For never was a story of so much woe than Juliet and her Romeo.
The National Ballet opened their 60th season with an emotional and visually beautiful version of Shakespeare’s tragic love story. It was the world premiere of the show, which featured Alexei Ratmansky’s fresh take on a ballet classic.
I was dazzled by the choreography, that featured sweeping lifts and beautiful combinations. The staging of the combat scenes was skillfully performed and I loved how they would insert a soubre-saut and other jumps to bring ballet back into the movements.
“I thought it followed the play really closely, especially the interplay between
Juliet, the nurse and Lady Capulet in the first scene, I really liked the
balcony pas-de-deux, I thought the choreography was very intricate and very
complicated. I thought Heather Ogden danced beautifully, very light, very
expressive,” said Trina Desa after the show.
I fell in love with Ogden’s portrayal of Juliet. She was expressive and so light on her feet. But Mercutio was by far my favourite dancer. Jonathan Renna’s dancing was humourous and made the crowd laugh out loud a few times.
Watch a trailer of the show below:
The costuming and set design was fantastic. The audiences were transported back and forth between the Capulet and Montague houses with clever and simple set pieces. My favourite setup was the entrance to the Capulet house in the first act. I thought it was brilliant that the guards were used in between the columns to illuminate the set and create the illusion of a grand entrance to a house in Verona.
Even better were the costumes. I fell in love with some of the Renaissance inspired outfits, as well as Juliet’s light-as-air dresses. The Coveteur did a video on the National Ballet of Canada, and I nearly fell off my chair when I saw all those pointe shoes! It’s truly a ballet dancer’s dream to be able to work with a team like that, and this company definitely has some of the best costume departments in the world.
I was surprised to see so many young people at the ballet, it was nice to see that younger people are enjoying the art form.
“Ballet has a demographic that tends to be a little older, so they’re trying to do all kinds of things to try and attract a younger demographic back into the theatre, different companies are doing that different ways. The stories are always contemporary, Romeo and Juliet is a classic story, everybody knows it, and I think anyone can connect with it, because everybody strives for love and looks for love in their lives,” says Lisa Hering.
And now, the National is making it easier for students to experience the ballet.
Hering is an Interior Design student at Ryerson. She used to dance, and now works in customer service with the national ballet. Even though going to the show used to mean wearing evening gowns, opera glasses and expensive tickets, Hering says the ballet is making it easy for anyone – even students – to attend.
“If you wanna come and you’re a student or something like that, there is a program called Dancebreak with the National ballet runs. It’s for people under 30 the day of the show, so really at midnight, the day of the show, you can go online and purchase tickets at a much lower rate,” she says.
People can even get standing room tickets for $12 the night of the show. So anyone can experience the art of the ballet and be there for the final curtain call.