Sunday, October 09, 2016


Ballet Cymru at the Civic Theatre


This enterprising Newport-based dance company is touring its award winning Romeo a Juliet round England and Wales this autumn and winter.
A young, international cast brings energy and elegance to the familiar tragedy, set to a reduction of the Prokofiev score in a recording by Sinfonia Cymru.
The design, by Georg Meyer-Wiel, uses projection to enhance the depth of the stage and add interest to the simple white shapes of bed and balcony. The costumes, too, are imaginative: monochrome menace for the Capulet gang, a dash of scarlet for Mercutio, gothic black for the Friar.
Andreamaria Battaggia makes a boyishly charming Romeo. He has many touching moments with his Juliet, Gwenllian Davies: the dawn duet, the shared intimacy of the silken sheets. She brings an awkward tension to her work with Mark Griffiths' Paris, and at the end, after a heart-rending pas-de-deux with Romeo embracing her lifeless form, she crawls over the tomb which separates them, vainly reaching for a farewell touch.
Excellent work too from Miguel Fernandes as an extrovert Mercutio, agile even in his death agony, and from company apprentice Ann Wall as a very youthful Lady Capulet, haughty on pointe.
Among the original ideas from choreographers Darius James and Amy Doughty, clogs to add percussion to the dramatic Dance of the Knights.

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