SF Ballet Season Guide 2015_Encore Arts San Francisco

2015 Repertory
Season Guide
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The students who artist and educator
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of possibilities. In 2013 our donors gave $197 million to Bay Area causes, making
us the largest single grantmaker to local nonprofits. They also awarded nearly $13
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January 2015
Volume 92, No. 2
2015 Repertory Season Guide
5
Greetings from the Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer
7
Board of Trustees and Endowment Foundation Board
8
SF Ballet Adult Education
10
Artists of the Company
12
SF Ballet Leadership
22
PROGRAM 1
Serenade / RAkU / Lambarena
Marty Griswold,
Seattle Sales Director
28
Joey Chapman, Gwendolyn Fairbanks,
Ann Manning, Lenore Waldron
Seattle Area Account Executives
PROGRAM 2
Giselle
34
PROGRAM 3
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude / Variations for Two Couples /
Manifesto World Premiere / “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II
42
PROGRAM 4
Dances at a Gathering / Hummingbird
46
PROGRAM 5
Don Quixote
52
PROGRAM 6
Shostakovich Trilogy
58
PROGRAM 7
Caprice / Swimmer World Premiere / The Four Temperaments
64
PROGRAM 8
Romeo & Juliet
71
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
72
San Francisco Ballet Staff
Paul Heppner
Publisher
Susan Peterson
Design & Production Director
Ana Alvira, Deb Choat,
Robin Kessler, Kim Love
Design and Production Artists
Mike Hathaway
Advertising Sales Director
Staci Hyatt, Marilyn Kallins,
Terri Reed, Tim Schuyler Hayman
San Francisco/Bay Area Account Executives
Carol Yip
Sales Coordinator
Jonathan Shipley
Ad Services Coordinator
www.encoreartsprograms.com
Paul Heppner
Publisher
Marty Griswold
Associate Publisher
Leah Baltus
Editor-in-Chief
Dan Paulus
Art Director
Jonathan Zwickel
Senior Editor
74
The Corporate Circle of San Francisco Ballet
Gemma Wilson
Associate Editor
76
Great Benefactors
Amanda Manitach
Visual Arts Editor
77
Artistic Director’s Council
Amanda Townsend
Events Coordinator
77
New Productions Fund
www.cityartsonline.com
78
San Francisco Ballet Season Sponsors
80
Endowed Funds
82
Support San Francisco Ballet
Paul Heppner
President
83
San Francisco Ballet Volunteers
Mike Hathaway
Vice President
86
Season Ticket and Box Office Information
Erin Johnston
Communications Manager
Genay Genereux
Accounting
San Francisco Ballet
Vol. 92, No. 2
2015 Repertory Season
Corporate Office
425 North 85th Street Seattle, WA 98103
p 206.443.0445 f 206.443.1246
[email protected]
800.308.2898 x105
www.encoremediagroup.com
All editorial material © San Francisco Ballet, 2015
Chris Hellman Center for Dance
455 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
COVER: DAVIT KARAPETYAN IN RATMANSKY’S SHOSTAKOVICH TRILOGY (© ERIK TOMASSON)
Encore Arts Programs is published monthly by Encore Media
Group to serve musical and theatrical events in Western
Washington and the San Francisco Bay Area. All rights reserved.
©2015 Encore Media Group. Reproduction
without written permission is prohibited.
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
3
© CHRIS HARDY
greetings from the
artistic director & principal choreographer
Thank you for subscribing to our 2015 Repertory Season; I’m so honored to be celebrating
my 30th year as artistic director with you. I look forward to seeing you at the War Memorial
Opera House in the coming months for an extraordinary line-up of programs that offers
something for everyone.
Our 2015 season is anchored by three of my favorite full-length story ballets. In January
we’re pleased to bring Giselle—one of the greatest Romantic story ballets of all time—back
to the Opera House stage. In March we present Don Quixote. This production is extremely
special to me as it was the final ballet to feature scenic and costume designs by the late
Tony Award-winning costume designer Martin Pakledinaz. Beyond the exhilarating dancing
and beautiful music, Martin’s vibrant designs for “Don Q” are a true feast for the eyes. We
conclude our season with my production of Romeo & Juliet. Set to Prokofiev’s stirring score,
Romeo & Juliet is a work that has thrilled audiences and challenged dancers for generations.
A commitment to new work has been at the heart of my vision for the Company since I
arrived in 1985. Every season I strive to find the best young choreographers from the
dance world and bring them to San Francisco to create new ballets. Over the years, our
audiences have been able to see some of the first major works by renowned choreographers
including William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, and many others.
This season we’ll present the world premiere of Manifesto, the first major commission by
Myles Thatcher, a member of our own corps de ballet, as well as the world premiere of
Swimmer by SF Ballet Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov.
And of course, a season at SF Ballet wouldn’t be complete without works by iconic dance
makers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, both of whom were extremely influential
to me during my career as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Other highlights
include the 20th anniversary presentation of Val Caniparoli’s delightful Lambarena; my
newest work for the Company, Caprice; and one of the most beautiful and demanding
works in the classical repertory, “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadére, Act II,
which has been set on the Company by celebrated ballerina, Natalia Makarova.
Thank you again for being a part of our subscriber family.
Kind regards,
Helgi Tomasson
Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
5
It’s like a 5-star resort
with a 5-star restaurant
THAT YOU CAN
CALL HOME.
Tu r n y o u r re t i re m e n t i n t o a re n a i s s a n c e .
