Last month, I was treated to an evening at the Scottish Ballet's production of Romeo & Juliet on opening evening at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Now, having already been to their Sleeping Beauty tour (see my full post here, back in January 2012!) I knew that this was going to be no ordinary ballet. Scottish Ballet are famed for their modern take on well-known stories, and Romeo & Juliet was no different..
|Sophie Martin as Juliet with Luciana Ravizzi and Bethany Kingsley-Garner as Juliet’s Friends in Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet. Photo by Christina Riley.|
First off, we were taken into The Studio; the rehearsal studio behind the Festival Theatre, and talked through the ballet with a Q&A with two of the Juliets from this tour run: Bethany Kingsley-Garner and Claire Robertson. It was so good to hear their experiences as professional ballet dancers. From their very beginnings as young dancers to (in Claire's case) 20 years with the Scottish Ballet (!!), it all seemed like such a fascinating time. It was also funny to hear their pre-show routines and how they make being en pointe a more comfortable experience! At the end, Bethany gave out a couple of pairs of her ballet shoes, and I happened to end up with a pair to take home! So lucky. They're currently sitting on top of my desk waiting to be hung up somewhere when I move. Super dainty & delicate, as you can see in the image at the top of this post!
|Eve Mutso as Lady Capulet and Owen Thorne as Lord Capulet after the killing of Mercutio and Tybalt in Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet. Photo by Andy Ross.|
After the Q&A session, we headed to grab our seats in the theatre and got settled in, all set to watch the dancers do what they do best. The start of the show was adequately moody and atmospheric, with a spellbinding score accompanying the film reel projected on to the background. As the show went on, it was amazing to see how ballet dancers use their movements to display different emotions and, even, comedy. Earlier on in the night, one of the girls asked how comedy could be projected through dance, and it was so intriguing to hear how it really can be made obvious, through simple hand gestures and facial expressions. The character of Mercutio (Romeo's friend) was the comedic character in this case, and was fantastically played by Victor Zarallo (PS - also very very much fancied him. SHHH!)
|Erik Cavallari as Romeo and Sophie Martin as Juliet in Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet. Photo by Christina Riley.|
After we left, a couple of my friends (the literary genius ones, obvs) flagged up the fact that a few key scenes and characters were erased from the story or altered slightly, but they did say it made it feel altogether a lot tighter as a production. I didn't really notice much as I'm not much of a classic book reader (sorry folks!), but I really enjoyed it nonetheless! Essentially, ONCE AGAIN, I wish I could have been a ballet dancer.. in another life anyway! So elegant and perfect.. ♥
|Sophie Martin as Juliet and Erik Cavallari as Romeo in Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet. Photo by Christina Riley.|
Here is a little idea of how the production looked in action - cause I know how much everyone loves a good visual!
The Romeo & Juliet tour has now ended its run in the UK and the team will resume in September with the launch of The Crucible with Ten Poems and The Nutcracker in December - get booking now! I'm definitely making sure I finally see The Nutcracker this year.. Under 26 year olds & students are eligible for £10 tickets so no excuses!