So many ballerinas triumph as Juliet late in their careers that senior Joffrey Ballet dancer Beatriz Rodriguez scarcely seemed out of place when she assumed that role in the familiar John Cranko "Romeo and Juliet" at its final performance of the season, Tuesday in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
However, Rodriguez refused to use the resources of a mature artist to shade and deepen her portrayal of the star cross'd teen-age Capulet. Instead, she settled for a generalized vivacity and an all-purpose sense of wonder--as if pretending to be a teen-age dancer possessing inexhaustible energy but not much dramatic experience.
Strongly partnered by Douglas Martin (previously reviewed), she met all the technical challenges successfully and suffered convincingly in the final scenes. But, for all its freshness and sincerity, this performance seemed ultimately green, undeveloped, juvenile: the work of a promising newcomer. Very curious.
Equally wrongheaded and just as perversely fascinating: Joseph Schnell's terminally antic Mercutio--less a characterization than a collage of effects from other people's performances, held together (just barely) through personal charm and sharply honed technique.