Romeo and Juliet delight Regent audience
THE Russian State Ballet of Siberia gave a spellbinding performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Ipswich Regent on Saturday.With the audience soaking up the atmosphere created by lavish costumes and lively backdrops and showing its appreciation of well-executed performances with enthusiastic applause as each scene edged closer to the final, tragic climax.
THE Russian State Ballet of Siberia gave a spellbinding performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Ipswich Regent on Saturday.
With the audience soaking up the atmosphere created by lavish costumes and lively backdrops and showing its appreciation of well-executed performances with enthusiastic applause as each scene edged closer to the final, tragic climax.
The music by Sergei Prokofiev was masterfully performed by the Russian State Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Anatoly Tchepurnoi.
Going to the performance with my 10-year-old daughter and her friend, I was slightly apprehensive about how the story of Romeo and Juliet could be made captivating enough through dance to hold their attention. But I need not have worried.
The interpretation by 45-year-old artistic director Sergei Bobrov, himself a former Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer, had them on the edge of their seats from beginning to end, gasping at the antics of the street scenes and the impossibly high leaps of Romeo, marvelling at the glitter and exoticism of some of the costumes, feeling for the delicate and very pretty Juliet, and gripped by the tragedy as it unfolded in the final scenes.
Death lurks throughout the first act but the mood becomes increasingly dark and sinister in the second half of the performance, with the heralds of death ever-present in their black costumes and skull-like make-up - testimony to the skill and imagination of set and costume designer Dmitry Tcherbadzhi. The chilling dance in which they transport the slain Mercutio's soul away is notable for its imaginative choreography.
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This is a forerunner to the moving performances of the deaths of the lovers themselves, and the final tableau of Romeo and Juliet lying together on their death-bed is quite a tear-jerker!
We all came away from the ballet feeling privileged to have seen something extra-special at the Regent, and hoping the company will return for another tour soon. It really should not be missed.