650-579-5500 • PeninsulaRegent.com
One Baldwin Avenue, San Mateo, California
CA RCFE #410508359 COA #148
san francisco ballet association
board of trustees 2014–2015
JOHN S. OSTERWEIS, Chair of the Board and Executive Committee
Michael C. Abramson
Deborah M. Messemer
George B. James II†
Jola Anderson
Mary Mewha
Pamela J. Joyner†
Kristen A. Avansino
James E. Milligan
David A. Kaplan
Rosemary B. Baker
Kurt C. Mobley
Mary Jo Kovacevich
Karen S. Bergman
Christine Russell
James J. Ludwig†
Gary Bridge
Randee Seiger
Nancy H. Mohr
Amy Burnett
O.J. Shansby
Gerald E. Napier
Chaomei Chen
Christine E. Sherry
Thomas J. Perkins
David C. Cox
Charlotte Mailliard Shultz
Susan P. Diekman
Catherine Slavonia
Suzy Kellems Dominik
David Hooker Spencer
Vice Chair
Kate Duhamel
Fran A. Streets
Carl F. Pascarella
Sonia H. Evers
Arlene H. Sullivan
Vice Chair
Jason M. Fish
Judy C. Swanson
Julie A. Flynn
Richard J. Thalheimer
Shelby M. Gans
ASSOCIATE TRUSTEES
Jennifer M. Walske
Dr. Richard Gibbs
Marie Hurabiell
Timothy C. Wu
President, San Francisco
Thomas E. Horn
Janice Hansen Zakin
Ballet Auxiliary
Donald F. Houghton
Rhonda I. Zygocki
Chris Hellman†
Chair Emeritus
Richard C. Barker†
Immediate Past Chair
Margaret G. Gill
Vice Chair
James H. Herbert, II†
Vice Chair
Lucy Jewett
Vice Chair
James D. Marver
Robert M. Smelick
Vice Chair
Diane B. Wilsey
Vice Chair
Jennifer J. McCall
Secretary
Susan S. Briggs
Assistant Secretary
Christopher P. Johns
Treasurer
Helgi Tomasson
Artistic Director &
Principal Choreographer
Glenn McCoy*
Executive Director
James C. Katzman
Marie-Louise Pratt
George R. Roberts
Kathleen Scutchfield
Susan A. Van Wagner
Dennis Wu
Akiko Yamazaki
Patricia D. Knight
President, BRAVO
Nancy Kukacka
TRUSTEES EMERITI
Yasunobu Kyogoku
Thomas W. Allen
Kelsey Lamond
Marjorie Burnett
Irv H. Lichtenwald
Charles Dishman
Marie O’Gara Lipman
Garrettson Dulin, Jr.†
Karla L. Martin
Millicent Dunham
Stephanie Marver
J. Stuart Francis†
Alison Mauzé
Sally Hambrecht
† Past Chair
Marissa Mayer
Ingrid von Mangoldt Hills
* ex officio
Emily Hu
President, ENCORE!
Stewart McDowell Brady,
Patrice Lovato
Co-Chairs, Allegro Circle
san francisco ballet endowment foundation
board of directors 2014–2015
JAMES D. MARVER, President
John S. Osterweis
President Emeritus
Hank J. Holland
Vice President
Thomas E. Horn
Treasurer
Kim Ondreck Carim‡
Chief Financial Officer
Laura Simpson‡
Secretary
Elizabeth Lani‡
Assistant Secretary
Richard C. Barker
DIRECTORS EMERITI
Susan S. Briggs
Chris Hellman
J. Stuart Francis
George B. James II
Nancy Kukacka
Hilary C. Pierce
Larissa K. Roesch
‡ Non-Director
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
7
adult education
Seeing Ballet
Do you love ballet, but want to understand and more deeply appreciate specific works?
Join us for Seeing Ballet! Through a facilitated process led by experts in the ballet field, participants will learn to recognize
key elements of choreography, staging, and design in a short segment from a work currently on stage at the Opera House.
Learn more at sfballet.org/seeingballet.
TICKETS:
2015 DATES
$25 per event (general public)
$20 per event (SF Ballet subscribers)
$60 for all 3
SAT, APR 11 / 5:30PM
Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy
SAT, APR 18 / 5:30PM
Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments
SAT, MAY 2 / 5:30PM
Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet
Talk About Ballet!
Talk about Ballet! combines a 60-minute
lecture (including a Q & A) with a
30-minute reception with wine and snacks.
Learn more at sfballet.org/talkaboutballet.
Giselle Inquest—
Encore Performance!
SAT, JAN 31, 2015
5-6:30PM
“The Giselle Inquest” is a fun and
fascinating “investigation” of characters
from Giselle led by Jennifer Fisher, the
only “ballet coroner” known to dance
studies. Fisher gathers testimonies
from characters (in full costume and
in character), seeking to answer
the question: Why did Giselle die?
Reserve your tickets and find out.
TICKETS:
$25 per event (general public)
$20 per event (SF Ballet subscribers)
$60 for all 3
Anna Pavlova and the “Pavlovitas”:
Life in Pavlova’s Touring Company
SAT, MAR 21, 2015
5-6:30PM
Ready, Aim, Dance!
Danger and Soviet Ballet
MON, APR 13
6-7:30PM
Anna Pavlova was one of the ballet
world’s most revered figures. Her
legendary performances in Russia and
on tour thrilled audiences in some of
the world’s most remote locations. On
these grueling tours, she brought with
her a company of dancers. Carrie Gaiser
Casey, Ph.D. explores life in Pavlova’s
company and the relationships she
established with her protégés.
Stanford dance historian Janice Ross—
author of Like a Bomb Going Off, a new
book focusing on Soviet ballet during
the Stalin era—explores the fascinating
and dangerous intersections between
politics and ballet in Soviet Russia.
Enjoy rare archival video clips, and
gain rich context for a performance of
Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy.
Meet the Artist Interviews (and podcasts)
FREE and open to all ticket holders for selected performances
Meet the Artist Interviews ( MTAs) spotlight a work to be performed that afternoon/evening. These talks feature artists and
choreographers in conversation with a moderator. Interviews are 30 minutes and take place on the Orchestra Level one hour prior
to the performance. Open to all ticket holders. Learn more at sfballet.org/MTA.
Select Meet the Artist podcasts are available at sfballet.org/podcasts.
