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 Post subject: American Repertory Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 327
Location: New Jersey
American Repertory Ballet
South Orange Performing Arts Center
South Orange, New Jersey

April 5, 2013
Viva Vivaldi; Caress (new Corbin); Rite of Spring (new Martin)

-- by Jerry Hochman

When the curtain came down on American Repertory Ballet’s April 5 performance of three ballets under the rubric “Viva Spring” at the relatively new and comfortably intimate South Orange Performing Arts Center (“SOPAC”), I remained in my seat for a few minutes, not quite knowing what hit me. You attend ballet performances primarily in New York and other major venues, and whether with the ‘home’ companies or major visiting companies passing through, you know that you’re seeing the best companies and dancers in the world, and you feel superior and entitled. Regardless of the degree of criticism, it’s all done within the parameters of ‘the highest possible level’ of artistic accomplishment. Nothing else could be on the same level. And nothing else is.

And then you sit, prepared to watch what you’re convinced will be amateur night at SOPAC and wonder how you’ll possibly be able to be both appropriately critical and generously kind to a company you knew existed, but isn’t even on the radar screen of eminent ‘regional’ companies. That is, until, as the evening progresses, you realize you’re seeing a very strong performance by a very strong group of dancers of very strong choreographic efforts in a well-balanced program that was both a stretch for the dancers and that showed them off at their best, concluded by a new non-traditional version of Rite of Spring that left me bewildered that anything with a concept so tortured and predictable could yet be so exciting to watch unfold. Choreographed by ARB’s Artistic Director Douglas Martin, Rite of Spring was the highlight of what turned out to be a very good evening.

ARB has been around for a long time. Formerly known as the Princeton Ballet Company (it is located in Princeton, NJ), it has roots back to 1963, and became a professional company in 1978. It has long been known for the quality of its affiliated Princeton Ballet School, the antecedent of which was established in 1954, and for its ambitious repertoire under a series of different artistic directors. While its proximity to major companies and venues has facilitated attracting nationally known faculty to its school as well as choreographic efforts by former dancers with national reputations, it has always appeared to operate in the shadows of its more famous cousins. Based on the program I saw, it deserves some sunlight.

The pedigree of the company’s current roster of dancers, while including many Princeton Ballet School graduates (and current faculty members), includes those with training and performing experiences ranging from the West Coast to Canada to Europe to North Carolina to New Jersey, and, in a nutshell, exemplifies the extensive talent pool among dancers who either are not selected for the ‘major’ companies for whatever reason, or who choose to perform in small companies closer to family and/or with greater performing opportunities. Companies like ARB are known not only for providing such opportunities, but also for having the flexibility to experiment choreographically without being subject to the critical glare or financial requirements of ‘major’ companies. To consider them on the same level as the major companies would be wrong – but to ignore them would be to ignore a fundamental factor in contemporary ballet.

The evening began with the company’s performance of Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi. Since I’d seen the piece previously and recalled enjoying it, I expected it to be the evening’s highlight. Choreographed in 1965 for the Joffrey Ballet for which Arpino was its resident choreographer and with which Mr. Martin (as well as his wife, Mary Barton, who is ARB’s Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer and a teacher at the school) danced for many years, the piece was staged by Trinette Singleton, whom I remember well from The Joffrey’s New York City Center performances. The piece is a typically pleasant, ebullient Arpino work, lyrical and airy and a visual breath of spring, with an eclectic agglomeration of steps ranging from ‘straight’ ballet to contemporary dance (I saw stereotypical Paul Taylor movement, which either mined Taylor’s style or emanated from the same movement root), with shifting visual focal points and echoing movements that foreshadow more contemporary pieces.

The company did a good job with it, but it looked like a stretch for them. The women showed greater facility than the men, which is not unexpected in a ‘regional’ company, and the partnering was unsteady, but they executed the piece admirably in a confined space (the SOPAC stage appears roughly half the width of the City Center stage, which is where I originally saw it). The piece needed more room to breathe. Samantha Gullace and Edward Urwin; Euphrosyne Avery and Joshua Kurtzberg, and Alexander Dutko and Stephen Companella led three of the four sections of the piece, and were joined by Cameron Auble-Branigan, Mattia Pallozzi, Alice Cao, Andrea D’Annunzio, Shaye Firer, Monica Giragosian, Talin Kenar, Kelsey McFalls, Karen Leslie Moscato, Claire van Bever, and Tulio Cata.

