Tue Mar 27 2007
The latest on New York City Ballet's upcoming production of Peter Martins's Romeo and Juliet:
1. the cover of the May issue of Pointe is a bombshell: Robert Fairchild and Callie Bachman, in at least one cast, will play R & J. This makes me think that choreographer Peter Martins is, at least, thinking outside of the box. He wants his Juliet to be young, and that's not stupid because, well, she is. While Fairchild is in the corps de ballet, Bachman, the older sister of the talented Austin Bachman, is just 16 and a student at the School of American Ballet. They're both wonderful.
2. that crazy ad in The New York Times on Sunday (in the strained way of trying too hard to be sexy and hip): a white dagger surrounded by dozens of tiny ballet figures, all in black, except for one lady and man in red, and the announcement of a website: tragiclovenyc.com.
3. the website: there is plenty of background about Romeo and Juliet, as well as a weekly video diary by Kristin Sloan, the lovely NYCB dancer (who is, unfortunately, still injured—arrrgh!) and the creator of thewinger.com. The second installment ("Weapons") is great. Sloan visits Weapons Specialists Ltd. to explore the particulars of sword-fighting—the segment includes rehearsal footage and interviews (and while Daniel Ulbricht may not be my favorite dancer, when he talks, he is always smart and self-effacing). Unfortunately, there is also a squirm-inducing section called "Meet the Players," which showcases Perry Silvey, NYCB's direction of the production. Basically, there is no one I like more at NYCB than Silvey—he holds the whole place together—but do we really need to know what R & J means to him? Do we need to know about his first love? Or what character he relates to? How is this about ballet? It's all kind of tragic.