8
PROGRAM 1
PROGRAM 3
PROGRAM 5
PROGRAM 7
FRI, JAN 30, 7PM
SUN, FEB 1, 1PM
FRI, FEB 27, 7PM
SUN, MAR 1, 1PM
FRI, MAR 20, 7PM
SUN, MAR 22, 1PM
SUN, MAR 29, 1PM
FRI, APR 10, 7PM
SUN, APR 12, 1PM
PROGRAM 2
PROGRAM 4
FRI, FEB 6, 7PM
SUN, FEB 8, 1PM
FRI, MAR 6, 7PM
SUN, MAR 8, 1PM
S F B A L L E T.O R G
PROGRAM 8
PROGRAM 6
FRI, APR 17, 7PM
SUN, APR 19, 1PM
FRI, MAY 1, 7PM
SUN, MAY 3, 1PM
SUN, MAY 10, 1PM
Pointes of View (POV)
Lecture Series
Mark your calendar for next season!
FREE and open to the public
Ballet 101 is our popular five-class program designed to share the talent and
knowledge of the staff and artists of SF Ballet with committed adults in both studio
and classroom settings.
Lectures are 45-minute discussions
about that evening’s performance.
Learn more at sfballet.org/POV.
POV 1 / WED, JAN 28, 6PM
Dance educator Mary Wood discusses the
making of Lambarena with choreographer
Val Caniparoli, Ballet Master Betsy Erickson,
and African dance consultant Naomi Diouf.
BALLET 101— A SAN FRANCISCO BALLET APPRECIATION COURSE
Registration for Ballet 101 begins each year in November; courses are held in early
January through February. Space is limited, so sign up for SF Ballet’s monthly enews, then
you’ll be the first to know when registration begins. Learn more at sfballet.org/Ballet101.
POV 2 / WED, FEB 4, 6PM
Join us as we discuss the iconic ballet Giselle
with former SF Ballet Principal Dancer Joanna
Berman who has danced this most demanding
role. Learn why this role tests a dancer’s
technical and dramatic skills.
POV 3 / WED, FEB 25, 6PM
Rebecca Groves, former executive director
of the Forsythe Foundation and head
dramaturg for Ballett Frankfurt, focuses on the
thrilling choreography of William Forsythe.
POV 4 / WED, MAR 4, 6PM
Helgi Tomasson and dance educator
Mary Wood examine Jerome Robbins’
Dances at a Gathering and how this
ballet played a pivotal role in his career.
POV 5 / WED, MAR 25, 6PM
“Fans, Fandangos, and Fouettés:
An Appreciation of Don Quixote”
Carrie Gaiser Casey, Ph.D. playfully
examines the history, choreography,
and comedy that make this ballet
so compelling.
POV 6 / WED, APR 8, 6PM
“When Ballet Became Dangerous:
Shostakovich Trilogy and the Soviet Past”
Stanford dance historian Janice Ross explores
the fascinating and dangerous intersections
between politics and ballet in Soviet Russia.
ELECTRIC BLUES &
OUR FABULOUS FRIED CHICKEN
ACOUSTIC BLUES
POV 7 / WED, APR 15, 6PM
Resident Choreographer Yuri Possokhov
and composer Shinji Eshima discuss the
world premiere of Swimmer.
POV 8 / WED, MAY 6, 6PM
Through demonstration and discussion,
explore how the artists of SF Ballet learn
and execute sword-fighting scenes in
Romeo & Juliet.
PIANO BLUES
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415.346.8400
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2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
9
artists of the company
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR &
CORPS DE BALLET
PRINCIPAL CHOREOGRAPHER
Helgi Tomasson
Gaetano Amico III†
BALLET MASTER & ASSISTANT
TO THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Sean Bennett†
Ricardo Bustamante†
Thomas Bieszka
Christopher Stowell
PRINCIPAL DANCERS
Kimberly Braylock†
Joan Boada
Max Cauthorn†
BALLET MASTERS
Frances Chung
Diego Cruz†
Felipe Diaz†
Taras Domitro
Isabella DeVivo†
Betsy Erickson†
Lorena Feijoo
Megan Amanda Ehrlich
Anita Paciotti†
Mathilde Froustey
Lacey Escabar†
Katita Waldo†
Jaime Garcia Castilla
Jordan Hammond†
Tiit Helimets
Jillian Harvey
COMPANY TEACHERS
Luke Ingham
Esteban Hernandez
Helgi Tomasson
Davit Karapetyan
Ellen Rose Hummel†
Patrick Armand*
John and Barbara Osterweis
Emily Kadow
Ricardo Bustamante†
Principal Dancer
Kristina Lind†
Felipe Diaz†
Carolyn Lippert
Christopher Stowell
Maria Kochetkova
Herbert Family Principal Dancer
Norika Matsuyama†
Vitor Luiz
Lee Alex Meyer-Lorey†
Pascal Molat
Steven Morse†
CHOREOGRAPHER
IN RESIDENCE
Gennadi Nedvigin
Francisco Mungamba†
Yuri Possokhov
Carlos Quenedit
Sean Orza†
Sofiane Sylve
Lauren Parrott†
Yuan Yuan Tan
Elizabeth Powell†
MUSIC DIRECTOR &
PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR
Alexander Reneff-Olson†
Martin West
Richard C. Barker Principal Dancer
Sarah Van Patten
Diana Dollar Knowles Principal Dancer
Aaron Renteria†
Rebecca Rhodes†
Joseph Walsh
Julia Rowe†
Vanessa Zahorian
Emma Rubinowitz†
Diane B. Wilsey Principal Dancer
Shannon Marie Rugani†
Skyla Schreter
PRINCIPAL CHARACTER
Grace Shibley
DANCERS
Henry Sidford†
Ricardo Bustamante†
Miranda Silveira†
Val Caniparoli†
Benjamin Stewart†
Rubén Martín Cintas
Myles Thatcher†
Anita Paciotti†
Raymond Tilton†
Mingxuan Wang†
SOLOISTS
Wei Wang†
Dores André
Lonnie Weeks
Clara Blanco†
WanTing Zhao†
Daniel Deivison-Oliveira†
Sasha De Sola
APPRENTICES
Carlo Di Lanno
Samantha Bristow†
Dana Genshaft
Thamires Chuvas†
Koto Ishihara†
Benjamin Freemantle†
James Sofranko
John-Paul Simoens†
Anthony Spaulding†
Maggie Weirich†
Jennifer Stahl†
Ami Yuki†
Hansuke Yamamoto
10
S F B A L L E T.O R G
†Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
*Guest Teacher
SAN FRANCISCO’S AUCTION
HOUSE SINCE 1865
Consignments now invited
EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)
Danseuses et contrebasse
Sold for $485,000
bonhams.com/sf
©2015 Bonhams & Butterfields Auctioneers Corp. All rights reserved. Bond No. 57BSBGL0808
+1 (415) AUCTION
[email protected]
sf ballet leadership
H ELGI T OMASSON
Artistic Director &
Principal Choreographer
GLENN MCCOY
Executive Director
MARTIN WEST
Music Director &
Principal Conductor
In 2015, Helgi Tomasson celebrates
his 30th anniversary as artistic director
Glenn McCoy’s career in the performing
arts spans more than 30 years of
operations management and marketing
in ballet and opera. He first joined San
Francisco Ballet in 1987, and has held
the positions of company manager,
general manager, and managing director.
