Angel Corella and Alessandra Ferri in a wonderful Romeo and Juliet
Ballet has always been close to my heart, my first being Swan Lake at 6 years old(opera is more my expertise though). There are so many great ballets out there, Giselle being my personal favourite of the non-Tchaikovsky(all three I love) ballets, and Prokoviev's Romeo and Juliet is one such ballet with gorgeous music(unmistakably Prokoviev too) and a touchingly timeless story. Of the DVD competition, I've loved all of those that I've seen with my personal favourite being the one with Nureyev and Fonteyn, and I loved this one. The costumes and sets are just beautiful to look at, and the picture quality and the way the production is shot doesn't hinder that quality in any way. The orchestral playing is rich in tonal colour, dynamic and succeed in being rousing for the likes of Monatagues and the Capulets and heart-tugging in the Pas De Deux. The conducting accommodates the dancers while bringing the drama of the story out, both of which he and it do splendidly. The choreography is spellbinding to watch, very intricate and traditional with some nice bits of mime, the Pas De Deux was simply exquisite. The performances are very good on the whole, the crowd scenes are lacking in urgency- which is pretty much the only thing that didn't quite work for me here- but Mercutio dances with charm and humour, Friar Lawrence is compassion personified and Tybalt is both menacing and graceful. The two leads though are the real stars of the production and they should be. Their chemistry is clear and magnetic, you cannot look away when the Pas-De-Deux is being danced, it's that good. Angel Corella dances with superb technique and beautiful lines and he is a very expressive actor who captures Romeo's boyishness and passion perfectly. Alessandra Ferri matches him brilliantly, she is as elegant as one would want from a leading lady and not only feels the role of Juliet, being delicate and affecting through her body language especially, but she dances with a great strength and control that counterbalances very nicely with her appropriately fragile appearance. All in all, wonderful with brilliant lead performances. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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