I figured it would be downhill from there. I figured wrong.

It’s easy (or, at least easy to think that it’s easy) to choreograph a sweet little ballet about love that’s pretty to look at and then quickly forgettable. The better ones go beyond the breath of Spring sexual urges and remembrances of youth past to say something more. Patrick Corbin’s Caress is one of the better ones. Being nice to look at (simple costumes by Michelle Ferranti, including gently sensuous pale pastel chiffon (or chiffon-like) skirts for the girls; complemented by lighting by Lauren Parrish that bathed the stage in Spring) was just the beginning. Mr. Corbin, a former leading dancer with Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1989 until his retirement from performing in 2005, with roots in the School of American Ballet, ABT II (American Ballet Theatre’s ‘second’ company), and the Joffrey, has here merged a little of everything into a delightful piece that uses different types of facial ‘caresses’ as an intriguing and recurring visual motif.

Caress is choreographed to “8 Movements” by Kate Jewel, a collection of short pieces of gentle lyricism on which Mr. Corbin grafts his equally gentle and lyrical movement (even when the movement becomes angular, it’s never forced or mechanical). Ms. Jewel’s music is not familiar to me, and she was not biographied in the program. So I googled her. She is an artist of Native-American heritage, whose music demonstrates melodic simplicity, as well as genuine warmth and sensitivity representative of someone who listens and sees.

In Caress, which combines two of Ms. Jewel’s short pieces into one, creating seven ‘songs’, Mr. Corbin also listens and sees, and choreographs without judgment – but in doing so speaks volumes. This wasn’t multiple snapshots of the same image: Each of the segments had its particular choreographic and emotional virtues, and I found Mr. Corbin’s choreography to be vibrant, inventive, and multi-faceted. I particularly liked the lovely duet with Ms. Kenar and Mr. Urwin that closed the opening two-part song (‘Transformation Song’); the playful reflection of love’s intoxication (a rite of spring of its own) danced by Ms. Cao and Mr. Auble-Branigan (‘Meditation’); the delicious dexterity displayed by Ms. Moscato, partnered by Mr. Pattiozzi; and the special emphasis given by Ms. Avery and Mr. Kurtzberg to their respective solos (‘Storm’ and ‘Amabile’), although these solos’ connection with the overall theme appeared more tenuous (representative of a sort of self-love, perhaps?). The strongest of the movements, to me, was to the penultimate song titled ‘Dance with me,’ in which Mr. Corbin separates the two featured couples into two same sex pairs, with each pair, at times, dancing a close, but not quite, mirror image of the steps danced moments before by the other couple: the same, but different. Exquisitely danced by Ms. Firer and Ms. van Bever, and by Mr. Campanella and Mr. Dutko, it is both tender and joyous, and as natural looking as everything else in the piece.

And then there was Mr. Martin’s Rite of Spring.

There is no reason that this dance should have worked. Mr. Martin’s program notes make it sound like a sophomoric application of the TV series "Mad Men" to Stravinsky’s epic music of tribal sacrifice. According to Mr. Martin, he “wanted to take this concept [the original production: Stravinsky’s score, the libretto by Nicholas Roerich, as originally choreographed by Nijinsky] to show just how much (or how little) society has changed from these pagan ancestral times…The selection of the Chosen One and the sacrificial dance represent the idea that, while societal limits are challenged all the time, great change takes great sacrifice. Usually the individual who takes the great risk is the one who helps to create the greatest progress.”

That’s fine, but the ‘great risk’ taken by the individual as described is, at most, ‘self-sacrifice’ that results in a greater good, not the destruction of an individual for the theoretical good of the tribe, and in the conception here, it's not even that – it’s an initial push through the glass ceiling that’s self-motivated. The 'Chosen One' is not the ‘office society’s' sacrificial lamb, she’s a volunteer who is rejected because she’s outside the accepted norm. That she may have paved the way for others to follow doesn’t make it sacrificial. And the libretto made it all sound silly: For example: “Act I: Office Arrivals – Meet the Ad Men, Personal Secretaries and Office Girls. Another day at the office, and each to his own…or her own. Sudden Arrival of the Boss – Everybody panic and get it together!. Office Rounds – Ad Men size up the competition in the papers with Office Girls at their beck and call. Meanwhile…the Boss needs another new Personal Secretary…..Act II: Mystery of the Opposite Sex – Promotions and an illicit interest in an impossibility…or is it?....Sacrifice of the Trailblazer – She has fallen, but a door has opened!