He was appointed to the position of
executive director in April 2002.
Martin West is acknowledged as one
of the foremost conductors of ballet,
garnering critical acclaim throughout
the world. Born in Bolton, England, he
studied math at St. Catharine’s College,
Cambridge University, before studying at
the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music
and London’s Royal Academy of Music.
Under his leadership, SF Ballet has
evolved from a respected regional
troupe into a world-class company,
praised for its diversity and broad
repertory. Tomasson was first
discovered by Jerome Robbins in
his native Iceland and was offered a
scholarship to New York’s School of
American Ballet. Subsequently, he
began his professional career with
The Joffrey Ballet, The Harkness Ballet,
and later joined New York City Ballet
where he became one of the company’s
most celebrated principal dancers.
Tomasson has choreographed over
40 works. His numerous awards include
being named Officier in the French
Order of Arts, an honorary degree
from New York’s Juilliard School, and
the Grand Cross Star of the Order of
the Falcon, Iceland’s most prestigious
honor. In 2005, Tomasson was awarded
the prestigious Lew Christensen Medal
in honor of his 20th anniversary as
artistic director of SF Ballet. In 2012,
Tomasson was presented the Dance/USA
Honor Award for extraordinary leadership
in the dance field, by reason of artistic
excellence and force of vision. Tomasson
is also the director of the San Francisco
Ballet School.
12
S F B A L L E T.O R G
McCoy has overseen the production
of more than 50 new repertory and
full-length ballets for SF Ballet and more
than 40 domestic and international tours,
including engagements in Paris; London;
Washington, D.C.; and New York.
McCoy supervised SF Ballet’s operations
for the critically acclaimed international
dance festival, UNited We Dance in 1995;
SF Ballet’s 75th Anniversary Season in
2008; and the tapings of Lubovitch’s
Othello, Tomasson’s Nutcracker, and
Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, which
have been broadcast on PBS by Thirteen/
WNET New York’s performing arts series
Great Performances.
Prior to joining SF Ballet, McCoy held
marketing positions at the San Francisco
Opera and at The Metropolitan Opera in
New York City, where as advertising
manager he was responsible for promoting
The Met seasons of American Ballet
Theatre, as well as other international
dance companies.
In 1997, West made his debut with
English National Ballet and was
immediately appointed resident
conductor. There, he conducted almost
half of the company’s performances
throughout England and abroad. From
2004-07 he held the position of principal
conductor. In recent seasons, he has
worked with many of the top companies
in North America, such as New York City
Ballet, Houston Ballet and the National
Ballet of Canada as well as conducting a
number of perfomances with The Royal
Ballet, Covent Garden. He made his U.S.
symphonic conducting debut with Silicon
Valley Symphony.
In fall 2005, West joined SF Ballet, having
been a frequent guest since his debut two
years earlier. He has made a number of
critically acclaimed recordings with the
SF Ballet Orchestra including the complete
score of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, a CD
of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky cello
music, an album of suites from Delibes’
Sylvia and Coppélia and Bizet’s Symphony
in C. In addition, he conducted on the
award-winning DVD of Neumeier’s The
Little Mermaid, as well as SF Ballet’s
production of Nutcracker for PBS.
HEADSHOTS © CHRIS HARDY AND DAVID ALLEN
of San Francisco Ballet. He is the
longest serving sole artistic director
of a major ballet company.
