Monday, April 16, 2012

Finesse, Grace, Elegance, Joy, Beauty: Bravo to the San Francisco Ballet!

Tutu much! This has been the most thrilling season, the best. The beauty of ‘Onegin’ left me breathless. The exquisite dancing of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was simply thrilling. The current classic Balanchine program with the exquisite ‘Scottish Symphony’ masterwork is divine.

Please, pirouette on over. There are two programs remaining for the 2012 season. I suggest that you grab some tickets and a friend, and dash over to the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.

Prepare to be thrilled and uplifted by dancers like Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada, Frances Chung, Sarah van Patten, Vitor Luiz, Pascal Molat, Dores Andre, Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin, and the ethereal and emotive Yuan Yuan Tan. 

Pirouette to the phone! The season ends May 6. 

The San Francisco Ballet is the oldest professional ballet company in the country, founded in 1933. Dancers from Cuba, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Italy, Estonia, Thailand, France, China, and across the US give this company character and depth. This winter season has been a highlight—with an international company of inspired, superbly talented, expressive, engaging, and brilliantly trained dancers. 

Program 7 opened on Thursday, April 12 with three works by master choreographer George Balanchine. This program opens with Divertimento No. 15, set to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The revival of Scottish Symphony marks the first time this ballet has been performed by the Company in more than 4o years. Set to Felix Mendelssohn’s score. The program concludes with Balanchine’s neoclassical masterpiece The Four Temperaments, set to music by Paul Hindemith. 

Program 8 opens Friday, April 27 with a newly designed production of Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov’s staging of Don Quixote.

The three-act story ballet, set to a vivid score by Léon Minkus, will feature all-new scenic and costume design by Tony-award winner Martin Pakledinaz. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ book from 1605. 

One great highlight of SF Ballet’s 2012 repertory season was the SF Ballet premiere of John Cranko’s 'Onegin'. It was expressive and elegant, beautifully performed. At the grande finale, the rapturous audience left up, applauding, cheering, whistling (yes) and this applause seemed to continue for hours. So happy. 

This season also saw the return of SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet. 

San Francisco Ballet
I’ve been fortunate to attend the San Francisco Ballet performances for many years. The artists are all world-class, and the caliber of the choreography, as well as the refinement and elegance of the dancers, makes each evening one of delight and astonishment.

As America’s oldest professional ballet company and one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933.

This current season has been one of standing ovations. I’ll be seeing the last performances of this season—and then will look forward to the next season opening in January 2013. I can’t wait.

Here’s the great news for my readers spread out across the globe. The San Francisco Ballet will be performing in Europe

Hamburg Tour

June 22, 26, 27 and July 1, 2012

San Francisco Ballet will guest at Hamburg Ballet on June 26 and 27, performing a mixed-bill program that includes Tomasson’s 7 for Eight, Possokhov’s RAkU, a pas de deux from Continuum, and Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour. In addition, for one performance-only on June 22, four SF Ballet principal dancers will star in Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, performed by Hamburg Ballet. In addition, a select number of dancers will also perform on Hamburg Ballet’s Nijinsky Gala XXXVIII on July 1.

Moscow Tour

June 29 & 30, 2012

San Francisco Ballet will present two performances at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia on June 29 and 30 (programming to be announced). This engagement will represent SF Ballet’s first visit to Russia. 

London Tour

September 14-23, 2012

San Francisco Ballet will embark on its first engagement to London since 2004. From September 14-23, 2012, the Company will perform three mixed-repertory programs over nine performances, at the Sadler's Wells Theatre, featuring: UK premieres and works by choreographers including George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, SF Ballet Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov, and SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson.
 Visit Sadler’s Wells website for tickets and information.

Washington, D.C. Tour

November 13-18, 2012

San Francisco Ballet will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., November 13-18, 2012. The week-long engagement will feature Helgi Tomasson's Romeo & Juliet, and one mixed-repertory program. The Company’s last engagement in Washington, D.C. was part of its 75th American Anniversary Tour in 2008. 

Photography of the San Francisco Ballet artists for the 2012 repertory are presented here with express permission of the San Francisco Ballet.

For more information, visit 

For information, please call Ticket Services at 415.865.200o or visit Phone hours are Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm (California time).


  1. Your post was a visual delight! I have loved ballet since I was a little girl, but you have me "crushing on it" all over again, with more enthusiasm than my four year old self had for my ballerina doll - and that is saying a lot!

  2. Hello, dear Friend-

    I love your comment.
    It's true, we all went through that ballet phase of wanting to be a dancer.
    I took ballet lessons (and piano lessons) for years and loved all of it..the dance, the costumes, the lovely teacher, the pianist, the performances.
    I love attending the San Francisco Ballet in particular--as the company is absolutely first-rate now...the top of the top. So elegant, so polished, so superbly trained, the dancing so exquisite.
    I hope everyone will have the chance to see them...

  3. Stunning images Diane. What a superior season. My family and I had the rare opportunity to go backstage and meet a Russian ballet troup when they performed att the Segerstrom Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. That was almost as much of a treat as watching their amazing performance. Shiree'Segerstrom