A magical experience of the living arts
By Iride Aparicio

Photos: Copyright Erik Tomasson

Maria Kochetkova in the Role of Juliet in SF Ballet ROMEO & JULIET
   Maria Kochetkova in the Role of Juliet in SF Ballet ROMEO & JULIET

Redwood City, CAMovie Theatres are no longer for watching full-length movies exclusively. The magic of  High Definition film  and Digital sound is now capable to transport audiences, vicariously, to Opera Houses, stadiums, Arenas and conference halls, allowing them to see Art exhibitions, attend Religious conferences, or visit Museums around the world, sitting comfortably watching a “FATHOM EVENT” inside their local movie theatre.

FATHOM EVENTS is now the "cultural alternative" in the entertainment industry. In movie theaters nationwide, it offers to the audience live, high-definition performances of the performing arts: operas, dance, music concerts, major sporting events, Broadway shows, documentaries, and original programs featuring entertainment's best stars. These Events are also instructive, because as part of the event, they offer the audiences a behind-the-scenes, "filmed tour" related to an aspect of the event. While invited to watch ROMEO & JULIET performed by the San Francisco Ballet, at the CineMark movie complex in downtown Redwood City, CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL had the opportunity to watch also FATHOM's filmed interview with Martino Pistone, the Fight Scene Choreographer in the performance, who with the ballet’s choreographer Helgi Tomasson, instructed the dancers to use their swords to fight, in rhythm with the music of Sergei Prokofiev.

The FATHOM’s event with the name of "The Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance Presents SAN FRANCISCO BALLET’s ROMEO and JULIET" was a film presentation of the ballet created by Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer of the S.F. Ballet Helgi Tomasson in l994.

In the Event, we see the ballet as it was danced, and filmed, at the San Francisco Opera House’s  stage. The movie begins in a wide shot, showing the inside of  San Francisco Opera House, as the curtain opens. 

The ballet starts with and Andante Assai, musical rhythm playing on the background as we see part of the earth-brown buildings of Verona, surrounding its Square on the stage. As the street awakens the music changes to Allegro tempo. It is day time, and the Veronese, young women, men and children elegantly dressed (Production and Costume Design by Jens-Jacob Worsaae) are either walking on the street or watching the trio of Italian Saltinbanquis (acrobats) performing for the people.

Then, two groups of young men arrive at the scene: Romeo (Davit Karapetyan) accompanied by his two friends: Mercutio (Pascal Molat) and Benvolio (Joseph Walsh) and the Capulets.Confronting each other first, they soon start a sword fight. The musical tempo changing to Allegro brusco. A few minutes later, one of the boys is dead and the drama is set.

The synopsis for the ROMEO and JULIET ballet was created by Adrian Piotrovsky and Sergey Radlov. It follows the Shakespeare's story. The music was composed by Prokofiev in l935.

In the S.F. Ballet production, that we saw, the orchestra was directed by conductor Martin West, and on that night sounded perfectly tuned. The ballet was masterfully danced by both Juliet (Kochetkova) and Romeo (Karapetyan).  Their Larghetto amoroso with Romeo jumping around from joy. The Andante music of the Balcony Scene, when then two lovers get together and embrace each other for the first time, stirred all the emotions in our hearts.

And in scenes like this one, is where a “FATHOM EVENT” is at its best, because the movie camera allows the audience to see the faces of the dancers in close ups proyected on a large screen. And in this particular ballet, the facial expressions of both these two dancers were capable to move the audience.

The performances of the dancers in the San Francisco Ballet ROMEO and JULIET is really masterful. It is no wonder that it has played to sold-our houses since first presented and is considered one of the finest dance interpretations of the tale. The production includes marvelous sets, costume designs from the Renaissance Italy and 75 dancers. If The New York Times called it “A National Treasure” we will call it "The best interpretation of ROMEO and JULIET in dance."

 Founded in l933, San Francisco Ballet, is America’s oldest professional ballet company who has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts.” It was the first ballet company that performed Swan Lake and The Nutcracker as well as the first 20th century production of American Coppélia. San Francisco Ballet is also one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States. It presents l00 ballets annually.

A Dance at the Capulet’s house from S.F. Ballet Romeo and Juliet
      A Dance at the Capulet’s house from S.F. Ballet Romeo and Juliet

“FATHOM EVENTS” are shown in movie theatres all over the country for an event near you, go to: fathomevents.com