ROMEO & JULIET: A GAME CHANGER FOR BALLET SAN ANTONIO

The opening night performance of Ballet San Antonio’s “Romeo và Juliet” was spot on. Like the blossoming of the lovely và yet inexperienced Juliet, the company has finally arrived as a fully realized concept. All the pieces have fallen inlớn place, và the entire company must be commended for their excellence.

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This production of “Romeo and Juliet” was originally choreographed by Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.for the Houston Ballet as a tribute khổng lồ the opening of the new Wortham mê Theater Centerway bachồng in 1987. It is somehow fitting that this production has been brought khổng lồ the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts by our ballet company in residence.


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As the curtain rises, the opulence of the sets and costumes are immediately evident. Designed by the brilliant David Walker, we finally see the company in the setting that their hard work has earned. On loan from Houston Ballet, the Tobin stage is filled with a vision that is equal lớn the venue. As the story moves from scene lớn scene, the set và tableaux changes are sweeping and swift. The costumes are composed of silks, velvets, chiffons, metallic tulle, & the most gorgeous sequins work. This couture is fitted meticulously và like Cinderella heading lớn the ball, the dancers & their costumes are a magical enhancement of movement và characterization.


This is a gem of a classical story ballet, và one doesn’t necessarily need to be well-versed in the art of ballet to enjoy it. To begin with, it is a Shakespearean tale that most are familiar with. Stevenson’s use of the balletic language of pantomime và choreography tells the story in a way that everyone can relate lớn. His liberal use of physical humor makes the tragedy of the story all the more poignant.

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Sally Turkel as Juliet. Photo by Alexander Devora/courtesy Ballet San Antonio.

And the ultimate center of this brewing storm? The attentions of the budding young virgin, Juliet. Portrayed on Friday evening & Saturday afternoon by the exquisite Sally Turkel, she is a delicate blossom of a woman-child personified. Turkel maintains the character arc from impudent and reluctant girl to the grieving và horror stricken widow-too-young, with a richness of feeling that goes beyond her obvious prowess as a dancer. (Veteran Principal, the much-loved Sarah Pautz, takes the role as hers for the Saturday evening và Sunday matinée performances.)

Stevenson’s choreography, surely & with subtlety, defines this arc. Juliet’s delicate reluctance with the aloof và handsome suitor, Paris (Principal, Ian Morris, who takes the role of Romeo for the Saturday evening, và Sunday matinée performances). The hesitant giddiness of the balcony scene & her first pas de deux with young Romeo. The maturing & hunger of a passionate love & its consecration, first in the chapel and then in Juliet’s bedroom. The death waltz in the Capulet family crypt. Every step of the way, the senses are fed & the audience is drawn inlớn an ever more complex web of love won and lost.



Another player deserving of special mention is Danielle Campbell in the role of Nurse. Stevenson has given this character a warm & motherly depth. Campbell carries this role of the loving and long-suffering nanny to lớn Juliet with reserve sầu and humor alternating, her ability to shield the young woman from her parents or the pain & sacrifice of life, slipping through her fingers. This is one of those lynchpin roles that moves the story forward, và Campbell performs with finesse.

Last but not least, so khổng lồ speak, is the live sầu performance of the iconic Sergei Prokofiev score by the San Antonio Symphony. Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto lớn, has the baton for this series of performances & it was a delight to see the ballet with live accompaniment. This truly makes the production a feast for all the senses.

Overall, an excellent performance with but one admonition. Now that we have a world-class theater, capable of world-class set-kiến thiết, our local stage hands need to get their chops in order. A drooping drape or a noisy mix change breaks the spell of a performance và casts us baông chồng down lớn earth. Ballet San Antonio deserves the best.

Tickets for the Sunday matinée performance are available at The Tobin box office, 100 Auditorium Circle, up to one hour prior khổng lồ curtain, or Hotline 210-223-8624. Also, you can order via TOBI online.

*Featured/top image:Tybalt và Mercutio engage in swordplay. Photo by Alexander Devora/courtesy Ballet San Antonio.

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Tagged: Ballet San Antonio,Entertainment & Nightlife,Romeo và Juliet,Tami Kegley,Tobin Center for the Performing Arts