Lara O’Brien is as light as a feather in her moving performance of Juliet in Carolina Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet, which opened tonight in Raleigh and runs through March 30. Juliet’s behavior transforms from that of a frivolous juvenile with a new dress to an angst-ridden love sick teenager, and O’Brien’s acting skills match her superb dancing.

Juliet Leaping
Juliet's New Dress
First Meeting
A Memory

Marcelo Martinez as Romeo has a confidence and ease of movement that would charm even the most self-possessed. Martinez’s refinement makes Romeo’s hot-headed reactions seem almost sensible.

Marcelo as Romeo
Marcelo as Romeo 2
Marcelo as Romeo 3

And there is nothing juvenile about the pas de deux of Juliet and Romeo. The couple’s sensual languor-of-love dances are the highlight of the show.

Romeo and Juliet pas de deux 3
Romeo and Juliet pas de deux
Romeo and Juliet

Pablo Javier Perez is energetic and playful as Mercutio. He masterfully blends comedy and tragedy when he repeatedly postpones his last breath…

with Alicia Fabry and Lindsay Purrington as Gypsy Street Dancers,

Mercutio's last breaths

and with Gypsy Street Dancer Randi Osetek.

Fight scenes are exciting and plentiful. It looks and sounds like the swords are real! Tybalt, danced by Eugene C. Barnes, III, is watchful and intimidating.

Here he is with Yevgeny Shlapko as Benvolio

Tybalt fight 1

And with Pablo Javier Perez as Mercutio.

Tybalt and Mercutio

The fight scenes between Tybalt and Mercutio and Tybalt and Romeo are especially savage.

Final fight 1
Final fight

I hope I won’t be giving anything away by saying the ending is dramatic.

Death bed

For ticket and showtime information visit: http://www.carolinaballet.com/program/romeo-and-juliet