Magazine article Pointe

A Romeo and Juliet That Swells the Ranks

Magazine article Pointe

A Romeo and Juliet That Swells the Ranks

Article excerpt

A Romeo and Juliet That Swells the Ranks

By Steven Brown

Steven Brown writes about dance for The Charlotte Observer

Any story ballet is a stretch for North Ciirolina Dance Theatre, which presented Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux's Romeo and Juliet, May 15 17, at the Belk Theater in Charlotte, NC. The dancers ability isn't the problem; the company's size is.

NCDT has 18 professional dancers and six trainees. That isn't enough for all the characters who populate a full-evening work. To do Romeo and Juliet, the company had to flesh itself out with apprentices, students, ex-dancers from its staff and two dancers hired from outside. Injured company member Nicholle Rochelle played Juliet's mother. Even Executive Director Douglas Singleton, a non-dancer, was pressed into service as Romeo's father.

Bonnefoux succeeded in capturing the beloved story's romance and tragedy- At the Capulet's party, the smitten Romeo loomed over Juliet like an overeager boy. But by the balcony scene, Bonnefoux's choreography carried Romeo on flights of lyricism and excitement as he began to mature. Juliet began as a shy. demure girl, allowing Romeo's ardor to sweep her along. Yet when fate went against them and Juliet prepared to take the potion that mimics death, she froze in grim resolve.

Other pictures linger in the memory. During most of the long kiss that climaxed the balcony scene, Romeo and Juliet touched only at the lips. They flung their arms out to the sides, as if sheer ecstasy electrified them. …

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