Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

“For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

Romeo a Juliet

Ballet Cymru , The Riverfront, Newport , May 30, 2019
Romeo a Juliet by Ballet Cymru This revival contains all the dynamism and excellence we have now come to expect from Artistic Director, Darius James’ Newport based, internationally renowned Ballet Cymru.

Joining the company for her professional début, Danila Marzilli gives us a delightful and exquisite Juliet. As well as casting the finest dancers, James always ensures that all Ballet Cymru dancers are equally excellent actors. Juliet runs through the whole gamut of emotions from the great joy of young love to her final tragic death. With Prokofiev’s music behind her, she tells us her sad story with superb acting and dancing full of grace and zest.

In this interpretation Juliet’s nurse is replaced by a friend. Again Krystal Lowe is great at expressing her support and fondness for her friend and she dances with a magic of movement and compassion.

The choreography team of James and Amy Doughty is joined by the whole company to bring a final totally captivating quality to the production.

Very soon we meet the young Montague’s and Capulets and the enmity between them quickly rises to the surface. A fierce sword fight breaks out. The clashing of the glistening swords in perfect rhythm to the menacing music.

A virile Romeo from Andrea Maria Battaggia stands masked at the ball where he first sets eyes on his love to be. Soon after Juliet steps down from her balcony. They join hands and the pas de deux that emerges breathes a gentle love over us.

But trouble is never far away. It first emerges in the form of Juliet’s cousin Tybalt; danced with a brutish excellence by Robbie Moorcroft.

The growing menace in the action is underlined by a sequence of very precise clog dancing. The wooden shoes hitting the stage, tightening the atmosphere.

But the enmity will just not go away. Romeo’s friend Mercutio, danced with mercurial skill by Miguel Fernandes is killed by Tybalt. Enraged, Romeo kills Tybalt and the separation of the young lovers is inevitable and the circumstances of the terrible ending is laid down.

Although the story will be well known to many of us James give the whole production such a sense of immediacy that you feel it could be happening right now!

The concluding death scene is both delicately beautiful and heart-breaking hopelessness. The dancing is now on the floor as Juliet frantically searches for life in Romeo’s already dead body. The music and its sense of passion sweeps over us as Juliet drives a dagger into her heart and the curtain falls.

This revival is another big hit for Ballet Cymru. I am sure everyone will be captivated by it as it tours England and Wales then on to China as Ballet Cymru continues its search for new audiences.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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