If Mr. Martin’s Rite of Spring is performed again, and I hope it will be, the ballet is much better than the verbal description. Mr. Martin’s ‘story’ is that of the structured, male-dominated office society, with women stuck in subservient roles of “Personal Secretaries” (the top of the bottom) and Office Girls (the bottom of the bottom); each of whom probably has more business sense than the Ad Men who are driven to succeed because the only alternative is failure. Simplistic though it may be, and inconsistent with the original concepts (which is not necessarily a bad thing, and Mr. Martin did apparently attempt to distinguish his take on the original from the original - he titled the piece Rite of Spring, not "The Rite of Spring," the title of the original), it succeeds as a work of performance art both because Mr. Martin is much better at choreographing than he appears to be at writing a libretto, and because the ARB dancers did such a fine job with it. About three minutes into the piece, and despite fighting it tooth and nail, I was hooked.

There are some things I would recommend be changed: most importantly, the selection of the Chosen One – a girl from the pool of Office Girls suddenly selected to join the Personal Secretaries, and then to replace one of the failed Ad Men – was, to this viewer, done so subtly that I missed it. On the other hand, the Chosen One’s costume change from frumpy office girl attire to a dress, like the other Personal Secretaries, but an all white dress, was like hitting the audience over the head with an anvil – she looked like a victim before she became a victim. Also, the way Mr. Martin displays the Chosen One’s rejection makes it appear (perhaps intentionally) that she’s rejected more by her rival women than by the men. And having the dancers scream during the frenzied action is both distracting and superfluous, given the explosiveness of the score.

Regardless of these and other minor criticisms, however, it all somehow works. Mr. Martin’s choreography fills the stage. Initially, there’s segregated ‘tribal’ activity, with each office segment population operating separately from the other, with minimal interaction, which gradually grows to full office hysteria. The steps, from the Office Girls typing in tandem with the Stravinsky score, to the preening Personal Secretaries and clownish Ad Men, to the diabolical Boss, are to this viewer an indescribable potpourri that work together because they fit both Mr. Martin’s concept and the Stravinsky score. That the hodgepodge is not a mess is a miracle, and a tribute to Mr. Martin’s choreographic ability.

But the ARB dancers were at least equal partners in making the performance work as well as it did. Led by Mr. Kurtzberg as the driven Boss, Mr. Campanella as the failed Ad Man, and Ms. Firer as the Office Girl/Chosen One, the cast was not only competent, but believable. Ms. Firer, who was particularly impressive to me, in this piece as well as others on the program, was obligated to dance and act with the greatest range, and not only pulled it off, but did so convincingly and thrillingly. The balance of the fine portrayals were danced by Ms. Cao, Ms. D’Annunzio, Ms. Kenar, and Ms. van Bever (Office Girls); Ms. Avery, Ms. Gullace, Ms. Giragosian, Ms. McFalls, and Ms. Moscato (Personal Secretaries), and Mr. Able-Branigan, Mr. Dutko, Mr. Pallozzi, and Mr. Urwin (Ad Men).

Both Caress and Rite of Spring had their premieres a couple of weeks earlier at Raritan Valley Community College, whose performing space is, as I recall, considerably larger than that of SOPAC. It would have been interesting to compare the impact of these two pieces based on the size of the performance space, since I suspect that the more intimate SOPAC stage and theater helped make the performance of these two pieces (as opposed to Viva Vivaldi) appear as good as they did. But unfortunately, I know of no intent to repeat the program. ARB will have other programs scheduled in the near future, which, based on this one, I recommend attending. Other than that – the next time that "Mad Men" is on hiatus, AMC should consider broadcasting Mr. Martin’s Rite of Spring to maintain the mood. Seriously.


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 Post subject: Re: American Repertory Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 327
Location: New Jersey
American Repertory Ballet
Union County Performing Arts Center
Rahway, New Jersey

April 12, 2013
Romeo and Juliet (new Martin)

-- by Jerry Hochman

You take the timeless Shakespeare tragedy, add the exquisite score by Serge Prokofiev, throw in some intelligent choreography and stagecraft, and add engaging and competent dancers, and a successful ballet production of Romeo and Juliet is almost a guarantee regardless of its size and budget. The new full length version of Romeo and Juliet by American Repertory Ballet’s Artistic Director Douglas Martin, which had its first full-choreographic ‘preview’ (full-length choreography, with costumes but not sets) on Friday at the Union Count Performing Arts Center (“UCPAC”), is destined to be one of those successful productions, and in many respects it’s already a pleasant surprise.

