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About the Change

Royal Ballet

'Romeo & Juliet'

April 2002
London, Royal Opera House

by Sylvia

© Asya Verzhbinsky

RB 'Romeo' reviews

'Romeo' reviews

Cojocaru in reviews

Kobborg in reviews

recent RB reviews

Sylvia caught a show early in the run - this is as her review appeared on the Postings Page

I had terrible seats with not one but TWO very tall people in front of me but enjoyed last night anyway. I guess I'm not so attached to the old set because I think the new one looks so beautiful, with a much grander feeling and it works so well. I love the image of Juliet on the balcony wandering between the columns where the ballerina's whole body is so much more exposed than the on old set.

Tamara Rojo as Juliet
Photograph by Asya Verzhbinsky

The RB looks in such great shape in this production but I have to confess I wasn't paying much attention to the goings-on on the sidelines (next time, I promise!) Johan Kobborg - well I keep repeating myself with this guy! He's not only the finest dancer I've ever seen (such beautiful, expressive and exhuberent solos), he is a truely brilliant actor as well. Any other dancer I could happily watch from the back of the amphi, but with Johan I WANT to sit up close so I see all those subtle changes of expression. He looked so surprisingly young, so boyish and impetuous. I think what was most memorable for me were the moments after their first encounter in the ballroom with Alina on one side of the stage snatching little glances at Romeo while Johan was gazing into the auditorium, looking so starry-eyed and stunned at what he had just seen - I loved that! I actually do think it was the performance of his life. Yes, I'm probably one of the few who was even more dazzled by Johan than Alina! But it's good to see Alina dance this role at such the right time in her life. They're two such extraordinary dancers on their own and I'm sure it's their partnership that will be one of the "greats". And it was awfully cute to overhear some in the audience speculating if they really were a couple because they looked so in love!

Martin Harvey also impressed as Mercutio and I thought the three of them, Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio looked really good, on the music, in sync and all that. Ivan Putrov was terrific as the lead Mandolin dancer. The sword-fighting was REALLY enthusiastic! Great audience, lots of extra curtain calls

Photograph by Asya Verzhbinsky

Very special evening, so much that the tiny little mishaps just added to it. Such a pity Alina and Johan got only one! They confirmed they danced the schools matinee - can I say again, those lucky kids! This is one of those casts you want to see again for the little things you might have missed or to see if they would do it any differently. I can't believe it's going to be another couple years, maybe more, before we get another chance.

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