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  1. Last night I went to see BRB’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and I am still in a daze from experiencing such an intense, beautiful and exceptional evening. Momoko Hirata will always be ‘my’ Juliet from now on. She was utterly convincing as a thirteen-year-old girl transitioning from playing mischievously with her nurse to falling in love for the first time, to experiencing mistaken tragedy and committing suicide. Hirata’s acting was superb, equalled by her exquisite and brilliant dancing. She managed to combine her usual ethereal magic with endearing, heart-rending humanity. I felt a tear roll down towards my face mask as soon as she entered the stage – this beautiful young creature must not die! It was too much to bear. Her partner, César Morales, was excellent too. In another thread, I wrote ‘Although Morales is probably too old to be Romeo, my betting is he will equal anyone in technique and poetry!’ A couple of forumites quite rightly pulled me up on the first part of that sentence, and I eat my words. We were sitting just five rows from the front of the stalls and I swear that he didn’t look a day older than twenty. He started as a flirtatious, cheeky young Italian boy and progressed with his usual understated elegance to become the most wonderful partner as he and Juliet fell in love. As soon as they set eyes on each other they couldn’t stop looking at each other, and conveyed that the rest of the world going on around them meant nothing as the comet of their love flamed intensely towards its tragic end. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen such compelling acting in any ballet. It was so convincing and so beautiful to watch. For the rest, we were treated to a sparkling Mercutio from Tzu-Chao Chou, and a menacing Tybalt from Rory MacKay. I wouldn’t want to bump into him in an alley on a dark night! Some of the corps were a little ragged – one of the harlots in particular, we noticed – but frankly, I didn’t care, as my eyes were constantly on the doomed couple. It isn’t often one sees quite such a memorable performance and if any of you haven’t seen Hirata/Morales dance together, I would urge you to get tickets to see them in any performance of anything at any time any where whilst there is still the opportunity. They truly touch one’s heart. It was worth the five-hour drive. I’d have done double the distance and been happy. There are a couple of photos here, but I forgot to take my proper camera – sorry. https://maryrosedouglasuk.wixsite.com/ballet
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