Saturday, July 05, 2008

And Romeo and Juliet Lived Happily Ever After

Romeo was about to stab himself when the friar stopped him--monk ex machina--and explained that Juliet, who was lying comatose on a nearby bed, would revive. Sure enough, she did. Then she and Romeo danced, and the friar rang a bell. Juliet's family came in, happy to see that Juliet had sprung back to life, and waved goodbye to the united lovers. (What happened then? Were they welcomed back into their families?)

I didn't mind. I knew it was coming. And it wasn't as bad as if Joan of Arc didn't get burned at the stake--as she doesn't in Verdi's opera. In fact, I was a little pleased.

The music: among my favorites.

Good things in the ballet performed at Bard today:

Romeo is a klutz at dueling. As he should be. He's a lover, not a swordsman. He was lucky to kill Tybalt. Or maybe unlucky.

Some nudity at the beginning of the last act--R and J in bed.

Mercutio's death dance--and the duel with Tybalt. Breathtaking. Mercutio had been so ingratiating!

Juliet takes the potion--and falls into a coma. Slowly her head sinks further down against the headboard. Lots of merriment and dancing while she lies "dead." (She had told her parents that she would agree to marry Paris.) Audience wonders: When will they find out? It was done very well.

Mark Morris, the choreographer, took a well-deserved bow.

Still, the Kirov was better. The Kirov production I saw years ago was electrifying. And Romeo danced with Juliet's corpse.

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