Next Sunday 6 at 5pm Ballet of the Colon Theater will take the stage Romeo and Juliet in the original production of the British choreographer Kenneth Mac Millanto the notes of Serguei Prokoviev, who has been a part of this company for a long time.
At the first performance there will be two guest dancers: the Argentine Herman Cornejo and the American Isabella Boylstonboth members of the American Ballet Theater in New York.
There will also be two pairs of Columbus in the main characters: Camila Bocca with Juan Pablo Ledo Y Natalia Pelayo with Jiva Velazquez.
Natalia and Jiva are beautiful and very talented dancers who will perform in the closing performance on Saturday 12th November. The following conversation is held with them and no doubt it is not necessary to ask them what it means for both of them to play Romeo and Juliet; this is the first time he has been assigned these roles.
This MacMillan recreation of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy offers any dancer a detailed journey through the multiple emotions that the characters experience and suffer.
Let us now return to the origins of their respective careers.
Natalia Pelayo She enters the Ballet del Colón very young without ever considering the problem, from the artistic point of view, of the place she occupied: dance company, soloist or first figure: “the most real thing is how you live everything you have to dance”.
He began studying dance at the age of five in his neighborhood of Gonnet with a former dancer from the Teatro Argentino de La Plata who had set up a studio in his home garage. Then he entered the La Plata School of Dances. One day his uncle brought him two VHS as a present: Romeo and Juliet of the Royal Ballet with Alessandra Ferri in the role of Juliet e Swan Lake with Natalia Makarova.
Remember: “What an impact! She changed my life. That’s why dancing now, after all these years, gives me so much emotion, the role of Juliet ”.
He made a first step with the company directed by Iñaki Urlezaga’s aunt, which allowed him to gain experience on stage, and then he landed at the Ballet del Colón.
Jiva Velazquez He has a unique history, starting with his parents: his mother is Malaysian, a chemist by profession; her father is Paraguayan, a physicist. They met in Japan while they were both doing a university exchange.
Jiva relates: “First they tried to live in Malaysia; but my maternal grandmother didn’t like my mother working and my father staying at home to take care of my little sister; but it was not easy for him to find a job without knowing the language. Then they went to Asunción, where I was born ”.
The boy began studying dance in Asunción at the age of six. He was a hyperactive kid and his parents also made him play all kinds of sports so that he could sleep at night. They didn’t like the dance very much.
“But one day – he says – I had to take part in the role of a child in the ballet Nutcracker with the Municipal Ballet of Asunción. I liked it; especially how the dancers enjoyed each other, unlike the adults I knew. My parents, for example, who are teachers. I spent eight years in that art institute and then went to another dance school where I had male friends I had met in dance competitions. At the Institute he was the only boy among 300 girls. Without exaggerating “.
In 2013, Lidia Segni, who directed the Ballet del Colón, went to Asunción to teach a course at the Municipal Ballet and offered Jiva a one-year contract; she then she moved to Buenos Aires, then there was a stability contest at the Colón and she stayed there. His ambition to study journalism was left behind.
How to dance Romeo and Juliet
The assembly of Romeo and Juliet began rehearsals this year with Susan Jones, who works regularly with the American Ballet Theater; but then, and to this day, the awakening continues with Robert Tewsley, who comes from London.
Jiva: “The work we are doing with Robert is extraordinary. Role learning involves several things, much more than just counting the bars. It may happen that the approach to the character and the way of dancing it is superficial and one gets lost in the scene; but a good repository is one that gives you the full content, context and awareness of a very fine musicality it brings you. The music of Romeo and Juliet It has its own narrative ”.
-Jiva, could you give an example of Robert Tewsley’s work?
Khiva: -Always, after the tests, there is something to add … or to subtract. Robert also helped me a lot in partner work: how to support Natalia, from where, how to distribute the weight. And he does it with a lot of patience, so much so that he doesn’t bother him that I ask him the same question many times; I am embarrassed myself.
– And in your case, Natalia?
Natalia: -Robert is a person who renews empathy with the dancer every time and gives you guidelines that guide you. There are many things to take into account: the space, the music, the steps, whether I look at Romeo or not, what a thrill I feel. And at the same time he finds your way to interpret it. It is something that never wears out: Alessandra Ferri has danced it for years and has always found something new. A good depositor, then, takes you by the hand and understands what is best for each dancer.
Khiva: – Robert’s way of conceiving the work comes directly from MacMillan. The American Ballet Theater, while being the same version, does so in a more audience-oriented, more “spectacular” way. Here I really feel human and I don’t think about the dancer’s aesthetics; Robert also asks us to walk normally, not as dancers.
-Natalia, you saw Romeo and Juliet for the first time on VHS when you were little. And does it live?
Natalia: -Even with Alessandra Ferri, when she danced it at the Colón. I was fifteen, I got sick and had to fight with my mother to be able to go. I left the theater healed and it was like opening my eyes: realizing that ballet can reach very high levels.
INFO: The ballet “Romeo and Juliet” will be performed in five performances: November 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12 (at different times). Teatro Colón, Libertad 621