principal dancers
JOAN BOADA
TIIT HELIMETS
Born in Havana, Cuba
Born in Viljandi, Estonia
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 1999
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2005
FRANCES CHUNG
LUKE INGHAM
Born in Vancouver, Canada
Born in Mount Gambier, South Australia
Joined in 2001
Joined as Soloist in 2012
Promoted to Soloist in 2005
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2014
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2009
TARAS DOMITRO
DAVIT KARAPETYAN
Born in Havana, Cuba
Born in Yerevan, Armenia
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2008
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2005
Appointed John and Barbara Osterweis
Principal Dancer in 2014
LORENA FEIJOO
MARIA KOCHETKOVA
Born in Havana, Cuba
Born in Moscow, Russia
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 1999
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2007
Appointed Herbert Family
MATHILDE FROUSTEY
VITOR LUIZ
Born in Bordeaux, France
Born in Juiz de Fora, Brazil
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2013
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2009
JAIME GARCIA CASTILLA
PASCAL MOLAT
Born in Madrid, Spain
Born in Paris, France
Named Apprentice in 2001
Joined as a Soloist in 2002
Joined in 2002
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2003
Promoted to Soloist in 2006
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2008
14 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
† Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
DANCER HEADSHOTS © CHRIS HARDY AND © DAVID ALLEN
Principal Dancer in 2013
principal dancers
GENNADI NEDVIGIN
VANESSA ZAHORIAN
Born in Rostov, Russia
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Joined as a Soloist in 1997
Joined in 1997
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2000
Promoted to Soloist in 1999
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2002
Appointed Diane B. Wilsey
Principal Dancer in 2014
CARLOS QUENEDIT
Born in Havana, Cuba
Joined as Soloist in 2012
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2014
principal character dancers
SOFIANE SYLVE
RICARDO BUSTAMANTE†
Born in Nice, France
Born in Medellin, Colombia
Joined as a Principal Dancer in 2008
Joined in 1980
Named Principal Character Dancer in 2007
YUAN YUAN TAN
VAL CANIPAROLI†
Born in Shanghai, China
Born in Renton, Washington
Joined as a Soloist in 1995
Joined in 1973
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 1997
Named Principal Character Dancer in 1987
Appointed Richard C. Barker
SARAH VAN PATTEN
RUBÉN MARTÍN CINTAS
Born in Boston, Massachusetts
Born in Reus, Spain
Joined as a Soloist in 2002
Joined in 2000
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2007
Named Principal Character Dancer in 2014
Appointed Diana Dollar Knowles
Principal Dancer in 2014
JOSEPH WALSH
ANITA PACIOTTI†
Born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Born in Oakland, California
Joined as a Soloist in 2014
Joined in 1968
Promoted to Principal Dancer in 2014
Named Principal Character Dancer in 1987
16 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
† Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
DANCER HEADSHOTS © CHRIS HARDY AND © DAVID ALLEN
Principal Dancer in 2013
BEYOND
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soloists
DORES ANDRÉ
KOTO ISHIHARA†
Born in Vigo, Spain
Born in Nagoya, Japan
Joined in 2004
Joined in 2010
Promoted to Soloist in 2012
Promoted to Soloist in 2014
CLARA BLANCO†
JAMES SOFRANKO
Born in Valladolid, Spain
Born in Marion, Indiana
Joined in 2001
Joined in 2000
Returned in 2007
Promoted to Soloist in 2007
Promoted to Soloist in 2012
DANIEL DEIVISON-OLIVEIRA†
ANTHONY SPAULDING†
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Born in Phoenix, Arizona
Joined in 2005
Named Apprentice in 2004
Promoted to Soloist in 2011
Joined in 2006
SASHA DE SOLA
JENNIFER STAHL†
Born in Winter Park, Florida
Born in Dana Point, California
Named Apprentice in 2006
Named Apprentice in 2005
Joined in 2007
Joined in 2006
Promoted to Soloist in 2012
Promoted to Soloist in 2013
CARLO DI LANNO
HANSUKE YAMAMOTO
Born in Napoli, Italy
Born in Chiba, Japan
Joined as a Soloist in 2014
Joined in 2001
Promoted to Soloist in 2005
DANA GENSHAFT
Born in Moscow, Russia
Named Apprentice in 2000
Joined in 2001
Promoted to Soloist in 2008
18 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
† Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
DANCER HEADSHOTS © CHRIS HARDY AND © DAVID ALLEN
Promoted to Soloist in 2008
corps de ballet
GAETANO AMICO III†
ISABELLA DEVIVO†
Born in Salem, Oregon
Born in Great Neck, New York
Named Apprentice in 2006
Joined in 2013
Joined in 2007
SEAN BENNETT†
MEGAN AMANDA EHRLICH
Born in San Francisco, California
Born in Charleston, South Carolina
Named Apprentice in 2011
Named Apprentice in 2011
Joined in 2012
Joined in 2012
THOMAS BIESZKA
LACEY ESCABAR†
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Born in Fairfax, California
Joined in 2013
Named Apprentice in 2012
Joined in 2013
KIMBERLY BRAYLOCK†
JORDAN HAMMOND†
Born in New York, New York
Born in Irvine, California
Named Apprentice in 2009
Joined in 2010
DANCER HEADSHOTS © CHRIS HARDY AND © DAVID ALLEN
Joined in 2010
MAX CAUTHORN†
JILLIAN HARVEY
Born in Tucson, Arizona
Born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Named Apprentice in 2013
Named Apprentice in 2011
Joined in 2014
Joined in 2012
DIEGO CRUZ†
ESTEBAN HERNANDEZ
Born in Zaragoza, Spain
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico
Joined in 2006
Joined in 2013
† Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
19
corps de ballet
ELLEN ROSE HUMMEL†
STEVEN MORSE†
Born in Greenville, South Carolina
Born in Harbor City, California
Named Apprentice in 2011
Joined in 2009
Joined in 2012
EMILY KADOW
FRANCISCO MUNGAMBA†
Born in Winter Park, Florida
Born in Madrid, Spain
Joined in 2012
Joined in 2011
KRISTINA LIND†
SEAN ORZA†
Born in San Jose, California
Born in San Francisco, California
Joined in 2009
Named Apprentice in 2007
Joined in 2008
CAROLYN LIPPERT
LAUREN PARROTT†
Born in Boston, Massachusetts
Born in Palm Harbor, Florida
Joined in 2014
Named Apprentice in 2012
NORIKA MATSUYAMA†
ELIZABETH POWELL†
Born in Chiba, Japan
Born in Boston, Massachusetts
Joined in 2014
Named Apprentice in 2011
Joined in 2012
LEE ALEX MEYER-LOREY†
ALEXANDER RENEFF-OLS0N†
Born in Zurich, Switzerland
Born in San Francisco, California
Named Apprentice in 2003
Named Apprentice in 2012
Joined in 2004
Joined in 2013
Returned in 2013
20 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
† Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
DANCER HEADSHOTS © CHRIS HARDY AND © DAVID ALLEN
Joined in 2013
My life was always
about capturing
the moment.
