"Romeo and Juliet’ delivers passionate performance | SummitDaily.com

"Romeo and Juliet’ delivers passionate performance

DENVER – The Colorado Ballet lifts the beauty of Romeo and Juliet’s love with a strength and grace only dance can accomplish.

Artistic director Martin Fredmann breathes life into the timeless tale of William Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers 20 years after his original production of the ballet in Tampa, Fla. Inspired by W.H. Hudson’s comment that God’s greatest gift to man is an appreciation of beauty, Fredmann has brilliantly translated Shakespeare’s Old English cadence into the moving poetics of ballet.

Fredmann’s distillation of characters and scenes cuts to the essence of the story, focusing on dynamic crowd scenes, parties and, of course, Romeo and Juliet’s romance. The scenes of the young lovers are the most breathtaking, with seemingly effortless lifts and passionate expression. Juliet’s bawdy nurse adds an adoring quality, eliciting a playful and joyful Juliet, expressed in her captivating dance.

The second act catapults the energy of the ballet to a higher level with large group festivities, intimate scenes of the couple professing their love and the fights between opposing families.

Though the dancers mostly deliver powerful swordfight scenes, at times – at least on opening night – the swords seemed less an extension of their bodies and more of a prop. The physical fight between Romeo and Tybalt, which outshines most swordfights, highlights the complex choreography.

Fredmann added a new scene to his 20-year old ballet, featuring Romeo and his friends, Benvolio and Mercutio. Though it adds a playful quality, as an opening scene, it distracts from the core story of Romeo and Juliet’s love.

Prima ballerina Patricia Renzetti, Fredmann’s original Juliet 20 years ago, performs her role as Lady Capulet in alternating performances with elegance and a powerful stage presence.

When Prokofiev’s score to “Romeo and Juliet” premiered in 1940, it was originally considered undanceable. Now, the melodies, rhythms and scoring powerfully support the demanding choreography of the ballet.

As with other Colorado Ballet productions, the dancers deliver mature, solid artistic and dance techniques in “Romeo and Juliet,” and the costumes and sets mirror the professional caliber of the company.

Event: Colorado Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet”

When: Thursdays through Sundays, through March 2

Where: Historic Denver Auditorium, Denver

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