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Berlioz Romeo & Juliette (Waltz) at La Scala. Milan.


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From the beginning this production was hit by difficulties At first Roberto Bolle was due to dance with Aurelie, but he pulled out saying that he needed longer to learn the style and choreography of the production, so Aurelie found herself dancing with Herve Moreau who had createsd the role of Romeo with her in 2007. It was very fortuinate that Herve had returned after a very long time off with a injury to his knee which had caused very serious problems for him.

Then there was strikes and disputes when the Opera chorus and singers demanded more money. So the first nights performance was cancelled. The following evenings went ahead, but the audience showed their displeasure at the new work. The dancers were applaudid, but when Sasha Waltz took her bow, she was heckled with shouts of "No" and the odd boo.

I felt very sorry for the visiting stars, they had travelled to Italy to take part and this kind of behaveyer is very rude and unessesary.. This information was reported in the press, but as I have seen the production twice in Paris, and on the TV, felt it was in order to mention these matters.

There is no doubt this particular production is very different to the normal classical one. But in its own right is quite beautiful. It is very modern in concept, with a stark black stage, the only scenery being two large white platforms thar rise on chains to form aspects of the ballet. The ballroom, the balcony, Juiettes bedroom and a wall that Romeo tries in vain to surmount. , and finally Juliettes grave.

The costumes vary in shades of white, black, pink, beige and gold. Brown tule and lameh. , which includes some attractive girls Tutu's for the Capulets ball . The dancers appear with bare feet and

the choreography uses tablaus and groups to show the mood. The storyline is very open, but you can distinqish between the characters, the parents, Paris, Mercuito,Tybalt the Friar, Romeo,& Juliette,.

Aurelie Dupont is exquisite in this, her presence on stage from the moment she appears is delicate yet outstanding. Within the movements you can see her and Herve's classical training, which add to the simplistic modern choreography, giving a unque form to their performances.

The production is enhanced by the choral and muisical score, a major work by Berlioz with passges such as in the long pas de deux that are romatic, and the added benefit of stiring marches and expressive variations as in the Capulet ball scene.

The whole production pulls together into a very emorional expressive conclusion at the end filled with song dance and music. The opera chorus and soloists who sing the roles of the main cast members as well as them being danced , were excellent. Just over one and half hours long, it is definatly worth seeing if you go with an open mind. It is different but enjoyable and personally I do not think it deserved the reception it got at La Scala.

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A wonderful report. Thank you so much, Nanarina.

I fell in love with the Berlioz score in my youth but haven't heard it much since then. Being able to hear it played by a major opera orchestra, and to see it danced by someone like Dupont no matter what the choreography, must be extraordinary..

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