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Romeo and Juliet’ to dance into Columbus in silent performance at Ohio Theatre

Courtesy of Terence Womble

The words “thus with a kiss, I die” are almost as iconic as the play itself, but with BalletMet’s take on “Romeo and Juliet,” that line will be absent. So will every other word of Shakespeare’s play.
The ballet is scheduled to open 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ohio Theatre, with a dinner in the Capitol Club at 5:30 p.m. before the performance’s opening night. The dance is scheduled to run though Sunday.
The the ballet was purposefully scheduled to open on Valentine’s Day.
“It’s been so well-received in the past that it was time to bring it back and remind people about love,” said Terence Womble, director of marketing and communications at BalletMet. “It’s such a classic romantic story, probably one of the greatest love stories every written.”
Emily Gotschall, dancing the role of Juliet, agreed.
“I think it’s the perfect time to do it, because it’s a classic time to do it,” she said.
Although Gotschall will be dancing the role of Juliet, she said her partner in real life, David Ward, will be dancing the role of Romeo on the nights she is not dancing. Instead, Gotschall will dance opposite Gabriel Smith, who she has danced with before, she said.  
Gotschall will be performing the role for two nights with Smith, on Friday and Sunday, and Ward will dance alongside Adrienne Benz for the other two nights, Thursday and Saturday.
“I think that the chemistry is there,” Gotschall said. “I’ve loved building the character and deciding how I am going to tell the story.”
Because BalletMet’s version of “Romeo and Juliet” will be a dance rather than a play, the show will tell the story without dialogue.
“There are a few elements that are inevitably left out,” Gotschall said. “It’s easy to understand the movement, and it’s an excellent interpretation of the story.”
This version of Shakespeare’s story was choreographed by David Nixon, and will not be the first time BalletMet has performed Nixon’s version of the classic. His take on the love story was performed at BalletMet in April 1998.
Womble said the performance is essentially the same production, but Nixon did change a few of the ensemble dancing sections.  
While Nixon did not come back to BalletMet to stage the entirety of the ballet himself, Gotschall said she still understood his movements.  
She said a lot of responsibility comes with the role in such a classic production, but she will bring in her own touches to the character, even without words. Gotschall plans on bringing maturity and life experiences to the role after her 15 years of dance experience, she said.  
“It’s kind of a rare opportunity to bring this experience to that role,” Gotschall said. “I think I am hopefully bringing a natural quality to the role, and that I can be believable as a young girl.”
In addition to opening the performance on Valentine’s Day, BalletMet has asked some of the dancers to share their own love stories, which will be available online, said Lynette Shy, marketing manager at BalletMet.
Tickets range from $19 to $78 and are available through Ticketmaster. The Ohio Theatre is located at 39 E. State St.

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