La Oferta

April 18, 2024

The Spectacular “Romeo and Juliet” concludes San Francisco Ballet’s unforgettable 2023 Season

By Lina Broydo
 
I was lucky to see the opening  night’s program featuring Angelo Greco and Jasmine Jimison in the title roles of Romeo and Juliet. I think Sergey Prokofiev had Greco and Jimison in mind when he composed his famous score for this striking ballet. Their brilliant and passionate dancing mesmerized the sold out to the capacity audience at the iconic War Memorial Opera House while  conveying breathtakingly the tragic love story of the young couple in Italy. The fascination continued  with the spine-tingling swordsmanship,  stunning sets and costume designs which bring Shakespeare’s never forgotten tale of star-crossed lovers to life.
We are never tired of Helgi Tomasson’s “Romeo & Juliet’s” choreography and stunning staging as it transported the patrons from the streets of Renaissance Verona to the grandeur of the Capulet’s ballroom, from the strife of warring families to the flush of first love and its tragic end.
Like most choreographers Tomasson worked closely with his dancers to recreate the famous and highly anticipated by the ballet aficionados “balcony scene.” “It’s an enormous thing in people’s expectations and minds, but on top of that, the dancers I work with influence me” – states Tomasson. “I see them as part of the creative process and I use their approach to it.” And the creative partnership of Tomasson, Greco and Jimison did not disappoint!  It was truly sensational.

Angelo Greco, and I must admit my favorite Principal Dancer, was born in Nuoro, Italy and trained at the famous La Scala Ballet School in Milan. He danced with La Scala Ballet before joining SF Ballet as a Soloist in 2016. He was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2017 and appointed as Diana Dollar Knowles Principal Dancer in 2022.

Helgi Tomasson // © Erik Tomasson

SF Ballet Soloist Jasmine Jimison made her debut in the title role on opening night, April 21, marking the first time in the production’s 29-year history that a soloist has danced opening night in a principal role. Jimison is a Bay Area native, who trained exclusively with San Francisco Ballet School since the age of 12.

SF Ballet last performed Romeo & Juliet at The Royal Danish Opera House in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2019, and it has remained one of SF Ballet’s most frequently toured productions since its premiere in 1994, reflecting SF Ballet’s deeply held commitment to the classics.

SF Ballet closed its 90th anniversary season with the magnificent Principal Dancer Yuan Yuan Tan dancing Juliet on April 30. Tan debuted the title role in 2002, bringing more than 20 years of stage authority to the story ballet.

ROMEO & JULIET PRODUCTION CREDITS

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Scenery and Costume Design: Jens-Jacob Worsaae
Lighting Design: Thomas R. Skelton
Fight Scene Choreography: Martino Pistone in collaboration with Helgi Tomasson

What’s next for me in the near future ?

I am looking forward to attend the performances of the SF Ballet School Spring Festival (May 24-26) at the Blue Shield of CA Theater at YBCA in San Francisco (415-865-2000).

Always wonderful to see and discover the future ballet stars, the graduates of the renowned SF Ballet School.

Will I discover the future Angelo Greco?

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET

San Francisco Ballet is one of the world’s leading ballet companies. As a commissioner, collaborator, and presenter, the Ballet performs locally, nationally, and internationally with the top choreographers, artists, and dancers while proudly celebrating its trailblazing role in dance.

Since its founding in 1933 as the first professional ballet company in the United States, the organization has been an innovator in dance and an originator of well-loved cultural traditions, from staging the first American production of Swan Lake to being the first company in the United States to present an annual holiday Nutcracker.

In the progressive, innovative spirit of San Francisco, its mission is to share the beauty of classical and contemporary ballet, the joyful, transformative experience of dance performance by artists working at the highest caliber, and to provide exceptional training opportunities for the next generation of professional dancers in its School. sfballet.org.

Photos courtesy of Eric Tomasson