By SIONNIE KELLY.
At last, Graeme Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet has arrived at the Adelaide Festival Theatre, providing ballet enthusiasts with a taste of the much-anticipated production that has swept the world.
Known for giving classic tales a new spin, Murphy’s well paced and moving choreography portrayed a story of not only love and despair, but one of travel and culture.
Throughout time and different historical settings Romeo and Juliet dance, striving to be together as they defy their families for the sake of love.
Although it appears to begin in Shakespeare’s “fair Verona”, the audience is soon whisked away on a journey to different parts of the globe; from Japan to India, and finally to a barren desert where the two star-crossed lovers take their lives.
Madeline Eastoe and Kevin Jackson portray the lovers, taking us through their trials and sufferings.
Eastoe brings to life Juliet’s innocent and gentle nature through her flawless steps and enthusiasm.
Jackson in turn provides Eastoe with an ideal partner, dancing as though every step will bring him closer to his beloved.
Romeo’s desire and love for Juliet is captured perfectly through Jackson’s portrayal of the idealistic and naïve Romeo.
This postmodern ballet delivers something new to the classic; and although at times it may leave its audience confused by the elaborate scene changes, Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet still captures the audience throughout with its witty and comedic portrayal.
The beautifully designed costumes by Akira Isogawa, coupled with the breathtaking sets by Gerard Manion, make for a spellbinding night that will leave you pleasantly intrigued with every step.
Jill Ogai, who grew up in Adelaide, is a recent addition to the Australian Ballet Company and is passionate about her involvement in Romeo and Juliet in the corps de ballet.
“This production of Romeo and Juliet has been created to highlight the universality of love,” Ms Ogai says.
“It takes audiences on an emotional journey through hatred, ecstatic love and ultimately despair, but also on a journey through a number of different cultures.
“Graham Murphy’s choreography combines so beautifully with Sergei Prokofiev’s score, and the movement is so natural and raw with emotion that every time I watch from the wings it breaks my heart as well as making it soar.”
Romeo and Juliet is scheduled to be performed from May 25 to May 30 at the Adelaide Festival Theatre.