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Romeo and Juliet

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While watching the ABT Romeo and Juliet I felt as though Romeo got to do significantly more dancing than Juliet. Is this traditional, or was it possibly because this was originally choreographed for Nureyev and Fonteyn -- he being in his prime and she a good deal older?

Or is it another reason entirely?

Also, the role of the nurse is a non-dancing role -- how is that traditionally cast? Last night it looked to be played by a non-dancer, but one who was listedin the credits (although not as a member of the company)


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MacMillan's original Romeo was Christopher Gable; Juliet was Lynn Seymour. Doesn't the score dictate who dances what? Also, dramatically, Juliet's relative seclusion (as a young lady) would not have given her the dramatic opportunities to dance, such as a counterpart to the Montague men's dance with the Harlots.

Sometimes the nurse is danced by one of the company's active dancers, sometimes by a dancer who has retired from the stage.

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I think, as carbro said, the score dictates the balance among the roles. In R & J, the score really is the libretto -- everyone who's choreographed it talks about being hemmed in by the score.

I think our perception of who's dominant, though, may have something to do with who's dancing the leading roles. I only saw Fonteyn's Juliet on video, but you're very aware of her -- stars have a way of demanding that you think of them even when they're off-stage.

The last time I saw ABT's "Romeo and Juliet," though, it seemed to me they were trying to duplicate their all-boy "Corsaire" success by turning up the juice whenever Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio were on stage. Instead of emphasizing the drama of the ballet, their solos or trios were made into star turns.

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I saw Alessandra Ferri dance it Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandlier with Angel Corella. I must say that Miss Ferris interpretation will stick with me for a long time. I dont think I saw any dance steps, it was all so intergrated with her character, the music, the interaction with Romeo it was in my opinion ballet at its best. She never stopped to "dance" once. It was all woven together so seamlessly, something I have not seen in a while. :)

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