Another night at the Dorothy Chandler. Love this venue! This time we saw Romeo and Juliet by the touring National Ballet of Canada. I am always excited about ballet. There is something magical about each performance because it gives one an opportunity to experience a world of fantasy, to marvel at the strength and beauty of the dancers, and to be able to see the music as it takes shape of the movement and breathes with emotion. This ballet was choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky in just 10 weeks specifically for the National Ballet of Canada in celebration of the company’s 60th anniversary. I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet more than 4 times, but I never get tired of the lyrical and heroic music and the bittersweet love story. I liked what Ratmansky has done to this production. The ballet brimmed with joy and lightness, lots of beautiful pairings, and a fair amount of sword play. The choreography reflected the fragility of the teenage love and romance, showcased the grandeur and energy of the masquerade, and had a lasting effect on the audience by highlighting the severity of the tumultuous times that further enhanced the tragedy of the young lovers.
It was my first introduction to the National Ballet of Canada and it didn’t disappoint. On the night of the performance we saw the principles Naoya Ebe and Sonia Rodriguez as Romeo and Juliet. Petite Sonia was a lovely Juliet and Naoya was just as charming a Romeo. I also enjoyed the costumes and stage sets by Richard Hudson. Maybe the costumes were too conservative for the modern taste, but they very well reflected the fashion of the time.
It was a great way for the Music Center to close the season. If only there were just as many ballet performances every season. But unfortunately, LA is not a center of dance, and it is also not NYC. Hopefully, Wallis Annenberg Center will delight us with a few modern dance performances just as it did last year. And there are a lot of exciting companies performing at the Music Center to look forward to in the upcoming season: The Australian Ballet, BalletBoyz, Alvin Ailey, Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, and BalletNow. I am excited!