Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet / Corella Ferri - Kenneth MacMillan |
Teatro alla Scala 2000
Actors: Alessandra Ferri, Angel Corella
Director: Tina Protasoni
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Musicals & Performing Arts
The revival of the classically choreographed version of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet by senior choreographer Kenneth MacMillan enjoyed a phenomenal success at La Scala in January 2000; it was the first time that Alessandra... more »
Beautiful, romantic version of this classic ballet
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 11/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kenneth MacMillan's choreography of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly one of the most popular ballets ever made. And why not? It boasts a lush romantic score, a heartrending, classic story and a real sense of theater. The street scenes are bawdy and vibrant, the private moments between the star-crossed lovers are unforgettably intimate.
MacMillan utilizes both elements of classical and modern ballet. There are no traditional tutus nor is there a "white act." However, the large scenes at the Capulet ball and in the Verona streets make great demands on any ballet company's corps, and the pas de deux are the soul of the ballet.
I'd say this 2000 live film from La Scala is one of the best video versions of the ballet that we have. It's not perfect: for one, the La Scala Ballet is not the Kirov or Paris Opera Ballet. The corps lack the precision of a truly world-class company.
On the other hand, both Alessandra Ferri as Juliet and Angel Corella as Romeo are undoubtedly world-class dancers by any standards. Ferri, with her beautiful extensions, graceful style, and girlish, fragile persona, is a natural Juliet. She first made a big splash as a teenager at Covent Garden in this role. You can see her then in a video with Wayne Eagling and her youth and ardor are breathtaking. It's 16 years later, and while she is no longer as young, the qualities that make her special remain, especially her floating, birdlike quality. She can seemingly remain suspended on air as if perched atop a cloud. Juliet is not a virtuostic role, and Ferri was never a virtuoso dancer. What she does have in spades is grace, personality, and beauty of form. Even in the Tomb Scene when she's supposed to be "dead" she can manipulate her body to look lifeless and limp, yet with the most gorgeous turnout! Amazing.
Ferri has a Romeo worthy of her Juliet. Angel Corella is a good partner for Ferri. Unlike Ferri, Angel IS a virtuoso: he is famous for his huge leaps, his triple piroeuttes, his amazing spins. Comparisons to Baryshnikov are inevitable: Corella is also short of stature, like the great Russian. But what separates Angel from Baryshnikov is that while Mikhail's athleticism was breathtaking, his stage persona was distancing. Chilly, even. Angel, on the other hand, exudes an infectious joy and ardor. Watch him ecstatically lift up Ferri during the balcony scene, or tenderly stroke her hair during the Bedroom Pas de deux.
I have seen Angel and Alessandra dance R&J together, and what a great souvenir this dvd is, capturing two amazing dancers in this beautiful ballet. If you love ballet, this is not even a discussion: get it!
As a side note, lovers of the ballet will also want in their collection the 1966 film with Fonteyn and Nureyev which I also reviewed. The chemistry between Margot and Rudi is even more magical than between Angel and Alessandra, although the film is grainy."
Ferri and Corella shine but not the corps
C. Wickstein | 02/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's a reason Alessandra Ferri appears on virtually all of the available Romeo and Juliet ballet videos: she's exquisite and matches her emotional responses to those of her partner. In this production mounted in 2000, she's as graceful and breathtaking as she was in the 1984 Covent Garden video (with Wayne Eagling as Romeo). Angel Corella is a marvel, too--exuberant, boyish, stunning good looks and a clear rapport with Ferri.
So why only 3 stars? Simply put, the rest of the cast isn't compelling. Tybalt is the only character with some dimension to him; everyone else is nondescript. There's a lot of mime in this choreography and much of it appears to be mere gestures. The crowd scenes don't have a sense of cohesion or urgency and the sword fights could use more menace. The ballet is about Romeo and Juliet but McMillan also choreographed for a large corps, setting up the world surrounding the doomed lovers.
Some of the camera angles are from such a distance that detail is sacrificed for the big picture. You can skip to the scenes with Ferri and Corella and be overwhelmed by their passion and grace. If you want a thoroughly satisfying production, try to find the 1984 Covent Garden production, only available on VHS (although it may be available in dvd in England). Wayne Eagling is an interesting contrast with Corella: his restraint makes his wild outburst in the duel scene that much more tragic."
Truly the best Romeo and Juliet
Margaret Meyer | Melbourne, Australia | 12/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a ballet lover since childhood and seen many performances of Romeo and Juliet. This is far and away the best due to the very fine production at La Scala. Superb dancing by all but in particular to the outstanding performances of Corella and Ferri. I have never seen finer interpretations of these roles - Corella captures the youthful spontaneity and the manly qualities of Romeo. He sees deeply into the soul of this young man to portray his true nobility, and the depth of his love for Juliet.
I first saw Alessandra Ferri dance with the Royal Ballet in 1982 and was very impressed with her quality as a dancer. She like Corella has deep insight into the character of Juliet, and is able to capture her youthful playfulness, and also her transformation into a woman through her love for Romeo. She portrays this love with every fibre of her being. I have never seen a dancer able to convey emotion as clearly as Ferri. She is truly a dancer who can interpret a dramatic role better than anyone else I have ever seen.
I would like to add that I have seen all the great dancers of the Royal Ballet from the end of World War 2!
There has never been a performance of Romeo and Juliet to equal this."
Absolutely Amazing!!!!!!!!! 5 Stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
C. Wickstein | College Point, NY | 08/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not going to go through a long description about a ballet that can only be described as SUBLIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you have a chance to buy this DVD I would STRONGLY recommend it. The ballet was preformed with perfection. I could feel the dance and emotion from Corella and Ferri. Perfect for any great ballet collector. All my best, Christina:)"