Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Romeo and Juliet

Ballet Cymru / Coreo Cymru , Riverfront Theatre Newport , May-08-13
Romeo and Juliet by Ballet Cymru / Coreo Cymru Newport’s Riverfront Theatre is a glittering jewel box sitting on the edge of the Usk river; for two nights balletcymru are filling it with the sparkling diamonds of its dancers and rich red rubies from the passionate music of Serge Prokofieff. In art there is always beauty in human tragedy. No more so than in the final scene where we see Juliet, exquisitely danced by Emily Pimm Edwards and her beloved Romeo, a fine youthful, elegant performance from Daniel Morrison dance to their death with a passion and yearning so wonderfully expressed. How much this situation resonates in life today.

All the excellent dancers in this innovative company are as strong actors as they are consummate dancers. The quiet menace of the opening scene underpinned by the almost faultless playing of Sinfonia Cymru under the sensitive baton of Richard Laing has the neck hairs rising. Very soon we see the Capulet and the Montague boyos brawling. The precision of the sword work and the dance is top notch. Sam Bishop’s fiery Tybalt withdraws but he’ll be back.

Artistic director and choreographer, Darius James credits his dancers with their input into the dance and this is a strong ensemble company establishing real relationships between the characters. Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio are obviously great mates. At one point Daisuki Miura, whose Mercutio always has a twinkle in his eye and the strong, silent Benvolio of Krystal Smith perform a dance without music, producing some unusual moments of charm and delight. Much in contrast to the pervading menace, which is underlined by the ominous sound of the clog dancing that the company has wonderfully mastered.

The greatest joy comes as we enter Juliet’s home for the first time. She has a delightful diminutive friend in Lydia Arnoux with her quirky head movements and broad smile but her pointe work and that of Pimm Edwards is very fine. The long legged pas de deux from mum and dad, Nicolas Capelle and Iselin Bowen provide us with one of the many joys of a production that is both robust and charming.

This unique collaboration between balletcymru, Coreo Cymru, Wales new dance development organisation and The Riverfront is one to be repeated.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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