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I will go on Friday (Feb 1st) to this performance and will write a little review afterwards. Since I missed a balletco member last time, although we both were at the same "Nutcracker" 😉 I would like to know if another forum member is coming on Friday as well? Would be nice to say Hello. 

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I wish I was attending Sabine0308. My first taste of Staatsballet, in December, where we missed each other, was so impressive I would love to see more of their performances. Unfortunately I am only a infrequent visitor to Berlin. There may very well be other ballet forum members attending though. 

 

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I hope we meet some day soon Northstar, and then maybe in London. It is again on my to do list for this year☺. Haven't been in there for years.

Edited by Sabine0308
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(Could a moderator please move this thread to "performances seen" please? Thank you!)

 

So I attended the performance on Friday, with Polina Semionova and Alejandro Virelles as the tragic lovers, Dinu Tamazlacaru as Mercutio and a radiant Murilo Gabriel as Carnival King. It's been quite a while since I saw R&J on stage, and I saw Cranko's version only on TV where it did not impress me much but now I enjoyed it very much. Also, the idea that Romeo was interested in another woman from the Capulet family before he met Juliet was new to me, but interesting. Polina was a wonderful elegant Juliet, and although she is far from being 15 years old, she was totally convincing in her transition from a silly goodhearted teenager to a young woman, overwhelmed by her first love. Then she struggles with the tragic events but is strong enough to refuse marriage and to make a -deadly- decision. I think aside from the technically challenging Pas de Deux and Solo parts, which Polina and Alejandro (for most part) mastered flawlessly, this role is even more about expressing strong changes in emotions, for both principal dancers. For me, "Romeo" was a bit cold, and I missed the chemistry between both dancers which is sooo important in this ballet. I didn't "meld", if you know what I mean.

Since R&J was the first ballet I ever saw on stage many moons ago, at age 20, and brought me to tears every time I watched it (6 times in a row, if memory serves), it holds a special place in my heart and I expect to be overwhelmed with emotions. That it did not happen this time made me sad. Maybe it was me, or the annoying couple in front of me, but...no I don't think so.

I did enjoy the vivid carnival scenes with the aforementioned carnival king on high jumps, and the majestic ball, and was impressed by the stage setting. We also saw another ridiculous Mercutio death scene, but it's not the first time that I was silently praying "please fall and be still already".  Even Cranko didn't have a better idea how to fill the music. 😀 Dinu did a good job, he was a bit dull in the first act but danced fiery and mischevious in act 2 and deserved and got lots of applause from the audience during curtain call, as well as both principal dancers and the corps de ballet of course too.

 

During the intermissions, I was delighted to meet another member of this forum, and we chatted about ENB and about the ballet in Berlin in general. It was nice to meet you, until next time.😀

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Thank you for the review! Good to hear about Staatsballett Berlin :)

 

On 04/02/2019 at 05:00, Sabine0308 said:

We also saw another ridiculous Mercutio death scene, but it's not the first time that I was silently praying "please fall and be still already".  Even Cranko didn't have a better idea how to fill the music. 😀

Out of curiosity - what did you make, then, of the lovers' respective death scenes, please? I must say I felt a twinge of impatience / disbelief at the amount of time taken by each character to lie down and pass away (I watched R&J as performed by Stuttgart Ballet on tour in Singapore): for instance, Romeo stabbed himself, collapsed heavily on top of Juliet’s stomach (I wondered if this was how and why she would awaken, but no) and after a while, he bestirred himself and lay down properly beside her. After another bar of music, he reached for her and rolled her over into his embrace. After another while, he ran his fingers through her hair, raising long locks up and letting them slide through his fingers, just as he had that morning when they woke in her bed. At last, his arm dropped down by the side of the bed. While it should have been a poignant reference to their relationship, I was not as moved as I suppose I should have been...

 

A very richly fleshed-out and detailed sort of passing, but rather long.

 

Greatly admire the Carnival King!  Wildly popular and vibrantly portrayed. I sometimes wonder - given the requirements of the Carnival King (charisma, brilliant technique, stamina, strong character) - if being cast as Carnival King is a sign that one is a possible shoo-in for a principal role in the long run. (E.g. I've heard tell that Dewdrop in Nutcracker is a role to test one's stamina.) Hmm :)

 

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I saw the performance on the 1st (and met Sabine for some nice interval chats) and was quite taken with the Cranko version. The scene where Juliet is lowered into the crypt is particularly stunning, I thought its staging was a masterpiece of theatricality.

 

The Carnival King and his slightly bonkers entourage was fun, and I might prefer that to the Macmillan version (would need to see the Cranko another 8 times to decide :) ). Murilo Gabriel made it all look easy and high octane at the same time.

 

I guess I'm a little spoiled with excellent casts from RB and BRB, but I didn't really get engaged with the performance and characters like Tybalt barely registered for me. I do love Gary Avis eating the scenery as Tybalt and accept that not all Tybalts will be that fulsome, but I expect a little more drama than I got that night. Polina Semionova and Alejandro Virelles were not an ideal match in my opinion, starting with him being too short for her which made some of the lifts look very earthbound and a little clumsy to me. When I saw Virelles in his last performances at the ENB, he seemed very disengaged on stage. Thankfully he appears more switched on with Staatsballet Berlin, but I still couldn't connect to his Romeo. There was some fine dancing, and I'd like to see a bit more or Semionova one day, but I won't race back to Berlin to see more R&Js in a hurry. (I'll be saving up my pennies to see their fantastic Bayadere again instead)

 

@squadron I think Mercutio takes a bit too long to die in most (all?) productions partially due to the music that no one seems keen to cut for that scene, but for the R&J death scene it depends on the cast whether it's breathtaking drama or flopping about with additional stabbing.

Edited by Coated
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I agree @Coated , the staging of Julia's death scene was very moving. @squadron I cannot remember if the Romeo and Julia death scenes were too long as well, which says a lot...I think it didn't disturb me because it was better done (shorter?) and lacked funny moments of course.

What will always go straight to my heart is the music. A masterpiece of its own.

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