Now, it’s about
living in it.
David Johnson, a leading photojournalist during
photography’s Golden Age, and his wife Jackie,
Marin County’s first African-American postmaster,
have always been trailblazers. Now instead of blazing trails, they’re strolling on them at The Tamalpais.
They also appreciate their good friends, great food
and Life Care at The Tam. It offers on-site health
programs for standard fees that won’t increase if they
need more care. And that’s a reason to smile. Call
Dusty Bricker at (415) 464-1754 to learn more.
A Life Care Community
415.461.2300 | thetam.org
501 Via Casitas
This not-for-profit community is part of Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services. License# 210102761 COA# 099
corps de ballet
AARON RENTERIA†
GRACE SHIBLEY
Born in Pasadena, California
Born in Portland, Oregon
Named Apprentice in 2013
Joined in 2013
Joined in 2014
REBECCA RHODES†
HENRY SIDFORD†
Born in Chicago, Illinois
Born in Marblehead, Massachusetts
Named Apprentice in 2008
Named Apprentice in 2011
Joined in 2009
Joined in 2012
JULIA ROWE†
MIRANDA SILVEIRA†
Born in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Born in Sao Goncalo, Brazil
Joined in 2013
Named Apprentice in 2013
Joined in 2014
EMMA RUBINOWITZ†
BENJAMIN STEWART†
Born in San Francisco, California
Born in Austin, Texas
Named Apprentice in 2012
Joined in 2006
SHANNON MARIE RUGANI†
MYLES THATCHER†
Born in Lake Tahoe, California
Born in Atlanta, Georgia
Named Apprentice in 2004
Named Apprentice in 2009
Joined in 2005
Joined in 2010
SKYLA SCHRETER
RAYMOND TILTON†
Born in Chappaqua, New York
Born in San Diego, California
Joined in 2014
Named Apprentice in 2010
Joined in 2011
22 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
† Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
DANCER HEADSHOTS © CHRIS HARDY AND © DAVID ALLEN
Joined in 2013
MINGXUAN WANG†
Born in Shandong, China
Named Apprentice in 2013
Joined in 2014
The Historic
Cliff House
Voted Best
Romantic Restaurant
WEI WANG†
Born in Anshan-Liaoning, China
Named Apprentice in 2012
Joined in 2013
Dine in the Stylish Sutro's
or the Casual Bistro
•
LONNIE WEEKS
Born in Chicago, Ilinois
Joined in 2010
Enjoy our Famous Sunday
Champagne Brunch Buffet
•
Relax with Live Friday Night Jazz
in the Balcony Lounge
WANTING ZHAO†
Born in Anshan-Liaoning, China
Joined in 2011
Private Events in the
Elegant Terrace Room
Semi-Private Events
in the Lands End Room
www.CliffHouse.com
1090 Point Lobos 415-386-3330
Private Events Direct 415-666-4027
[email protected]
† Received training at the San Francisco Ballet School
TZ 090914 hacienda 1_3v.pdf
1
performance dates
triple bill
TUE
JAN 27
8:00 PM
WED
JAN 28
7:30 PM
FRI
JAN 30
8:00 PM
SUN
FEB 1
2:00 PM
THU
FEB 5
8:00 PM
SAT
FEB 7
2:00 PM
SAT
FEB 7
8:00 PM
Serenade
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne
Costume Design: after Karinska
Original Lighting Design: Ronald Bates
Music: Serenade in C Major for String Orchestra, Op. 48
This performance of Serenade, a Balanchine© Ballet, is presented by arrangement with the George Balanchine Trust
and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style© and Balanchine Technique© service standards
established and provided by the Trust. Costumes constructed by Barbara Matera, Ltd., New York, New York.
World Premiere: March 1, 1935—American Ballet, Adelphi Theater; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: April 18, 1952—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
RAkU
Composer: Shinji Eshima
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Scenic and Projection Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Christopher Dennis
Music: Original composition by Shinji Eshima
World Premiere: February 3, 2011—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
The 2011 world premiere of RAkU was made possible by Lead Sponsors Yurie and Carl Pascarella, and Athena and
Timothy Blackburn; and Sponsors Stephen and Margaret Gill, and the H. B. and Lucille Horn Foundation.
Lambarena
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach and traditional African rhythms and music
(as arranged by Pierre Akendengué and Hughes de Courson)
Choreographer: Val Caniparoli
Staged by: Maiqui Mañosa
Costume Design: Sandra Woodall
Lighting Design: Lisa J. Pinkham
African Dance Consultants: Naomi Gedo Johnson-Washington and Zakariya Sao Diouf
Music: Bach/Traditional African, arr. de Courson & Akendengué, conceived by Mariella Bertheas
World Premiere: March 28, 1995—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
The 1995 world premiere of Lambarena was made possible in part by a 1994 Choo-San Goh Award for
choreography from the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation. Additional support was provided by
the Brautigam-Kaplan Foundation.
24 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
SOFIANE SYLVE IN BALANCHINE’S SERENADE (CHOREOGRAPHY BY GEORGE BALANCHINE © THE BALANCHINE TRUST; PHOTO © ERIK TOMASSON)
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN BALANCHINE’S SERENADE (CHOREOGRAPHY BY GEORGE BALANCHINE © THE BALANCHINE TRUST; PHOTO © ERIK TOMASSON)
Serenade
George Balanchine’s Serenade provides
as close to a spiritual experience as can
be found among this master’s ballets.
Created on students at the School of
American Ballet (SAB) during a class on
stage technique, it has become one of the
most beloved and frequently performed
of Balanchine’s works. From the moment
the curtain rises on that iconic image of
17 women standing still and serene to the
last glimpse of their pointe shoes as the
curtain falls, Serenade takes gentle hold
of our emotions.
