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Liaoning Ballet, Romeo & Juliet and Yuri Grigorovich


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On Feb. 15, 2015, I went to the National Grand Theater in Beijing to see ballet Romeo & Juliet performed by Liaoning Ballet of China.

This is Yuri Grigorovich's version of R&J, choreographed in 1978 for Bolshoi. Even the stage design and costumes are the same as in Bolshoi's R&J.

In order to achieve premier success in China, Yuri Grigorovich made a special trip to Liaoning Ballet during their final rehearsal of R&J in early February. He, as the general director, also brought in his stage assistant, stage designer and the music conductor Andrei Anikhanov, the whole team, with him. Actually, all stage sets and costumes are made in Russia. The Russian tailors had come to Liaoning Ballet to get accurate measurements of dancers for the costumes.

The premiere of Liaoning Ballet's Romeo & Juliet was on February 8th at the Liaoning Grand Theater in Shenyang. After the premiere, Liaoning Ballet made a tour to Beijing and presented R&J in the National Grand Theater for two days.

The casting for R&J of Liaoning Ballet:

Feb. 14, 2015
Romeo - Ma Ming
Juliet - Yu Chuanya
Tybalt - Lv Meng
Mercutio - Kou Zuquan
Count Paris - Zhang Haidong

Feb. 15, 2015
Romeo - Jiao Yang
Juliet - Wang Yun
Tybalt - Zhang Haidong
Mercutio - Ma Ming
Count Paris - Gu Yue

Among the leading dancers, many of them have won international ballet competitions in Varna, Vienna, Helsinki, Japan, …

Although I have seen Yuri Grigorovich's R&J on HD screen, plus many times on YouTube, I already set a very high bar for this ballet, I was very surprised to see such good performances by the young dancers of Liaoning Ballet.

The two leading roles were danced by Jiao Yang (Romeo) and Wang Yun (Juliet). Jiao and Wang are very famous in Chinese ballet world, though, I am not familiar with them. Technically, they were super. In solo dancing they made the steps and movements seem effortless. In duets they had implicit cooperation. Emotionally, their acting was kind of restrained in Act I, but much more improved in Act II.

I was very impressed by the corp dancing. Not only the dancers could execute these movements in unison very well, but also their dancing were very emotional and musical. The music flown in motion of their bodies and formation of the corps de ballet.

The best performance was regarded to be Ma Ming's Mercutio IMO. Ma Ming is a natural dancer with masterly ability, technique, and personal style. His Mercutio was quick, flexible, very expressive and pleasant, almost as good as Andrei Bolotin's from Bolshoi. Well, it is not fare to make such comparison, because one is in theater and another on HD screen.

All dancers are very competent for their roles in R&J. Liaoning Ballet gave an excellent performance of Romeo & Juliet.

During the curtain calls Yuri Grigorovich shown up on the stage. He looked very happy about Liao Ballet's achievement.









Liaoning Ballet http://www.lnballet.com/en/index.php

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