ENB presents a beautiful retelling of Romeo and Juliet

ENB presents a beautiful retelling of Romeo and Juliet

'From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life' Act I, Prologue Romeo and Juliet  

A traditional retelling of the classic Shakespearean tale was brought to life by a brilliant coupling of English National Ballet and the English National Philharmonic Orchestra.

Despite the traditional costume and scenery, the director uniquely chose to remind us of the fate of the characters in this famous story by opening the ballet with a number of cloaked dancers personifying death. However this theatrical eeriness was somewhat humorous to watch and may have confused an audience unaware of this artistic choice. The opening upon the market square is joyous and energetic- a bounce of colour- during which we are introduced to both families: the Montagues and the Capulets.  The dancing is lively and transports one back in time to the streets of Verona in the medieval period.

A 'thrilling and breathtaking' performance 

A 'thrilling and breathtaking' performance 

The costumes were as expected for a classical ballet; lavish medieval garments filled the stage, with headwear the perfectly mirrored that of the time the story is set in. The costumes helped greatly in terms of the storytelling; the different colours of the two houses helped during the market fight in distinguishing the difference between the families. Yet this was not all consistent as at the beginning of Act 2, the costumes worn by the male dancers seemed out of place with the rest of the production due to their gaudiness, yet in general the designs were pleasing to the eye and captured the time period beautifully.

Aaron Robinson’s portrayal of Romeo seemed, at first, to be unfinished and unsure. He came across as a little jittery and frolicsome, however he managed to compensate for this in Act Three by displaying his incredible range of talent. Jumping incredibly high he enveloped the stage, to the awe of the audience. Jurgita Dronina’s Juliet was equally impeccable and beautiful to watch: her technique and movement was definite and precise. She had an incredible light airiness which portrayed an innocent beauty that fits the essence of Juliet perfectly. Her character was fully convincing, and you didn’t want to look away due to how encapsulating and immaculate her movements were. The chemistry between the two leads was enthralling; watching the pas de deux in the third act between the characters was tranquil and deeply romantic. Pedro Lapetra’s Mercutio was very good and he proved his technical ability as well as his comedic skill, being able to convey the mischief of character with ease as well as displaying an emotive and poignant performance during the death scene of Mercutio.

This production of Romeo and Juliet was enjoyable and dramatic; the seventy-six-piece orchestra added extra intensity to the story. Overall it was a thrilling and breath-taking experience and if I had the opportunity to go and see this production again, I most definitely and most certainly would!

****

Four stars

 

David Bowyer