Pictured above are the two leads that performed Thursday night when Roger and I went to see the Kansas City Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet at the Kauffman Center. We were very lucky to get a comp ticket and a discounted ticket through Roger's work for the KC Ballet.
There was a lot to love about this ballet. Wonderful music by Prokofiev, that made the dancing all the more beautiful to watch.
We were in the nosebleed section, but we had the binoculars, so I was able to enjoy the rich colors and textures of the Elizabethan costumes. I was also able to see the dancers' faces , and appreciate how much expression they were putting into their roles.
I thought the following review from the Kansas City Star summed up the acting nicely:
"Despite the familiarity of the story, acting ability was as vital as technical prowess. Romeo’s development from impetuous show-off to grieving lover was matched by Juliet’s transition from coquettish ingénue to passionate wife.
This was displayed through their various duets, from their shy initial glances, the flirtatious meeting at the balcony, to the more tender and assured bedroom scene, and the final, tragic dance in the crypt, as Romeo lifted Juliet’s lifeless body in poses reminiscent of earlier scenes.
Sansone also had the dual responsibility of dying twice, and she did it well. She was clearly fearful when taking the potion. But her ability really showed in her reactions to waking up in the crypt, discovering Romeo’s body, her steely determination for the end and the gentle final embrace.
Many of the dancers showcased their dramatic ability. Aisling Hill-Conner was an icy, regal Lady Capulet, which made her spasms of grief that much more arresting. Michael Eaton was affecting as the ill-tempered Tybalt.
Logan Pachciarz looked like he was having a lot of fun playing the good-natured Mercutio, even as he stumbled and skipped through his death throes. And Tamara Sanders as the Nurse elicited chuckles as she fussed over Juliet, interrupted the young lovers and was jokingly jostled by Romeo and his friends.
The ensemble numbers were well staged, especially the stately masquerade dance, which – with high-flung arms, arched spines and intricate gestures – was visually sublime. The pomp was contrasted excellently by the innocence of Juliet’s dance with her cousins and the sweet, unaffected duet with Paris, danced by Marcus Oatis.
Many of the crowd scenes were busy, with a sense of constant motion. While this was at times difficult to follow, it offered short, yet delightful, breakout moments for the dancers, especially during the whirly-gig melody of the mandolin dance.
The fight scenes were exciting and tense. The audience gasped empathetically when first Mercutio, then Tybalt, were stabbed.