|Piotr Stanczyk as Hamlet|
I was also entranced by the choreography and the strength of the dancers. Other than Hamlet himself, I was very impressed with resident badass Claudius (Keiichi Hirano), beautiful Gertrude (Lise-Marie Jourdain) and an utterly amazing Ophelia (Sonia Rodriguez). The movement of all the dancers was visually appealing and modern, and a lot of it was very slow. The dancers made it look easy, but my muscles hurt just thinking about the strength of their abs. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Robert Stephen/Jonathan Renna/Skylar Campbell and Christopher Stalzer/Dylan Tedaldi, respectively) were the comic relief, and though they also proved their athleticism, a lot of their choreography was of the lewd variety - lots of hilarious, over-exaggerated pelvic thrusting. The interaction with the set was also very well done; just one large, nondescript and static piece was able to portray different locations without pulling focus from the dancers.
|Sonia Rodriguez and Piotr Stanczyk as Ophelia and Hamlet|
All in all, I'm very glad I saw this ballet. I have a better understanding of the story of Hamlet, and finally have a second ballet under my belt. The performance was very dark and challenging to the audience, but wonderfully put together and well received.
Hamlet has a short run at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - a mere ten days, of which seven have already passed. Remaining performances are tonight (June 8) at 7:30pm, Saturday (June 9) at 7:30pm and Sunday (June 10) at 2:00pm. If you are between the ages of 16 and 29, sign up for Dance Break to get discounted tickets for performances by the National Ballet.
A ballet by Kevin O'Day after William Shakespeare
Choreography: Kevin O'Day
Staged by: Rolando D'Alesio
Music: John King
Set and Costume Design: Tatyana van Walsum
Lighting Design: Mark Stanley
Dramaturgy: Vivien Arnold
Répétiteurs: Lindsay Fischer and Mandy-Jayne Richardson
Conductor: David Briskin
Photographs from the National Ballet of Canada website.