Romeo and Juliet beautifully on pointe
When the metallic gold draperies were drawn and the lights slowly dimmed, I knew I was in for a spectacular experience, as I awaited members of the San Francisco Ballet to take stage for the opening night of Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet. This retelling of William Shakespeare’s tragic romance between star-crossed lovers from two feuding families, the Capulets and Montagues, made its world premiere on the very same stage of the War Memorial Opera House in 1994.
Seated behind the orchestra, composed by Sergei Prokofiev, an amazing performance unfolded before my eyes. From the graceful movements of the ballerinas to the riveting music from the orchestra–I was captivated. On the floor level you could feel the vibrations emanating from the orchestra and the choreography matched the fiery of the music at every tempo with poetic dance routines, rhythmic sword fights, and climactic death scenes.
The three-act performance featured principle dancers Maria Kochetkova from Moscow, Russia as Juliet and Joan Boada from Havana, Cuba as Romeo. Their dance duo evoked such emotion that at times, having read the play, I don’t think words conveyed it with as much veracity. The beautifully designed stage props were the perfect backdrop to an old-world setting, from Verona’s main piazza and Friar Laurence’s chapel to the house of Capulet and their family tomb. It’s a masterpiece worth watching again, and again.
It’s not an abstract, make-believe story or fairytale; It’s a human story. This could be today, anywhere. – Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director and Principle Choreographer
Romeo & Juliet will be performed through Sunday, March 11th. Don’t miss your chance to see this classic love story at the San Francisco Ballet. For more information and tickets, visit sfballet.org.Images source: Courtesy of San Francisco Ballet