Star Studded Supporting Cast
Gabriella Moore gave a larger than life performance as Morgana in Sunday's performance. Moore's grand beauty and intensity brought to the role the stature needed to cross the footlights. In her mad scene, Moore took over the stage with terrifying effectiveness as she mourned the death of Tybalt. As casting goes, Moore was definitely a natural for the role and made this scene stand out with gusto and great dramatic qualities. Wally Layne returned as Tybalt. His presence alone filled the stage with a mix of passion and ominous ambience. Yet Layne layered his role as to make Tybalt a character the audience could relate to and care about. His pas de deux work with the character of Morgana showed gentleness and affection, giving Tybalt a multi faceted performance which elevated the character to great heights. His death scene remains as powerful as when he first performed the role. Layne's return to the stage was a delight for everyone. The role of Paris was handled with care by Phillip Riskin on Friday and Aaron Gulevich on Sunday. Both making a return to the role, Riskin and Gulevich added quiet strength to some key moments during the ballet. In the Ballroom Scene, Riskin brought security to each partnering moves. Gulevich carried a sense of poetry to each sequence of the scene.
The array of talents filling the stage was impressive. Kylie Welch and Liana Yates both made strong impressions throughout the performances. As Cordelia (another added role to the story), Welch brought to the stage a maturity that was noticed all through the performances. Welch has distinguished herself as one of the top most reliable lead dancers in Central West Ballet productions. Her accurate performing qualities, secure technique and irresistible charm were never more obvious. Welch also thrilled the audience as the lead Saltimbanco with confidence and stage appeal. Liana Yates was in superb shape as Elena (Romeo's Friend in the Market Scenes) and as the lead Saltimbanco. Her lengthy lines and precise artistry were backed up by solid emotional content in her acting. Yates, who has the charisma of an Audrey Hepburn, moved with ease in all her roles with instinct and meticulous dedication. What has made Yates so special as a lead dancer for Central West Ballet is her boundless imagination for artistic perfection. Always striking, Yates's combined beauty and characterization remains unequalled. This year's Romeo & Juliet had many superb moments. A round of applause goes to Erikka Reenstierna-Cates as Elena, who's heart breaking performance in a duet between Romeo and Elena was memorable. Reenstierna-Cates danced and acted with believability and a passion that focused the scene to perfection. Reenstierna-Cates is an artist of incredible depth with a potential to become a great ballerina. Her performances always manage to show a touch of magic.
Adelina Milano reprised her role as the lead Tarantella in the second act. partnered by Brandon Phelps and Brian Leonard, Adelina Milano gave the scene a breath of fresh air. Her lyricism combined with youthful enthusiasm made a difference to the dance. Adelina Milano's performances over the years have showed versatility from the lyrical to pure entertainment value. Her distinct precision along with great musicality and sensitivity made her into an important lead dancer with Central West Ballet. It should be noted that Adelina Milano also produced the Masks in the great Ballroom scene. Her exquisite creations went a long way to give beauty this all important moment in the ballet. On Sunday, Bethany Phelps stepped in as the Lead Tarantella, with Nathan Champion and Brian Leonard. Phelps, with her lovely eyes and strong stage energy, conveyed the exuberance necessary to make this a special entertaining piece. Gabrielle Barton was in fine shape as Cordelia, bringing her vibrancy to the role and her maturity in movement. Santos's noteworthy stage presence gave the role a lively touch. With Brian Leonard as her partner, Barton also portrayed a vulnerability that layered the character. The roles of Bianca, a Montague and Carlina, a Capulet, were well casted in this year's production. Elizabeth Campbell and Cerissa Urry, both as Bianca, gave the role an expertise in text book technique and seasoned acting. Campbell's strong stage magnetism brought excitement to the ballet while Urry's trademark technical cleanliness and expressive moves uplifted the dancing. Gabriella Moore and Sarah Weaver shared the role of Carlina with fearlessness and commendable strength. Moore easily conveyed the Capulet confidence and overbearingness, while Weaver gave a surprising performance with a seldom seen arrogance that was entertaining.
A special note goes to the very young Brian Ebster, who has appeared in many CWB productions in recent years. As a Capulet boy, Ebster brought a touch of youthful charm to the production. His timing and control are astounding for such a young student in dance. Central West Ballet's Romeo and Juliet was a spectacular production and surpassed itself from the 2009 version in choreography, staging and performance quality. Artistic Director René Daveluy has brought forth a genuine product that Modesto and the Central Valley can cherish and support in the years ahead.
Romeo & Juliet 2012 - Full Review, Part 3 By CWB OFFICE
RENÉ DAVELUY ~ ARTISTIC DIRECTOR