Showing posts with label Romeo and Juliet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romeo and Juliet. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2020

REVIEW: The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa's Romeo and Juliet at Harris Theater


Guest Review: 
by Flo Mano

The National Ballet of Odessa, is recognized as one of the most prestigious institutions of classical ballet and boasts an extremely varied repertoire, carrying the honor and the task to preserve the precious heritage of the great Russian ballets.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ was performed at Chicago's Harris Theater this past Sunday, with 55 of Ukraine's most talented and brightest ballet stars, presenting the most passionate and romantic love story of our time. With the music of Sergei Prokofiev, composed in 1935, this ballet is based on William Shakespeare's timeless tale of tragic love. This ballet has been conquering the hearts of viewers around the world. This full-length, lavish production included costumes and sets brought from the Ukraine.

The main disappointment lies in Mikhail Lavrovsky's choreography, which is mostly monotonous. The various characters swaying and flailing their arms isn't enticing. The contrast was stark between dancers' high emotion and threadbare moves, even if performed nicely by high-level dancers. 

Olena Dobrianska, as the beautiful, princess Juliet and Sergeii Dotsenko, as the handsome, towering Romeo were visually striking. Yet, Lavrovsky's various duets for the couple lacked originality, often structurally a repetitious pattern of the two dancers starting widely apart, racing together and embracing, racing back apart, and then repeating the movement, with a few dramatic lifts. These frailties are all the more obvious given the soaring qualities of Sergei Prokofiev's great score, one of the most hypnotic in all of ballet. 

There are some virtues. The sword fighting and stage combat was strategically on point with theatrical and artistic blocking. The dancers are also attractive and sharp. The cast is buoyant and energetic, though most of the secondary players are given little to do. 

While Lavrovsky fails to deliver in key scenes, he deserves credit for tinkering with the ensemble dancing, injecting echoes of brisk, lively folk dance into the crowd festivities and crafting an especially eerie spectral corps of mourners.

Since 2017, the Artistic Director of The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa, Ukraine is the People’s Artist of Ukraine, Elena Baranovskaya. Production is by Garri Sevoian.

The ballet company consists of the best performers, all graduates of prestigious Ukrainian and Russian choreography schools. Many talented artists have danced with the Odessa National Opera Company in its different periods and many of them have been soloists in major international companies.

Flo Mano is a CPS elementary teacher/librarian, hairdresser, and theater/film fanatic who catches hundreds of Chicago shows annually. She volunteers at numerous film venues and theaters.


Acclaimed Ukrainian Ballet Company To Perform “Romeo & Juliet” at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, January 19, 2020 and “Swan Lake” at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, January 21, 2020

The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa, is proud to announce two performances coming to Chicagoland in January 2020.  Featuring 55 of Ukraine’s top performers, “Romeo & Juliet” will be performed at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St. in Chicago, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 at 3 p.m., and “Swan Lake” will be performed at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.. “Romeo & Juliet” tickets are $55 - $85 , and are available by calling the box office at 312-334-7777 or through “Swan Lake” tickets are $38 - $68 and are available by calling 847-673-6300 or by visiting 

“Romeo & Juliet” is a ballet performed in two acts, set to the music of composer Sergei Prokofiev, choreographed by Michael Lavrovsky, directed by Elena Baranovskaya and produced by Garri Sevoian. The fullscale production is based on the WIlliam Shakespeare’s tragedy of the two doomed young lovers. The principal dancers are Olena Dobrianska as “Juliet” and Sergii Dotsenko as “Romeo.” 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Chicago is Bitten by the Bard Bug With Shakespeare 400 All Year

Last night we were thrilled to cover opening night of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's compelling modern adaptation of Othello. Earlier this week we were enamored with opening night of Gounod's opulent Romeo and Juliet at Lyric Opera. Check back with ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows for Shakespeare 400 news, reviews, and photo filled features all year long. 

From concerts to ballet, opera and theater, Chicago is bitten by the bard bug! Shows we are reviewing are in bold. This week, Harris Theater for Music and Dance presents the first dance performances of the festival: Hamburg Ballet’s Othello , while the Moor’s story also unfolds as a gripping psychological thriller at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

The world's most celebrated love story finds new dimension in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet at Lyric Opera, just as two concerts at Rockefeller Chapel explore popular styles of music from Shakespeare’s time. Looking to shake things up? A handful of tickets remain to catch (In) Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare at the Museum of Contemporary Art this week.

And there’s much more to come! In March, the UK’s Filter Theatre brings its rock-and-roll Twelfth Night to Chicago Shakespeare; Harvard Professor Michael Sandel hosts a lively town hall-style conversation; Gift Theatre performs its Richard III at Steppenwolf's Garage; and Logan Center for the Arts screens two masterful films of King Lear.

Across our great city, with Shakespeare as their guide, the best international and Chicago talents remind us of life’s endless possibilities and the universality of the human condition. There’s so much to enjoy—come play your part! Follow the hashtag #ChiShakes400.

More ChiIL Shots From ChiIL Mama's Adventures at Othello, Opening Night. Chicago Shakespeare Theater:

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