in what they are doing. Brava/Bravo, and thank you for poring your hearts into your every movement.  I,  along with the rest of the audience gave you a standing ovation.  It was well deserved.   

 

 

 

Edited by theo
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EunWon Lee became my favorite WB dancer the first time that I saw her dance. She is solid at the classical roles (was an excellent Giselle); she just needs to improve in the contemporary dances, and by all accounts she is a very hard worker so I'm sure that she will do it.

Unless I mis-read your post, I'm not the only who thinks that the choreography for Romeo was lacking.

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Links: https://www.instagram.com/p/BevxftVBSWh/?hl=en&taken-by=thewashingtonballet , https://www.instagram.com/p/BfTEbbyDvec/?taken-by=1984baki

The Lee and Perez cast was mesmerizing.   I loved the Cranko R&J done by TWB from costumes including the red cloaks for the ball to sets/staging [giant sun].

Set utilization for choreography is extremely effective: balcony scene [Romeo climbs footings, lifts Juliet over the railing, series of lifts to reach the stage],  climbs down a wall to the crypt, multi-level food fight, cape flowing on UL set,  table in fights.   

Edited by maps

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2 hours ago, YouOverThere said:

EunWon Lee became my favorite WB dancer the first time that I saw her dance. She is solid at the classical roles (was an excellent Giselle); she just needs to improve in the contemporary dances, and by all accounts she is a very hard worker so I'm sure that she will do it.

Unless I mis-read your post, I'm not the only who thinks that the choreography for Romeo was lacking.

You did not misread my post. (I'm glad it made sense)   I feel like Cranko's version just doesn't provide the opportunity for Romeo's character to build . There's  not enough time for Romeo and Juliet to build a relationship;  there's not enough time for Romeo to be Romeo, or for that matter, for Tybalt to be  Tybalt.

 It's hard to tell if this version fails the Juliet character, because EunWon simply owned it.  I feel like she could dance the part of a piece of toast and still convey something really remarkable.   She is absolutely lovely.   As for Gian Carlo Perez, I found him truly endearing.  I just wished he could have had something meatier.   I agree with maps, I thought the Lee and Perez cast was mesmerizing. 

 

 

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Lee and Perez are both young, so both have the potential to improve. By all accounts. Lee is a very hard worker.

Edited by YouOverThere

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17 hours ago, theo said:

I feel like she could dance the part of a piece of toast and still convey something really remarkable. 

 

 

Hmm, I wonder if Ratmansky could choreograph a ballet about breakfast.

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You know, I was thinking something similar; A Ratmansky ballet featuring toast, among other items.    :)

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5 hours ago, YouOverThere said:

Hmm, I wonder if Ratmansky could choreograph a ballet about breakfast.

Okay, YouOverThere and theo, this was definitely my LAUGH OF THE DAY! (And not so very far-fetched.)

 

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You know angelica, I actually made myself giggle envisioning dancing toast.  Then I snapped out of it when I tried to picture somebody as lovely as EunWon in a toast costume.  OY! 

Perhaps Ratmansky could do a kind of follow up to Whipped Cream; he could call it "PBJ on Toast", or perhaps "Beans on Toast" to appeal to audiences from the UK.  If he wanted to be more elegant about it, he could call it "Toast of the Town"  But I digress...

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Since Coffee, Tea, and Cocao are featured so strongly in Whipped Cream, I'd like to see Ratmansky do a 3 act follow-up called Caffeine, set in a specialty shops, say a 1950's Greenwich Village coffee house, an imaginary Russian Tea Room with dancing samovars, and a chocolate act set in a gourmet shop or the Hershey's factory.  It could be an abstract work.   A Jewels for foodies.

Edited by lmspear
Clarity

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