view from the hill

A look at the elements and events that come into view from where I'm standing...
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... the stuff that matters in this life. Some flicker and are gone in a matter of hours
only to live in memory, others become life long travelling companions, never far from reach.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Romeo and Juliet can Dance too!

June 18th, 2007
rjb1We’re filling up our poor deprived LA souls with scads of culture while here in the Big City, and this evening we continued our Shakespeare theme by seeing the American Ballet Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet.

What an absolute triumph! The curtain went up and we were in a lush world of Elizabethan gowns and operatic sets. The ballet was pure visual music, and I was instantly transported away like a child at his first movie. It was so dramatic and achingly tragic I actually forgot there were words to this play. The orchestra had such power and force with Prokofiev’s score, we knew we were in the hands of masters. And the pictures fit the music perfectly. Stripped of Shakespeare’s words the dancers soared freely, and from the choreography of huge crowds down to the nuanced movements of individual expressions, emotion became visual. The complexities and subtleties of the story played beautifully through each instrument in the orchestra and each gesture of the exquisite dancers.

rjb2I’ve never seen a dancer move like Diana Vishneva’s Juliet, she’s just remarkably fluid and languid with arms like water. There’s a scene near the end where Romeo dances with the yet-to-be-resurrected Juliet and it just breaks your heart. The moves echo their first meeting, but this time Juliet is a deathly limp rag doll. It’s beautiful and tragic and amazing that so much emotion is conveyed with music and movement.

When the curtain fell, she was showered with bouquets from the cheering audience.

A magical evening.

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