Ballet Wales’s (Ballet Cymru) award winning production delivered a unique and dark portrayal of Shakespeare’s classic love story. Winner of Best Large Scale Dance Production at the Theatre Critics of Wales Awards 2014, the intense, full throttle fight scenes and passionate despair of this adaptation would not have been out of place in a Hollywood movie. The struggle and intensity created from these young dancers left me emotionally exhausted and I needed the interval to reset myself, ready for what I could only imagine to be an absolutely thrilling finale…and I was right!
Juliet particularly gave her all in her portrayal of a girl so desperately in love, with the misery and hopelessness of her situation etched on her face as she faced the heartbreak of losing her true love. Dramatic choreography completely conveyed the sense of love, loss, power and pain.
The costumes were designed by Georg Meyer-Wiel who studied at The Royal College of Art and gave the whole production the feel of something that would not have been out of place in the Hunger Games movies. Along with the deafening thump of the accompanying music, at times it had a very military and slightly futuristic vibe. During one particular scene, the dancers used clogging to great effect, set to Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights. The clogs have a wooden sole and a metal toe cap, in sharp contrast to the shoes ballet dancers normally use. The effect of this mirrored the conflict on the stage to great effect. It was a real masterstroke to use Welsh clogging in this scene.
The Dance City stage was the perfect size for this performance, anything larger and the intensity and confinement of the young lover’s predicament would have been lost.
Ballet Wales pushed back the barriers of classical ballet and produced a powerful, mesmerising and haunting performance.
This won’t be the only time Ballet Cymru will visit our region, watch this trailer for Romeo A Juliet to get a flavour of what they can do and look out for their forthcoming productions.
To find out more about upcoming workshops, performances and training opportunities available at Dance City visit their website.