15 February 2022 650 Views

Romeo and Juliet. Live! Ballet is Beautiful.

by James Murphy

I always adored the Ballet.

And I appreciated Romeo and Juliet as a story.

But now?

I ‘get’ why those two artistic expressions are so well matched. 

So, I saw THIS. ‘Live’.

Ok, not QUITE live. It was on at the CINEMA! And turned out, the conductor was sat behind me..so unless he is in fact bi-locational (not impossible, given his awesome talent), the show was recorded.

The big giveaway there was that the interval timings did not quite match up. But even so. PRETTY close to watching everything ‘live’.

And they threw in some joyous glimpses to the behind the scenes craft that made the show what it was. Darcey Bussell: You are an inspirational teacher, as well as being lovely in every other way possible.


Context /Background, here: Ballet is a craft I admired, anytime I had the privilege to watch it performed. But there was a tendency to just look at it, passively, rather than engage, actively. This one performance has changed that, forever. I dunno, maybe I am more attentive with age. Perhaps Pilates perchance propelled my brain into appreciation of movement?

For whatever reason, though. I LOVED THIS ROMEO AND JULIET! It was like an action movie. A great sporting event. Dance, fight choreography, theatrical set-piece design, lighting, sound. EVERY craft, art and measure one invests in perfect cinema, but translated, across the spectrum, both through and within, the Ballet.

I have never been so enthralled by ROMEO AND JULIET as I was, here. The story beats were clear, like silent film, backed by Prokofiev’s majestic music. You may know some of the tunes because certain cues were used, pointlessly so, to back BBC’S THE APPRENTICE.

But in any event, as a fan of film scores, one can hear the lineage of Williams, Zimmer, Goldsmith, Powell, Tyler, Silvestri, Burwell, Newman, Balfe, Kamen, Barry, Bernstein: everyone is ‘there’ in the Prokofiev template. Or he is in their music. Either way, just listen and you will see the recurring, musical motifs. Beautiful!

And speaking of beauty… This was the first time I viewed Ballet as a piece of ACTING. Every performer gave their all: in the face, the eyes, poise, joy, sadness, innocence, vengeance, lust, love, comedy. Each of the dancers could easily transfer formats and act in film. The Juliet /Jooooliet is a revelation.

Trust me on this one: Anna Rose O’Sullivan is a big star, in waiting/the making. Sweet, enthusiastic, athletic, beautiful, joyous, vulnerable yet strong. Could play anything. I have never been so moved by the Juliet persona, in any iteration of the story. Bravo! 

Special mention to: the girls playing ‘three harlots’. LOVE those corkscrew curls. In an ensemble piece, you kinda stole your scenes. Welcome for tea in Birmingham, anytime. 😉

A wonderful, cherished, treasured, inspirational experience. THANK YOU, one and all who crafted such a splendid Ballet and made it happen on film. I look forward to the next one. Oh and a coincidental, cinematic, fortuitous privilege: meeting the Conductor and also Laura Day. 





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