The version that Mr. Martin has choreographed plays it straight – this is not a revisionist Romeo and Juliet. As such, it invites comparisons to other well-known productions, including those performed by major companies. I particularly noticed some similarities between Mr. Martin’s version and that of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, which is currently in the repertory of American Ballet Theatre. But that’s to be expected, since the source material is the same. That being said, however, there are sufficient significant differences in detail, aside from this production’s smaller scale (this is not so much a ‘chamber’ version of Romeo and Juliet, as it is a compact one), that make Mr. Martin’s version different from others, and the fact that I’m mentioning it in the same breath as others is a compliment: this is an ambitious production. At times it may look like ‘MacMillan-lite’, but it has a character of its own.

Based on the two ballets of his that I’ve seen (this piece, and his Rite of Spring), Mr. Martin is particularly adept at choreographing stage-spanning action, which is evident in his Romeo and Juliet from the first scene. After the piece moves from the brief and somewhat awkward opening images of Romeo flirting with a girl (presumably Rosaline, but she’s not identified), the ballet segues quickly into the initial ‘village’ scene, and immediately comes to life. The ‘smaller’ nature of this production, while requiring choreographic adjustments, doesn’t diminish the level of activity the eye sees. As it should be, everyone on stage is in some degree of motion, and it all looks balanced. This facility with handling relatively large numbers of dancers on stage carries into the Capulet ball, which is as impressive – though on a much smaller scale – as the MacMillan version (particularly with the lighting and costumes ,designed respectively by Lauren Parrish, and Michelle Ferranti).

Even though it may not yet be in final form, the swordplay in the initial village scene (Act I, Scene 1) is already among the best this viewer has seen. Mr. Martin has choreographed his swordfights with considerable variety of movement so that the action looks natural rather than programmed, and the ARB dancers do a superb job with it. The fact that Mr. Martin ends the swordfight in what to me is a somewhat novel way (one of the village girls is killed) adds an unexpected, and unexpectedly disturbing, visual punctuation point.

I also liked what Mr. Martin did with the ‘Commedia dell’Arte’ performance within the performance that he inserted in Act II, Scene 1. I’ve seen similar interpretations before, and the scene makes more sense to me when the action is ‘interrupted’ by a street performance of some sort, as it is here, than by a ‘street wedding’, as in the MacMillan version. Moreover, using this artifice allows for more choreographic variety, and Mr. Martin has executed it well: the performance within the performance (and the ‘play within the play within the play’ that the Commedia dell’Arte dancers perform as part of their ‘act’) doesn’t interrupt the flow of the main action as much as it seems to accelerate and add texture to it.

Further, Mr. Martin’s choreography for the ‘lead’ members of the cast satisfies the essential prerequisites: it is challenging for the dancers, but not beyond their capabilities; it is visually interesting to watch; and most importantly, it successfully moves the audience. For example , the choreography he has created for Mercutio, Benvolio, and the three ‘harlots’ is exuberant and exciting to watch, and the duets between Juliet and Romeo – in particular, the critical balcony scene – are choreographed, and were executed, with the combination of rapture and conviction, that quality of being genuine, that is necessary to make the audience feel what the dancers feel, and to respond with the cathartic release that prompts appreciative, as opposed to obligatory, applause.

On the other hand, Mr. Martin seemed unable to resolve satisfactorily the challenges he had with performers who had relatively static roles or who were not the focus of attention. For example, the movement for the Duke of Verona (end of Act I, scene 1), even though requiring only arm gestures, was particularly weak, and the movement quality for Friar Lawrence, Paris, and to a lesser extent the Nurse wasn’t much better. Perhaps Mr. Martin can find a way to inject more life into these roles. More importantly, however, was the apparent difficulty Mr. Martin had with finding something for his relatively large cast [in addition to the ARB company dancers, the stage was populated with company trainees] to do when the action was focused on other dancers. So, for example, we often had Juliet’s friends (or a subset of them) just hanging around posing, not seeming to know what to do with their arms, or having their arms held out from their bodies like misaligned propeller blades in poses that looked less like stylistic choreographed statements than positions imposed because something had to be done with those arms. But in all fairness, there were no places for these and other cast members to be made relatively inconspicuous – because the UCPAC stage is so compact, these dancers couldn’t circle around the back of the stage to hobnob with other dancers out of the way of the ‘leads’. This concern – that at times the production looked not so much busy as cramped, and that characters not in focus had no place to hide (requiring that something be done to validate their stage presence), may be cured when the company officially premieres the piece in October, 2013 at the larger State Theater in New Brunswick (NJ).

