I did indeed see R&J yesterday. Had a lovely seat in the third row, and my enjoyment was only dimmed at times by the young children in the vicinity. Too many whispered questions to their mothers (and the mothers' responses) that should have waited for intermission. I don't feel children under 10 (and these girls were 5-7) should see any ballet but The Nutcracker
unless they can sit quietly. Sure, the odd question here and there is fine, but when it's a constant distraction it can really take you out of the moment.
Luckily for me, when Nehemiah Kish is on stage, a marching band could walk up behind me and I doubt I'd notice. He was a completely swoon-worthy Romeo (sporting a new hair cut, even) and Xiao Nan Yu was a lovely and girlish Juliet. I thought they had great chemistry and really sold the glow and excitement of young love. I was entranced by their scenes.
This is the only R&J I've seen, and overall it was a lovely show. However, I did find the choreography somewhat lacking. There were a few acrobatic moments, but it was more the story that drew me in. The only other full-length classic ballet I've seen is Kudelka's Cinderella
, which I thought was much more dynamic, dance-wise.
If I had to describe this R&J in a nutshell I'd say it was old-fashioned. But to reiterate, I did really enjoy it. I loved the pas de deux in the moonlight at the end of act one. Gorgeous.
Keiichi Hirano was on as Benvolio, so no worries on that front. Not sure why he missed the other shows, but he was in fine form. Richard Landry was Mercutio, and I must confess I found him a bit lacking. He's a fine dancer, but he's missing that dazzle for me. He just doesn't wow me for whatever reason. Etienne Lavigne was quite delightfully dastardly as Tybalt. But of course it was Nehemiah Kish and Xiao Nan Yu who really impressed me. I really hope we'll see Kish back next season even in this limited capacity. Although I notice he's conspicuously absent from next year's brochure...
Oh, and the show ended on a very cute note: At the very last curtain call when Nehemiah and came out alone in front of the curtain, Nehemiah tripped and made them both stumble. He said, "Woah!" as they dissolved into giggles and the audience laughed along with them.