21 February 2008

Romanza – Act 2

(contd from Romanza - Act 1)

The opening of Act 2 is a scene from a cemetery. Vampires skate past as a huge American-style black coffin slowly moves towards the middle of the rink…a creaking sound as it opens slowly…
The body of Dracula, lying horizontally in the air, is slowly lowered into the coffin and the lid closes. Several vampire creatures take off and show a spooky flying ballet…
The scene changes…a group of elegantly dressed ladies with long white dresses and hats seem to be taking a walk... London police men are on patrol, when Mina appears.
Dracula seduces her against the backdrop of heavy metal music. She falls for his charms to a beautiful rendition of “I will always love you” which climaxes with her getting bitten by him.

Forever unforgotten is the secret and tragic relationship of Italian nobleman Romeo and the beautiful Juliet. Against the backdrop of ancient Italian newspapers informing us about the tragic happenings in Verona, where the families of Montague and Capulet live, there is a feast going on in the house of the Capulets. Romeo, dressed up so he would not be recognized catches sight of Juliet and they fall in love and meet secretly after the feast.
A lovely decorated balcony is placed on the ice in front of the stage on which Juliet appears in a red dress to see her secret love, Romeo. But unfortunately their love was ill-fated.
Romeo kills Tybalt, nephew of Countess Capulet, and gets banned. More newspaper headlines tell about the tragic events. Juliet is being forced to marry Count Paris…she swallows a drink which makes her unconscious in order to avoid the marriage. Romeo does not get the information that Juliet is only unconscious and decides to kill himself. After their last kiss he poisons himself and dies. Juliet awakes and realizes what has happened. She takes a dagger and kills herself.
The entire Romeo & Juliet number is staged most romantically and with lovely Italian love songs.

Warnings to resist temptations of the seven deadly sins echo as skaters in Spanish costumes painted with neon colors skate in with things that look like trees and transform them into small bistro tables. The femme fatale appears and starts to make fun of an ugly toreador who has got huge ears and a horrible nose. She pretends to seduce him by stripping for him. With “You can leave your hat on” she takes off one piece of clothes after the other. This scene is fantastic as we can see only the neon colored clothes and tables but no faces. It looks really funny as the clothes that she still wears seem to hover in the darkness.

Next is my other favorite of the show…it revolves around the sins of laziness and gluttony…its about the Passion for chocolate. 8 chorus girls lay down on huge cushions to give in to their addiction to chocolate. Gula, the gluttony, brings in a huge inflated chocolate cake with cream and cherries on the top. The girls start to bite into the pieces of the cake that start to move around on the ice. This number really funny one and the song “Everybody wants a chocolate!” is thrilling! At the end of the number the girls disappear into the huge chocolate cake. And come out again- fat as marshmallow men and hardly able to move any more. The only thing they’re still able to do is to fall down on their cushions, raise their fat legs like a beetle on his back and moan!

The other sins like Avaritia, the greed follow…The girl skaters enter the casino, dressed as illuminated slot machines. The boys are eager to win and try their best when suddenly the projection pictures on the screen indicate that the jackpot has been hit. Everybody starts chasing Greed and his huge bag full of money while the golden coins are falling down like stars.
Next it’s the turn for a card game. Some chorus girls mingle with the players, dressed as playing cards and of course roulette can’t be far behind.
The entire chorus performs like a life-size roulette game in a precision wheel-routine, also doing fast movements and tricky splices. They are dressed either in tight shimmering red or black suits with numbers on their backs and the two center skaters dressed in green as “zero. As soon as the croupier demands the 4-spoked chorus wheel that quickly was formed starts spinning with a principal skating around it in opposite direction as roulette ball. One by one the skaters form a wheel with “Owner of a lonely heart” and the speedy “Round and around and around we go”. Everybody joining the wheel switches on a little spotlight. The way the wheel is completed is most impressive.

Romanza’s last principle number is a beautiful one with everybody dressed elegantly in pure white….

As the show ends one is just left awestruck and wanting more…

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