But if the overall action moves well and looks convincing, and the main characters are competent dancers and engaging performers, the production will work. ARB’s production has the action; and, with the understanding that it is not, and does not (yet) pretend to be, a ‘major national company’, it also has the dancers.

Karen Leslie Moscato, who danced Juliet, is a product of the Princeton Ballet School (ARB’s affiliated school), and has been with the company for three years – relatively long compared to many other company members. Her experience shows: her portrayal was both appropriately youthful and technically accomplished, and she has a particular affinity for bourrees, which she executes beautifully. Indeed, although the steps were a noticeably abundant ingredient in Juliet’s dances, they was executed so well by Ms. Moscato that they never felt repetitious or superfluous. [I suspect that Mr. Martin choreographed his Juliet on Ms. Moscato and inserted as many bourrees as he did in order to choreograph to her strength. But regardless of the motivation, it worked both choreographically and as performed.]

My only concern about Ms. Moscato’s performance is that she needs to find a way to add shades of ‘feeling.’ Up until the point where she was being ordered by her parents to marry Paris, she had the same smile on her face throughout. By that I mean that her emotional level looked the same regardless of the situation: for instance, she seemed just as happy to be dancing with Paris (in Act I) as she was with Romeo – even after she had met Romeo; and during the bedroom scene in Act II, Scene 1, there was no reflection of concern that Romeo, who had just killed Tybalt, had been banished and would have to leave her. To be as convincing as she could be, she’ll need to find a way to express emotional changes clearly, and with degrees of shading, so that the audience can see more than just rapture on the one hand and despair on the other.

In other respects, however, Ms. Moscato was exemplary where it counts. As noted, Mr. Martin has choreographed an appropriately rapturous balcony scene, and Ms. Moscato (and her Romeo) gave a lucid, crispy executed, and believable presentation, which the audience clearly appreciated. And the scenes leading up to, and including, the final scene were particularly well-performed. Indeed, this viewer has seen many ‘screams’ (which is not just a ‘scream’; it’s an emotional explosion), and Ms. Moscato’s was superbly done. After seeing more Romeo and Juliet’s than I can remember, for Ms. Moscato to have prompted a reflexive tear says as much about the quality of her performance as it does for this viewer’s being a particularly soft touch.

Ms. Moscato’s Romeo was Mattia Pallozzi, a company trainee who did not become affiliated with the company or its school until 2011. This may explain some of his difficulty with the cleanliness of his steps, and particular his finishes to turns, but under the circumstances his performance was remarkable given his level of experience. Mr. Pallozzi is a tall, somewhat sinewy dancer, with a facility for clearly transmitting passion combined with sincerity. His portrayal was as the ‘Romeo next door’ (as opposed to being particularly experienced or inexperienced), and any absence of technical polish was overcome by this sweetness of his character. More importantly, Mr. Martin has choreographed the various duets between Juliet and Romeo to require strength, flexibility, and agility. Although you could see the rough edges and the effort, Mr. Pallozzi pulled off the two hardest parts of his portrayal – making his Romeo look believable and likeable, and partnering his Juliet with comfortable enthusiasm, so that, as executed, Mr. Martin’s choreography looked natural and unforced.

I was also impressed with the performances of the other cast members in significant roles. Alexander Dutko’s Mercutio had the right balance of bravado and sensitivity, and Stephen Campanella did a fine job as well as Benvolio. Both of them became particularly energized when playing off the three ‘harlots’: Samantha Gullace, Euphrosyne Avery, and Shaye Firer. [In Mr. Martin’s version the three harlots are specifically identified as companions of one of the lead men, as opposed to the de facto associations in the MacMillan version. I like that Mr. Martin has taken the description of these characters one step further - and perhaps in the future he might consider identifying them not as harlots, with all the unnecessary baggage that that word carries, but as friends (particularly since they’re not characters in the play)].

