Lincoln Center to present San Francisco Ballet's Romeo and Juliet online next week
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San Francisco Ballet: Romeo and Juliet, with Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in the title roles
(2015 Live From Lincoln Center broadcast)
Helgi Tomasson's Romeo & Juliet premiered during SF Ballet's 1994 Repertory Season. Set to Sergei Prokofiev's score, the full-length production features lighting design by Thomas R. Skelton and "opulent" (LA Times) Italian Renaissance designs by Jens-Jacob Worssae, marking Worssae's final collaboration with Tomasson before he passed away shortly after the ballet's premiere. "I think it was the most beautiful work he'd ever done, and yet he did not see it," Tomasson said about the ballet's designs. "That's [one] reason why this production is very, very special to me."
Shakespeare's story of ill-fated lovers is illuminated through Tomasson's classical choreography, which is sharp and spirited in times of triumph, solemn and lyrical in times of loss, and sensual in moments of romantic passion. Included in Romeo & Juliet is the choreographed sword-fighting scenes, which Martino (Marty) Pistone choreographed in tandem with Tomasson. Actor, teacher, and movie stunt man Pistone expressed the desire to create "a dichotomy," where Tomasson's "classical ballet matched up with stage combat, semi-realism...when the fights break out, it's a whole different movement which accentuates the illusion of violence that you see between these two families." True to the era, characters fight with rapiers, daggers, bucklers, and capes in tightly choreographed scenes requiring hours of rehearsal.
Romeo & Juliet inaugurated Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance in 2015, when it was shown at cinemas nationwide. The ballet has performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Bolshoi Theatre (balcony pas de deux), and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. SF Ballet most recently performed Tomasson's Romeo & Juliet on tour at The Royal Danish Opera House in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 30-November 2, 2019.
Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5.30 pm (EST)