How far would you go for love?
Last Saturday I went to see San Francisco Ballet’s Program 3. One of the performances was Francesca da Rimini, the story of an Italian woman who falls in love with her husband’s younger brother. Based on Dante’s Inferno, Francesca and Paolo (her lover) descend into the second circle of Hell after being stabbed to death by Francesca’s husband, Gianciotto. The ballet focuses on the two lovers as they dance a pas de duex together, embracing each other despite their tragic deaths. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance because of how dramatic the storyline and music were. It essentially was a twisted, dark version of the Romeo & Juliet pas de deux. Instead of seeing two characters dance with a sweet, light-hearted love for each other, I couldn’t help but feel that Francesca & Paolo were dancing with anguish and despair. For although they were forever linked together in the afterlife, their souls were condemned to Hell because of the mortal sin they had committed.