Ms. Gullace, Ms. Avery, and Ms. Firer did an excellent job with Mr. Martin’s choreography, and were appropriately engaged in their relationships with their ‘friends’. [They also did double-duty as Juliet’s ‘girlfriends’, together with Alice Cao and Clair van Bever.] But as commendable as each of them were, Ms. Firer stood out. I can’t yet comment on her technical facility (although I noticed no apparent deficiency). To this viewer, however, Ms. Firer, who has only been with the company for one year, contributes more to a performance than just competent execution of steps and character portrayal – she’s a vivacious performer [at the risk of being accused of taking advantage of an easy punning opportunity, she’s a firecracker] who transmits enthusiasm for whatever she’s doing on stage without falling into the trap of overdoing it and making it look artificial. And this applies not only to her portrayal of a harlot, where some degree of exaggeration and over-the-top acting would not have been inappropriate, but also in her more subdued role as one of Juliet’s friends.

Aside from the referenced lead dancers, those who were given most dancing to do were the Commedia dell’Arte players, who were in virtual constant motion during their performance within the performance: Ms. van Bever as Columbina; Cameron Auble-Branigan as Arlecchino; Tullio Cata (a company trainee) as Pantalone; and Kelsey McFalls (a company apprentice) and Edward Urwin as the Innamorati. They were wonderfully effervescent.

When she was able to do more than be a somewhat aloof mother, Talin Kenar gave a powerful performance as Lady Capulet, and her over-the-top hysteria at Tybalt’s death was not so crazed as to be either disturbing or unbelievable. [In this version, Mr. Martin has made Lady Capulet’s response to Tybalt’s death a clearer reflection of some relationship, other than familial, between Lady Capulet and Tybalt. Here, as Lord Capulet approaches his grieving wife, she rises from Tybalt’s body and forcibly pushes Lord Capulet away, as if to say ‘you don’t belong here; you don’t know anything about how I feel; this is my private agony’. Very nicely done.] As her husband, Joshua Kurtzberg (who was scheduled to perform Romeo the following afternoon) did a good job showing frustration, power, and pain within the framework of the minimal amount of movement choreographed to him.

Jacobo Janelli, another company trainee, was an appropriately aggressive Tybalt, and managed to avoid appearing as either a drunken bully or a homicidal maniac, and Mr. Urwin was the appropriately bland Paris, although some display of disappointment or resentment at being rejected by Juliet would have made Paris a more complete character. The other characters were all assigned to company trainees: they included the Nurse, Andrea D’Anunzio; and the Ball Guests (Alessia Astro, Kelsey Collard, Elisabeth Hekman, and Allison Piccone), all of whom graced the stage admirably. [It seems that the company may have a pipeline to Italy – many of its trainees were born and received their dance training there.]

Also noteworthy is Mr. Martin’s addition of the characters Balthazar (Romeo’s ‘servant’ in the original - played by Mr. Cato), Sampson (a primary Capulet cohort - by Mr. Auble Branigan), and Gregory (a secondary Capulet cohort – played by Marco Sammartino, another company trainee). They don’t have much to do, but either Sampson or Balthazar or both are active in instigating the initial swordfight, and provided this scene with some depth of character beyond being bodies necessary to fill the stage. [I had forgotten that these characters existed in the play. Perhaps some ingenious playwright will someday write a play based on these characters, as Tom Stoppard did with similar seemingly insignificant characters in "Hamlet": Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]

Performed on the UCPAC stage has its plusses and minuses. As noted, the production often looks cramped, and adjustments may have been made to conform to the smaller space. On the other hand, and even though I would not categorize it as a ‘chamber’ version, it was certainly an intimate performance. Seeing the dancers up close and personal adds to a performance’s impact (and may also enhance deficiencies). It will be interesting to see the effect that its transfer to a larger stage and a larger auditorium will have. But based on the compact production I saw, Mr. Martin’s version is already emotionally and artistically fulfilling, and I look forward to seeing it with completed sets and at a more appropriately-sized space in the fall. ARB’s Romeo and Juliet may prove to be not only a viable alternative for those audience members unwilling or unable to see a performance of the ballet by a major company in New York, but an independently compelling performance destination of its own.


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 Post subject: Re: American Repertory Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:06 am 
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Posts: 12093
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Marina Kennedy reviews "Romeo and Juliet" for Broadway World.

Broadway World


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 Post subject: Re: American Repertory Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12093
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
In the Newark Star-Ledger, Robert Johnson previews Douglas Martin's "Romeo and Juliet," Friday, October 11, 2013 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Newark Star-Ledger


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