A documentary about a ballet company preparing for the opening of a new, high-stakes show? Let me guess; Well-behaved, flexible beauties bandaging blisters, rolling ankles, purging meals, and eventually killing themselves in pursuit of perfection. Oh it’s about the Canadian
Ballet Company? NEXT!
Now, now, don’t be so quick to judge. There is much more to Romeos & Juliets
than one would expect. The premise of this one-hour piece is quite great: Five pairs of the eponymous characters are in rehearsal for the world premiere of a brand new ballet, choreographed by hot-and-sought choreographer Alexei Ratmanski. Pride and prestige is on the line as the dancers hope to impress enough to be chosen to perform as the leads on opening night. Talk about pressure! A bad day could mean performing to a Thursday matinee of seniors from Niagara! A bad week could mean being cut from the show! “Someone’s heart is going to be broken,” says a dramatic Rex Harrington. Well Rex, mine
was broken when I saw that wedding ring. I am a sucker for a ballet dancer. I would show you my barre work anytime.
The first part of show brings us through the early rehearsals and selection of the opening night leads. This revelation was a bit sooner than I liked. After reading about it, I was hoping for it to focus on that competition a bit more. Kind of like The Bachelor, but for ballet. The Bachellet. Ballechelor? Anyways. Next we follow the pressure and exhaustion of putting together a brand new show in only a few weeks, and the stress of constantly having to prove your ability. Lastly, we get a taste of the ballet, and a glimpse into the success of the production.
Despite its distinct lack of Chris Harrison, I was really into the show. I was in suspense, invested, hungry on behalf of those ladies and altogether I was right there with them. It wasn’t glamorized; there are no epic meltdowns or injuries. It’s an hour of watching top
professionals perfect their craft at a level that makes you feel embarrassed to have ever been proud of your lame ability to sew tube dresses for your girlfriends. Try doing that
while Heather Ogden does a million pirouettes on pointe. I am so deeply untalented.
But the real depth of the show lies with Guillaume Côté. By which I mean how freaking hot he is. By which I mean damn
he looks good in tights. Where do they even get those? The way they ride perfectly
up the crack? Good God girl! Yes, he’s an amazing dancer and I REFUSE to diminish his artistry. But I also REFUSE to diminish how hot he is. I can’t pronounce his name properly, but if I could, I would say “Guillaume, you can lift me anytime. I swear I won’t glissade too soon. Whatever that even means.” — Nick Green
Romeos & Juliets premieres Thursday June 7 at 8pm on CBC