Press Release

Press Release


Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan star in the 2015 filmed production by
Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance

Limited-edition package including Romeo & Juliet and Tomasson’s Swan Lake for $48 on sale May 6

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 22, 2021—San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) streams Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet from May 6–26, 2021 in the multi-capture, cinematic production by Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance from 2015, captured on stage at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House. A signature work of the Company, Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet has been performed worldwide, and was the last work SF Ballet toured prior to the pandemic, in the fall of 2019 at The Royal Danish Opera House in Copenhagen, Denmark, when it was noted for its “color rich” (Information) interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic story. Beginning May 6, SF Ballet will sell a $48 package that includes both Romeo & Juliet and Tomasson’s Swan Lake, on screen May 20–June 9, in celebration of the closure of the 2021 Digital Season. The 2021 Digital Season also includes Program 05 (April 22–May 12), comprising Cathy Marston’s Snowblind, David Dawson’s Anima Animus, and Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight. Full ticketing and calendar information for Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet is listed below, and casting can be found on SF Ballet’s website

Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet premiered during SF Ballet’s 1994 Repertory Season and is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s score, performed in the May 6–26 stream by the SF Ballet Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Martin West. The stream of Romeo & Juliet includes former SF Ballet Principal Dancers Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in the title roles, alongside Pascal Molat, now on faculty at SF Ballet School, as Mercutio. Current Principal Dancers Joseph Walsh performs as Benvolio, Luke Ingham as Tybalt, WanTing Zhao as Rosaline, Dores André as Harlot, Wei Wang as Acrobat, and Benjamin Freemantle as a Montague. Romeo & Juliet includes lighting design by Thomas R. Skelton and “opulent” (Los Angeles Times) Italian Renaissance designs by Jens-Jacob Worsaae, marking Worsaae’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.”

Martino Pistone choreographed the production’s sword-fighting scenes in tandem with Tomasson. Actor, teacher, and movie stunt man Pistone, who also performs as Prince of Verona in the stream, expressed the desire to create “a dichotomy,” where Tomasson’s “classical ballet matched up with stage combat [and] 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.

Tickets: Single program streams are on sale now and priced at $29 for 72-hour access. The Premium Plus Digital Package, which includes unlimited viewings of Program 05, Romeo & Juliet, and Swan Lake during their respective runs, is $289 and on sale now. The duo package offering Romeo & Juliet and Swan Lake, priced at $48, will be available on May 6. Tickets and packages may be purchased online at sfballet.org. For more information, call Ticket Services at 415-865-2000, Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

For press images visit the online press photos page. Please contact Kate McKinney, SF Ballet’s PR & Communications Manager, at kmckinney@sfballet.org with all press inquiries, including opportunities to review each program.



Captured on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 and Thursday, May 7, 2015 for Lincoln Center at the Movies

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Scenery and Costume Design: Jens-Jacob Worsaae
Lighting Design: Thomas R. Skelton
Fight Scene Choreography: Martino Pistone in collaboration with Helgi Tomasson
Rehearsal Assistants: Anita Paciotti, Betsy Erickson, Ricardo Bustamante, Felipe Diaz, Christopher Stowell

Conductor: Martin West

World Premiere: March 8, 1994—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

The 1994 world premiere of Romeo & Juliet was made possible by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation. Additional support was provided by Lucy and Fritz Jewett, Chris and Warren Hellman, Mr. Rudolph W. Driscoll, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Franklin Templeton, and Deloitte.

San Francisco Ballet’s production of Romeo & Juliet for Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance was made possible by First Republic Bank. Additional support was provided by The Diana Dollar Knowles Foundation and Denise Littlefield Sobel.

Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance is made possible by Founding Partners Jody and John Arnhold and the Howard Gilman Foundation. Additional support for Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Nora and James Orphanides, Orphanides & Associates, LLC., Stuart Coleman, and the Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance.

Music: Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 used by arrangement with G. Schirmer, Inc., publisher and copyright owner. Fight Director, Martino Pistone; Assistant to the Fight Director, Dexter Fidler. Costume Supervisor, Anna Watkins, London, England; Fabric printing and dyeing, Mathilde Sandberg; Costume construction, Edith and Henrietta Webb, Sue Smith, Barbara Jane, Margaret Lamb, Fran Bristow, Nigel West, Ba Higgins, Jane Johnson, Lal d’Abo; Jewelry and Headdresses, Jean Gates; Hats, Mark Wheeler; Masks, Naomi Jefferies; Embroidery, Camée Broderie; Beading, James Hunting and Karen Spurgin. Additional costumes constructed by San Francisco Opera Costume Shop. Boots by Pluma, Inc. Scenic construction and painting by San Francisco Ballet Carpentry and Scenic Departments at the San Francisco Opera Scenic Studios.

San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience—in its community and worldwide—and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world.