Thrifty Thrills: ABT's Romeo and Juliet
I have been dancing since I was three years old, literally. My mom says I used to drive her crazy, dancing up and down the aisles of the grocery store; I can remember forcing my grade school friends to play dance recital with me on the playground at recess. I was even a ballet major my first semester at TCU. It's fair to say that I am a fan.
Fan or not, American Ballet Theatre's Romeo and Juliet was incredible. Even the most average of Joes could have enjoyed it.
For starters, Romeo and Juliet is a story line most people are familiar with-I think I've read it at least a half dozen times in my 15 years of schooling. This is fairly atypical, however. I saw New York City Ballet's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" two weeks ago. At times it was a bit difficult to follow. And I knew what was supposed to happen!
In my humble dancer-turned-journalist's opinion, Romeo and Juliet was flawless. The costumes, the sets and the music were all phenomenal. The principal dancers were even more phenomenal. The star-crossed lovers were played by Paloma Herrera of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Marcelo Gomes of Brazil.
Herrera's portrayal of Juliet was breathtaking-she had the longest legs I have ever seen and the most beautiful, immaculate feet. Gomes was strong, masculine and passionate, everything Romeo should be.
My favorite part was Juliet's balcony scene at the end of Act 1. The romantic pas de deux was exquisite. Watching the two of them dance together, the graceful, effortless lifts and spins, I felt as if I were witnessing them actually falling in love. They were very convincing. It made me want to be in love too, not to mention a little embarrassed that I was at the ballet by myself.
I was very impressed with the fight scenes. They were both well choreographed and well executed. ABT has a very large company; there were a lot of dancers on stage for these scenes, and every sword on sword was exact. Talk about intricacy; I am sure these numbers required a lot of rehearsal time.
My only complaint: the ballet was three acts in three hours. It could maybe have been a tad shorter. The two older women sitting next to me fell asleep during both intermissions, for goodness sakes. They told me they were "napping."
As I mentioned before, I attended the ballet by myself. It was a Wednesday night, my roommate was supposed to go with me, but she ended up ditching me for dinner with her coworkers.
I probably could have done without the awkward first-date couple on my left, or the equally awkward and annoying ladies, the nappers on my right, who talked almost the entire ballet. One also pretended to direct the orchestra with her hands. In my direct line of vision. Awful. I wish I'd had someone to laugh with.
I paid $40 for my ticket, but I believe there were cheaper tickets for $26 as well. If you get a chance, if you are even the least bit interested I would recommend seeing the American Ballet Theatre.New York City Ballet is also a great choice, but I think I liked ABT better.
Romeo and Juliet is easily my new favorite ballet, no easy feat mind you. Odds are I will never fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a professional ballerina, but living in New York City this summer it's truly been a treat to see the real professionals at work.