The creator of more than 200 ballets,
Balanchine, the co-founder and artistic
director of New York City Ballet and the
School of American Ballet, was one of the
most prolific choreographers in dance
history. But perhaps more notable are
his astounding stylistic range and the
enduring quality of his works. Serenade,
set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings,
26
S F B A L L E T.O R G
was the first ballet that Balanchine
created in the United States, and 81
years later it still has unwavering power.
“It’s timeless, so exquisite,” says San
Francisco Ballet Artistic Director &
Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson.
Danced by the SAB students, Serenade
premiered at the estate of Felix M. Warburg
in White Plains, New York, on June 9,
1934; it made its professional premiere
the following year, danced by the American
Ballet (a predecessor to New York City
Ballet). Serenade entered SF Ballet’s
repertory in 1952 and has reappeared at
intervals throughout the Company’s history,
most recently in 2010.
As Balanchine relates in his Complete
Stories of the Great Ballets, he created
Serenade as a way to demonstrate to his
students that performing is a far more
complex process than taking class. The
night he began working on it there were
17 students; the next night nine; the third
six. In each class he worked with whoever
was there, adding men when some
showed up later and including mishaps,
like a late entrance and a fall. Serenade
is a prime example of Balanchine’s
often quoted philosophy (embraced
by Tomasson): “Use what you’ve got.”
He always did, in ways that display his
tremendous creative depth.
Along with its steps, movement quality,
and emotional expressiveness, Serenade
shows off Balanchine’s ability to elevate
to an art the simple act of creating
patterns; the beauty of its formations
make it an excellent ballet to watch from
above. “It’s like an ebb and flow—there’s
confusion and then instantly there’s
order,” said stager Elyse Borne in 2010.
Making those patterns work seamlessly
requires a heightened sense of bonding,
especially among the corps women.
Despite being created on students,
Serenade is far from easy to dance. “It’s
allowed to be done by schools because he
made it for the [School of American Ballet],”
says Borne. “And yet the dancing is so hard.
I think it was a lot for him to demand from
students—it’s not only hard technically,
but artistically. Although there’s no story,
there’s a lot of romance, a lot of drama, a
lot of emotion and passion. If the dancers
just do the steps, it doesn’t look like
Serenade.” Over time, the ballet continued
to evolve, eventually using Tchaikovsky’s
full score and becoming more fitted to the
skills of the professionals who danced it.
One of the ballet’s most touching moments
occurs when the 17 women, standing with
feet together in parallel (sixth position), open
them to a small V: first position. This simple
movement, so elemental, reflects Serenade’s
origins as a piece for students. And, in part,
those quiet, understated moments of beauty
make Serenade timeless. “No one ever gets
tired of it—not dancing it, not seeing it, not
staging it,” says Borne. “The curtain goes up
and you hear that beautiful music and see
the light, and it’s transcendent.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
RAkU
RAkU is a story about love and separation,
desire and jealousy, violence and grief,
told by Choreographer in Residence Yuri
Possokhov to stunning effect. Based on
the true story of the burning of Kyoto’s
Golden Pavilion in 1950, RAkU is set in a
much earlier time and in a style similar to
Noh theater, which presents the essence
of a story rather than a literal depiction.
“It’s aesthetic lines,” Possokhov says
about his ballet, “but not story lines.”
His imaginative approach to the story, a
commissioned score, and the dramatic,
projection-based scenic design combine
to make his 13th work for San Francisco
Ballet a perfectly melded artistic whole.
Created for the 2011 Repertory
Season, RAkU has been seen outside of
San Francisco in London and Chicago
(danced by the Joffrey Ballet, to critical
and popular acclaim). The London
performances, part of SF Ballet’s 2013
tour, earned Principal Dancer Yuan Yuan
Tan the 2014 Critics’ Circle National
Dance Award for Outstanding Female
Performance (Classical). Tan, who
celebrates 20 years with the Company
this season, was involved with RAkU from
its conception: she enlisted her friend
Gary Wang to write the libretto, and she
created the role of the Princess.
Despite its Japanese story and setting,
RAkU contains no traditional Japanese
dance or music; Possokhov is more
interested in tone, aesthetics, and visual
YUAN YUAN TAN AND VITOR LUIZ IN POSSOKHOV’S RAkU (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
27
inventiveness than in reenacting history.
Combining folk-based steps and butoh (a
post–World War II Japanese dance form
utilizing extremely slow movements) with
classically based movement, he makes
every emotion in this ballet visual and
vivid. Tan says the butoh, most prominent
in the ending, “was very difficult. You need
to move so slow, in a very awkward and
turned-in position. They make faces in
butoh, and for me it was a new lesson, to
portray that desperation.”
For the commissioned score, Possokhov’s
first, he turned to composer Shinji Eshima,
a longtime double bassist in the SF Ballet
and Opera orchestras. A symphonic
score that uses no traditional Japanese
instruments, it conveys a Japanese feeling;
one portion incorporates a Buddhist chant.
“It’s like the vibration of the earth, literally
like a mantra,” says Eshima. For the chant
section, monks from the San Francisco
Zen Center join the musicians in the pit,
enhancing the instrumentation and the
rhythm with the resonance and emotional
power of the human voice.
YUAN YUAN TAN IN POSSOKHOV’S RAkU (© ERIK TOMASSON)
For the love theme, which appears three
times, Eshima borrowed from a piece he
wrote to commemorate the Hiroshima
bombing, which Possokhov asked him
to use. The theme is “very, very simple,”
Eshima says. “It alternates a 3/5/3 meter,
which I meant to imply a haiku 5/7/5
rhythm. It’s based on something very
simple, but I hoped it would express an
unspeakable pain.”
The theme of his score, says Eshima,
is “burning—the burning of desire, of
passion, of loyalty; the burn of suffering,
of jealousy; finally the burning in death—
emotions that are so strong that they
overcome the discipline of a Zen monk
and the loyalties of samurai. That burn
throughout one’s life is what I think is the
greatest thing about being human, the
beauty of it all. The grief isn’t beautiful,
in and of itself, and the loss isn’t. But the
empathy for it is, and that’s what I was
trying to convey.”
