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"Romeo & Juliet" - June 7th matinee

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I saw the June 7th matinee performance of "Rome and Juliet" with

Ashley Tuttle and Angel Corella. It was an incredibly moving

performance. Corella was an ardent Romeo who literally flew "on

wings of love" (to use a very corny expression) during the balcony

pas de deux. And Tuttle was a perfect Juliet, the best I've ever seen. Unfortunately I've never seen Makarova or Kirkland or Ferri in the role. I've only seen this ballet about five or six times. I'm not even sure who are considered the really great Romeos and Juliets, besides Nureyev or Fonteyn. I've always loved the delicacy and musicality of Tuttle's dancing, but there was a new depth to her acting that brought tears to my eyes. Juliet can be danced by the best technician in the ballet world, but if she can't act the part, if she doesn't become Juliet, then you've lost me. Tuttle really became Juliet Capulet.

As Mercutio Craig Salstein showed a lot of promise. I'm not really sure, however, if Salstein's characterization of Mercutio as a happy-go-lucky jokester is true to Shakespeare. As I recall, Mercutio is usually played this way by ABT dancers, so maybe it's

Kenneth MacMillan's interpretation of the role.

Gennadi Saveliev provided a powerful characterization of Tybalt. He was a menacing figure, but also very protective of his family.

Tybalt seemed to be the real head of the Capulet family, rather than the somewhat ineffectual Lord Capulet.

I was also impressed by Erica Fischbach's stern, but loving Lady Capulet. She didn't overdo the hysterics when Romeo kills Tybalt.

Some ABT Lady Capulets I've seen act like heartbroken lovers, but Fischbach acted like a grief stricken mother (yes I know Tybalt is a nephew) which seemed much more approriate (IMO anyway).

Saturday was a nasty, rainy day and there were many empty seats in the orchestra section (which I usually don't see at matinees). But for me it was truly memorable "Romeo and Juliet" and the audience that was there felt the same way.


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Thanks so much for the report, Colleen. It sounds like a great afternoon.

To me, the ballet of Romeo & Juliet is as much Prokofiev's as Shakespeare's. His music doesn't always give the same messages as Shakespeare's text, so for good or for ill, the Mercutio you see on a theater stage may not seem to you like the one you see at the ballet.

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