‘Romeo and Juliet’ Revitalized in Ballet Performance

Shakespeare’s timeworn tale “Romeo and Juliet” was revitalized last Saturday night as the American Repertory Ballet performed in the Sharp Theater. The professional company of dancers told the classic story of star-crossed lovers beautifully and with impeccable elegance.

Ballet dancing is an art that is slowly fading but always seems to have a niche in traditional theater productions. The dancers moved with graceful fluidity capable of telling the complex romance in a format that was easily understood and enjoyed. The emotion on the faces of the dancers was filled with striking expression that carried much of the performance, especially that of Juliet (Karen Moscato).

“For a company that talented, I think they put on a very good show. Alexander Dutko [Mercutio] was excellent, his work is always consistent,” said attendant Gregory Erwin.

The technical aspects of the ballet were also exceptional, including the set design, lighting and score. The stage truly had the feel of Verona and seamlessly transformed into the other iconic scenes as well. The soft moon light helped represent nighttime, while orange rays flooded the stage when a daytime scene was occurring, all helping to tell the story. The dance was choreographed to a score that was certainly dramatic, but by no means overpowering.

Excitement ensued during the group scenes that consisted of the majority of the cast in which there was melodic folly one moment and rhythmic sword fighting the next. The performers made it seem as though Shakespeare had a ballet in mind when penning one of his most famous works. The audience was enthused and engaged throughout the entire performance as a roar of applause followed every act.

“It was the first time I saw ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ and I liked the classics more than the new stuff which kept my attention,” stated Myron Dutko.

The chemistry of the leads tied the audience to the performance, making the tragedy even more emotional, although onlookers knew the outcome from the outset. The lack of dialogue was quickly overlooked as the movement and mien of the characters told all that needed to be said.

“[The performance] was very nice, it was beautiful; the dancing, the choreography and the costumes were wonderful,” said Carlyn Dawsh.

The appeal of a ballet may be diminishing in modern culture, but that did not deter a near-sellout crowd to flock to the Berrie Center to see a troupe of trained dancers put on a passionate performance.