Romeo And Juliet, Royal Opera House, London
Tuesday 04 April 2006
Juliet is 14, Guillem 41. Does that matter? Guillem's energy and personal beauty make her a heroine, while the vividly drawn stage relationships show us Juliet's vulnerability within the powerful Capulet family. There have been rumours that these will be her last Romeo performances. People said that last time, too. Yet it's true that Guillem's relationship with the Royal Ballet, where she has been a principal guest star since 1989, is changing.
She gave up the 19th-century classics some time ago, restricting her repertoire to a few dramatic heroines - Manon, Marguerite, Juliet - and modern works which make few demands on her classical technique. It's becoming harder to see where she fits into the Royal Ballet. Yet I've never seen her look so much at home with her host company as she does here, or so good. She has been a semi-detached guest - putting in her sky-high leg extensions, leaving her torso stiffly upright rather than flowing with the music. She fudged some pointe work this time, but otherwise sticks closely to Kenneth MacMillan's steps with an impulsive, lively performance.
In the balcony scene, she's carried away in MacMillan's flowing, surging choreography. She also remembers the threat of her watchful family. Turning away from Massimo Murru's Romeo, she looks back to her balcony. Then she returns to Murru, decision made. In the tomb scene, this Juliet hadn't realised that stabbing herself would hurt so much. She leans back against the stone of the Capulet vault, as if winded, before crawling painfully back to Romeo.
Murru, replacing the injured guest star Nicholas Le Riche, makes an underpowered Romeo. His dancing is untidy, poorly centred. Juliet really would be better off with her parents' choice: Rupert Pennefather is a charismatic Paris, carrying himself with authority.
The company performance has gained momentum since the first night. The market-place bustle has more energy, the ballroom dances have more sweep.
In repertory to 10 April (020-7304 4000); Guillem dances Juliet again on 7 April
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
'Offensive' Banksy immigration mural in Clacton is scrubbed from wall by council
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >