World Premiere April 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM (PST)
Runtime: 9 minutes
directed & choreographed by Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber
filmed by Trevor Tweeten
music by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras No.5
featuring Sara Mearns
Inspired by an oft neglected scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that most dance and film interpretations leave by the wayside, GALLOP APACE explores the depth of Juliet’s inner strength and multifaceted emotions. Classically trained New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns effortlessly embodies the choreography of Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber in this kinetic interpretation of Juliet’s moving soliloquy.
Behind the Scenes
"I have longed for, but never been cast in the role of Juliet, so when invited to create a work for SDC, I seized on the chance to explore this character and paint her as more than a teenager in love, but as an independent thinker with complicated feelings of power, shame and passion."
© Sara Mearns in Gallop Apace ©Trevor Tweeten
Bobbi Jene Smith & Or Schraiber in Lost Mountain ©Carlos Cardona
It was Sara who suggested choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith for the project, an artist whom she had long admired but not yet had a chance to work with. Bobbi and her partner Or Schraiber embraced the idea of delving into Juliet’s complex character and took inspiration from Juliet’s soliloquy in Act III Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet, a scene rarely used in film and dance versions of Shakespeare’s play. Bobbi and Or’s choreography is rooted in GAGA, a movement language created by Ohad Naharin based on a deep and layered physical awareness of the body. This approach provided a powerful means to express Juliet’s emotional journey as she longs for night to fall, so she and Romeo can be wed.
In addition to Sara Mearns, GALLOP APACE includes an appearance by New York based actress Bligh Voth as the Nurse. Israeli actress Lihi Kornowski’s voice can be heard reciting passages from Juliet’s soliloquy, leading into music by Heitor Villa-Lobos with cello performance by Coleman Itzkoff and vocals by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.