ROMEO & JULIET
April 7, 2017
Gracing posters and programs, Krzysztof Pastor choreographic version of Romeo and Juliet is captured as the image of the Joffrey’s New York spring season at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre.
Premiered in 2008 with the Scottish Ballet, Pastor’s unconventional proposal was integrated into the Joffrey’s repertoire in 2014. Framed within a modernist production with set and costume designs by Tatyana Van Walsum, lighting by Bert Dalhuysen, and dramaturgy by Willem Bruls, the production distinguished itself by cinematic Qilm sequences projected against a Qixed city street image in the background over which Qlat glass frames or metal architectural structures interplayed lowering and rising.
Set in a cold and lugubrious 20th-century post-war contemporary aesthetic, Bruls transposed Shakespeare’s Veronese renaissance plot to three dictatorial crumbling moments within Italy’s twentieth-century: 1930’s, 1950’s, and the 1990’s. Accordingly, the movement motifs were contained, restricted, angular, bearing bold and Qinite unidirectional shapes. The bipolar tonality of the costumes designs, most evident in the ballerina’s dresses and black point shoes, fragmented body and kinetic lines in disfavor of the expansion traditionally aspired in ballet.
Unavoidably, the ballet stood shockingly in contrast with repertoire’s choreographic references such as the boundless dynamic Qluidity, and character sensitivity imprinted by Sir. Kenneth McMillan (1965). Instead, recurrent motifs in each character were maintained during the three acts oblivious of Sergei ProkoQiev’s polychromatic composition.
In this sense, the choreographic choices seemed unaffected from the six decades Pastor’s Shakespearean ballet claimed to cover. Through the evening, the talented cast maintained a harnessed timeless aesthetic with the plot development relying more on external stage factors and mime gestures than choreographic character interpretation.
Juliet recited her beautiful arabesques, while Tybalt rephrased his gliding pirouettes with the gesture leg a` la seconde,
An exception in movement, personality, interpretation, costume characteristics, and performance was Derrick Agnoletti in the role of Mercutio who conveyed charisma and comic winks throughout the work. Nevertheless, the theatrical military choreography featuring Alberto Velazquez as Romeo and Amanda Assucena as Juliet was well received by a cheering crowd rising to their feet at curtain call.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Gabriela Estrada