As members of the feuding Capulet and Montague families, Romeo and Juliet should be sworn enemies, but they fall deeply in love and marry in secret. This sets off a chain of events that culminate in tragedy.
A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.
The magical world of The Nutcracker. For the first time in many years, the Royal Ballet has given full access behind the scenes for a landmark 90-minute documentary as they prepare for this season's yuletide production.
A long-simmering animosity between two families of Verona, the Montague's and the Capulet's, has recently boiled over, with members of the rival households brawling in the streets. One ... See full summary »
As members of the feuding Capulet and Montague families, Romeo and Juliet should be sworn enemies, but they fall deeply in love and marry in secret. That very day, disastrous circumstances lead Romeo to fight and kill Juliet's cousin Tybalt, setting off a chain of events that culminate in tragedy. Juliet takes a potion to avoid the love-match her parents have set up for her, and Romeo, believing she is dead, poisons himself. When she wakes from her deep sleep, Juliet finds the body of her love, and is so distraught that she stabs herself, joining him in death. Starring William Bracewell and Francesca Hayward with artists of The Royal Ballet, this is the story everyone knows, told in a language everyone understands, presented in a way never seen before.Written by
Francesca Hayward's Juliet is absolutely beautiful. She's adapted the role from the stage production to the big screen in a way that other ballerinas with more years behind them would struggle to do. All of the RB's dancers did very well in a heritage piece for the company and should be proud.
All of the shots are really badly blocked and framed. People in the courtyard and Capulet ball scenes were consistently walking in front of the camera and across the shot, with the iconic balcony & bedroom pas de deuxs being obstructed by plants and curtains. Not to mention the fountain directly in the middle of one of the courtyard scenes that was shown about 20 times for no particular reason. In a regular film, this would be bad, but with dancers it works even less due to their lower bodies being constantly cut off. The genius subtleties of Kenneth Macmillan's choreography (e.g., Juliet's bourrées around the Nurse in the scene where she first meets Paris that are echoed just before she decides to drink poison) are lost imo.
The bad blocking is most evident at the beginning when the Capulet & Montague boys fight. It's hard to describe if you haven't seen the stage production, but onstage it works perfectly and the first sword fight scene leaves you in awe - but since basic rules of cinematography aren't followed throughout, the scene becomes cramped and messy so you have no sense of anybody's location. What's supposed to be a peak moment of the ballet seems confusing and small-scale when it should be grandiose. It's a similar problem with the Capulet ball scene.
I understand why this filming style was chosen. R&J Beyond Words is meant to look realistic. Unfortunately, it hinders the choreography and just comes off more peeping Tom.
I hope that Balletboyz continue to make more ballets into films. R&J was a solid attempt that still works because the combo of talented dancers and classic stories can't really fail. I think film cinematographers and people that specialise in translating choreography to film are needed.
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