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Pacific Northwest Ballet: Romeo et Juliette
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Pacific Northwest Ballet: Romeo et Juliette

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents the premiere by an American company of Jean-Christophe Maillot's "Romeo et Juliette," Thursday, January 31 through Sunday, February 10, 2008 at McCaw Hall in Seattle. R. M. Campbell previews the performance in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle P-I

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

Casting is now available:

Casting

Note that there is an added performance -- a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, February 9 -- in which the originator of the role of Juliette, Bernice Coppieters, will appear in the role as a guest artist.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:02 pm ]
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Moira Macdonald previews the performance in the Seattle Times:

Seattle Times

Note that Carla Korbes will *not* be appearing as Juliette; Noelani Pantastico is scheduled for all performances with the exception of the February 9 matinee, which will be performed by Bernice Coppieters, guest artist from Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:26 am ]
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Seattle press reviews from Thursday, January 31, 2008:

Moira Macdonald in the Seattle Times:

Seattle Times

R. M. Campbell in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle P-I

Rosemary Ponnekanti in the Tacoma News Tribune:

News Tribune

Author:  Dean Speer [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:36 pm ]
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In Living Black and White
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Roméo et Juliette”
2 February 2008, Evening Performance
McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington

by Dean Speer

Cinematic in treatment, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Roméo et Juliette” fulfills many fantasies – of the wind-swept hair and crashing waves variety. He fuses modern dance idiomatic gestures with a balletic palette of steps that’s used to bring out the essence of this timeless story.

Gone are the usual trappings – such as “heavy” sets and costumes, using instead movable blank pieces of a set that convey each scene through lighting and context: bedroom; courtyard; town square; church. A film-like opening shows us suggestions of Verona projected onto a downstage scrim along with credits. Costumes, as are the sets, are various shades of white and black. What color there is comes in with the lighting designs.

Some characters are eliminated entirely, while others have expanded roles. At the heart of the ballet, of course, are the two young lovers and their quarreling families. Noelani Pantastico and Lucien Postlewaite have plenty to do as the “star-crossed” pair – lots of meaty dancing, emotions ranging from joy and ecstacy to rage and grief. Pantastico wins the Olympic Gold Medal for stamina by doing all but one of the shows in the run. Both she and Postlewaite have technique and aplomb to spare and it was a joy to see them.

The action is seen as a flashback through Friar Laurence [Olivier Wevers] who is experiencing guilt from being one of the good-intentioned conspirators who sets several actions in motion. Wevers is equally at home in both princely and modern roles, as he is here. Another conspirator is The Nurse who is portrayed both comedically and tragically, extremely well danced by Jodie Thomas.

Louise Nadeau gives Lady Capulet such great energy and characterization. Here is someone who would cheerfully eat her own children, praying-mantis style. Her primal driver is one of power. Memorable were her sharp battements as well as the image of her echappé with her back to us when she first entered the tomb. Yet, after a few “boo-hoos” she runs off to her next conquest. I think her “grief” is more feeling sorry for herself as her two primary means of increasing power are now dead – Tybalt and Juliette.

Jonathan Porretta’s Mercutio is so “him.” Technical, fast allegro and adding on Mercutio’s bawdy sense of humor – and it’s a delightful part for Porretta.

Maillot smartly uses slow-motion for the fight scenes and then quickly switches to real time when the murders happen. This technique has been used before when showing violence and it makes it more palatable to audiences. Either that, or you have to have cleverly choreographed sword play. A little over the top, was Roméo’s strangling of Tybalt using a scarf – we didn’t need to see Tybalt twitching quite so much; it was very hard to take.

It was one of those great moments of the theatre as the curtain rose to see Pantastico and Postlewaite standing together – the crowd on its feet, roaring its approval.

I was pleased that many of the corps had plenty to dance as respective members of the fractious houses or as “acolytes” to the friar.

One of the strengths of the production is its Prokofiev score, very well played by the mighty PNB Orchestra under the baton of Conductor Stewart Kershaw.

This production, new to PNB, is one that sits on the shelf with many other “R & J” productions that we’ll look forward to seeing in the future.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:37 pm ]
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Disappointing news for those who may have been planning to buy tickets to see Bernice Coppieters at the February 9 matinee: she won't be performing due to U.S. visa issues that could not be resolved within the requisite time frame. Noelani Pantastico will handle both the matinee and evening performances that day.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:36 pm ]
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Sandra Kurtz reviews the production the the Seattle Weekly:

Seattle Weekly

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