At long last love?

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 20, 2008

What’s not at the heart of this Romeo is its choreography. I don’t find it as “gaseous,” or as “pop,” as Croce did, but it lacks virtuosity and sweep and exaltation. (Then again, what Prokofiev Romeo doesn’t?) The balcony pas de deux loses steam and direction (Prokofiev doesn’t offer much help in this regard); the bedroom pas de deux is claustrophobic and clingy. It looked better when it went faster, and this past weekend, Jaime Diaz and Erica Cornejo looked best, Diaz a big, masculine presence with anger (when Tybalt slaps him) and elevation and double tours that he all but over-rotates, Cornejo giddy, immediate, quicksilver (applauded by the audience just for haring off stage), hopelessly devoted to her Romeo, and sweetly subversive in her minuet parody with Paris. Larissa Ponomarenko was contained, elegant, and, as always, deliciously articulated, but she’s more the serious Tatiana (from Onegin) type, and she needs more energy than Nelson Madrigal’s puppyish, boyish Romeo provided. The third couple in this production, Carlos Molina and Lorna Feijóo, struck a more tragic note, with Molina, tender but conflicted, suggesting Hamlet rather than Romeo.

Yury Yanowsky’s demonic, explosive Tybalt conjured Basil Rathbone in George Cukor’s 1936 film of Shakespeare’s play. Along with Cornejo, he’s the best thing here; I would like to have seen him as Romeo — and perhaps also Reyneris Reyes, whose wriggling Mercutio baited the Capulets in all their repressed sexuality. Joel Prouty’s Mercutio was just as antic and a little quicker. (Shakespeare’s Mercutio is nimble-tongued, as in his “Queen Mab” speech; too bad Cranko couldn’t give him footwork to match.) Mindaugas Bauzys was the most complex Paris, courtly and considerate and hinting at quirky; Sabi Varga seemed reined in and reluctant to show his natural sweetness. Karine Seneca created a grande dame Lady Capulet; Shannon Parsley’s lighter-weight model was a reasonable alternative. Sarah Wroth drew the Nurse more broadly than Heather Myers; Cranko doesn’t make fun of her but doesn’t give her much either. The opening-night trio of Gypsies — Melanie Atkins, Kathleen Breen Combes, and Rie Ichikawa — were the most individual.

For the Boston Ballet Orchestra, as so often, it’s the devil who’s in the details of thin high strings (at the start of the second act) and brass bobbles. but there’s divine intervention from music director Jonathan McPhee in the dark victory of Prokofiev’s score.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: L’Allegro, fuss and feathers, and the ICA blues, Stacked deck, Tragic tropes and anti-tropes, More more >
  Topics: Dance , Entertainment, Jaime Diaz, Leonid Lavrovsky,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
    Fifty-four years after its groundbreaking Broadway premiere, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun remains as dense, and as concentrated, as its title fruit.
  •   LIGHT WAVES: BOSTON BALLET'S ''ALL KYLIÁN''  |  March 13, 2013
    A dead tree hanging upside down overhead, with a spotlight slowly circling it. A piano on stilts on one side of the stage, an ice sculpture's worth of bubble wrap on the other.
  •   HANDEL AND HAYDN'S PURCELL  |  February 04, 2013
    Set, rather confusingly, in Mexico and Peru, the 1695 semi-opera The Indian Queen is as contorted in its plot as any real opera.
  •   REVIEW: MAHLER ON THE COUCH  |  November 27, 2012
    Mahler on the Couch , from the father-and-son directing team of Percy and Felix Adlon, offers some creative speculation, with flashbacks detailing the crisis points of the marriage and snatches from the anguished first movement of Mahler's unfinished Tenth Symphony.
    "Without The Nutcracker , there'd be no ballet in America as we know it."

 See all articles by: JEFFREY GANTZ