To Sir Frederick Ashton’s fast footwork and musicality belongs the Australian Ballet’s double bill “The Dream” and “Marguerite & Armand.” To the charming misadventure distillation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream bubbles “The Dream.” To the legend of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, dovetails Amy Harris’s Marguerite, in Harris’s last stage role before her retirement. After 22-years with the company, Harris bids farewell in a delicious camellia-bloom, echoing Marguerite’s own departure (thankfully for altogether different reasons; Harris is retiring from the stage, whereas her character Marguerite is dying of tuberculous).FREE ARTICLE
Like Baz Luhrmann before him, Matthew Bourne’s contemporary reworking of “Romeo and Juliet” adds a coat of grit to fair Verona. Gone are the marbled columns and wrought-iron balconies of the Capulet court; it’s all sheetrock and cold metal bars at the Verona Institute, a juvie-asylum hybrid where disaffected teens are doped into submission. Absent too are the feuding families. Romeo’s parents are shellacked politicians, eager to hand their son over for medicated safekeeping, while Juliet’s are absent from the picture altogether. A legion of tyrannical guards stand in the way of our star-crossed lovers, commanded by a nightmarish Tybalt whose predation of Juliet escalates into rape just minutes into the show.
Seren Williams and Andrew Monaghan in Matthew Bourne's “Romeo and Juliet.” Photograph by Johan Persson
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continue Reading