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New York City Ballet
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Romeo + Juliet 2015, Cast Two
Ballet in Two Acts

Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Founding Choreographers: George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress, Rosemary Dunleavy
Children’s Ballet Master, Dena Abergel
Orchestra, Music Director Designate, Andrew Litton
Interim Music Director, Andrews Sill
Managing Dir. Communications & Special Projects, Robert Daniels
Manager, Media Relations, Katharina Plumb
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 21, 2015

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Daniel Capps

Romeo + Juliet (2007): Based on the Play by William Shakespeare, Music by Sergei Prokofiev, Choreography by Peter Martins, Scenery by Per Kirkeby, Costumes by Per Kirkeby and Kirstin Lund Nielsen, Costumes supervised by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Technical design by Perry Silvey, Fight scenes staged in association with Rick Washburn and Nigel Poulton, Performed by Tiler Peck as Juliet, Zachary Catazaro as Romeo, Troy Schumacher as Mercutio, Joseph Gordon as Benvolio, Amar Ramasar as Tybalt, Maria Kowroski as Lady Capulet, Jared Angle as Lord Capulet, Georgina Pazcoguin as The Nurse, Adrian Danchig-Waring as Paris, Ask la Cour as Friar Laurence, Silas Farley as The Prince of Verona, and the Company as The Montagues, The Capulets, The Ballroom Guests, Juliet's Friends, and The Mandolin Dance.

On second viewing this Season, with a lead cast that was introduced three years ago, Romeo + Juliet, choreographed in 2007 by Peter Martins, once again provided the lush Prokofiev score, conducted this time by Daniel Capps. However, Zachary Catazaro and Tiler Peck, as Romeo and Juliet, did not exude the innocence and youthful emotionality that emanated from Taylor Stanley and Erica Pereira last week (See February 14, 2015 Matinee review). Although Amar Ramasar is the quintessential Tybalt, brimming with bellicosity and territorial angst, he couldn’t, on his own, keep the larger drama gripping. Mr. Catazaro, a Soloist in the Company, although perfectly cast as Romeo, needed a Corps or, at most, Soloist as Juliet. Ms. Peck has danced this role so many times, the too-seasoned dramatization gave the experience an over-practiced look. The chemistry did not click. Ms. Peck is a bravura ballerina, dancing in her prime, one of the finest onstage in New York today. She’s too mature, however, for the pre-teen Juliet, whereas last week’s Erica Pereira, in the role, was more persuasive. Mr. Catazaro and Ms. Peck were over-acting to compensate, so there were few surprises. Although the Pas de Deux at the balcony was technically flawless, it played in my head in advance of the actual motion. It lacked credible, emotional dimension.

To add to the dismay, Troy Schumacher was a flat, uninteresting Mercutio, compared to last week’s Anthony Huxley. There was no depth to the characterization of this pivotal pal of Romeo. On a brighter note, Joseph Gordon, as Benvolio, was underutilized and would have been better served as Mercutio, with his charm and buoyancy. Maybe next time around, but, with the full-length story ballets so inconsistently seen, Mr. Gordon may be too mature later on. This was the disappointment in the lead casting, as Ms. Peck and Mr. Catazaro lost spontaneity, waiting through the Seasons to reappear in the roles. As Paris, Adrian Danchig-Waring was far more aggressive and combative than Russell Janzen last week. Mr. Danchig-Waring kept my eyes glued to his physical gestures and manner. As the Nurse, Georgina Pazcoguin owns the role, with more theatricality than Gwyneth Muller last week, although she was less nurturing and more impulsive. Ms. Pazcoguin deserves some lead roles, finally, as this is a performer with persona. As Lord and Lady Capulet, Jared Angle and Maria Kowroski were once again suitable, although not at all as commanding as were Jock Soto and Darci Kistler in their retirement roles. Ask la Cour repeated his role as Friar Laurence with aplomb.

For comments on the production and choreography, see the February 14, 2015 Matinee review. Kudos to Peter Martins for this captivating rendition of the Shakespearian tale. .

Tiler Peck and Zachary Catazaro
in Martins' "Romeo + Juliet"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at