For Tan, RAkU is “a vehicle to express
myself in a better way,” she says. “It’s not
only pretty—I feel it’s very dramatic, like
the Giselle mad scene. But with RAkU,
it’s contemporary and it gives you more
freedom. Yuri’s choreography tends to
be very avant-garde, very difficult, and
that’s why his ballets are always unique. I
understand his motivation; I understand his
language, what he wants. He has different
language to tell the story, to be always
more emotional.”
PASCAL MOLAT IN POSSOKHOV’S RAkU (© ERIK TOMASSON)
28
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
Lambarena
How much influence do you take from the
African dance consultants; how much do
you rely on your own vision? I did what I
had to do, what I knew, and what I could
soak in from Zak and Naomi. There were
times when I second-guessed myself.
There’s a finale that was never used.
Everyone said, ‘You can’t end a ballet like
this with a solo.’ And I said, ‘Try me.’ ”
In today’s ballet repertory, stylistic fusions
are rampant—so you’d have reason to
think Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena, which
combines classical ballet with authentic
African dance, is one of them. But it’s “not
a hybrid,” Caniparoli says. Lambarena, set
to a striking arrangement of Gabonese
songs and J.S. Bach pieces, is “inspired by
authentic African and classical techniques,”
the choreographer says, “fused together
only in its rhythms.”
According to Caniparoli, the music
bridges a cultural divide, and he wanted
the dance to do the same. The score
pays homage to Nobel Peace Prize
recipient (and Bach enthusiast) Albert
Schweitzer, who founded a hospital in
the town of Lambaréné. It was perfect
for the dance Caniparoli had in mind—a
showcase for Evelyn Cisneros, then a
principal dancer. Because authenticity
was paramount to him, he enlisted African
dance consultants Naomi Gedo JohnsonWashington and Zakariya Sao Diouf to
work with the dancers. “I was studying
legitimate African dance; it wasn’t ‘I’m
influenced by this, so I’m adapting it
to my choreography,’ ” Caniparoli says.
Years later he remains fascinated by the
movement and its meanings. “There’s
always a meaning,” he says. “The eyes
mean something, where you look, the
hand movements.”
Caniparoli’s choreographic bridge
between cultures isn’t an easy one for
the dancers to cross. As Principal Dancer
Frances Chung says, laughing, “shaking
your hips on pointe is difficult. Getting
the style right is difficult; [at times]
you’re doing technical ballet steps with a
contraction [of the torso].” The footwork
requires exact weight placement, she
says. “You can’t muscle through it;
everything has to go with gravity.”
FRANCES CHUNG IN CANIPAROLI’S LAMBARENA
(© ERIK TOMASSON)
In creating an intersection between
two disparate forms, Caniparoli says he
relied on instinct. “Where do you put the
classical, and how much do you do? Where
do you put the African, and how much?
Lambarena was one of the first ballets
Principal Dancer Lorena Feijoo saw the
Company perform, when she was here to
audition. She remembers “standing up like
I was at a concert, it was so infectious.
I thought, ‘Lorena, contain yourself; this
is a ballet house!’ “Now, after dancing
Lambarena for years, she calls it “sexy and
rhythmical and full—a celebration of life.
There’s this sense of joy and community,
of belonging to something bigger than
yourself. It’s a brilliant, brilliant work.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
LAMBARENA 20TH ANNIVERSARY
At 20, Lambarena shows no signs of aging. Caniparoli’s 29th ballet (out of 83, excluding
concert, theater, and opera works), Lambarena is performed almost yearly, in whole
or in part. An excerpt even made it onto Sesame Street in 2008, danced by Principal
Dancer Lorena Feijoo and her sister, Lorna Feijoo, then a principal at Boston Ballet.
Over the years, Lambarena has “changed drastically, in many ways—with time, and the
more I know,” Caniparoli says. He’s making more changes this year, “especially this year—
the musicality, defining steps,” he says. “Balanchine tweaked his masterpieces until his
death. You’re always striving.”
About the ballet’s popularity, Caniparoli says, “There’s no hidden meaning; it’s not
preachy. But it’s a celebration, and it’s fun.” Audience reactions, he says, are “always
very strong. It could be in South Africa, Russia, Singapore, England. Some ballets work
in certain areas and some don’t. For Lambarena to work almost universally, with the
majority of audiences, is extraordinary.”
LORENA FEIJOO IN CANIPAROLI’S LAMBARENA
(© ERIK TOMASSON)
When Lambarena premiered, Albert Schweitzer’s daughter saw it, and what she told
Caniparoli has stayed with him for 20 years: “You’ve caught the color and essence of my
father’s missionary in Gabon.” She was in tears.
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
29
2
performance dates
full-length
THU
JAN 29
8:00 PM
SAT
JAN 31
2:00 PM
SAT
JAN 31
8:00 PM
TUE
FEB 3
8:00 PM
WED
FEB 4
7:30 PM
FRI
FEB 6
8:00 PM
SUN
FEB 8
2:00 PM
TUE
FEB 10
8:00 PM
Giselle
Composer: Adolphe Adam, with additional music, orchestrations, and
arrangements by Friedrich Burgmüller, Ludwig Minkus, and Emil de Cou
Production: Helgi Tomasson
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson after Marius Petipa, Jules Perrot, and Jean Coralli
Scenic, Costume and Lighting Design: Mikael Melbye
Assistant Lighting Designer: Lisa J. Pinkham
Assistant to Mr. Tomasson for this production: Lola de Avila
Music: All music and orchestration are by Adolphe Adam (unless otherwise noted)
World Premiere (complete ballet): June 28, 1841—Paris Opéra Ballet, Théâtre de l’Académie Royale
de Musique; Paris, France
San Francisco Ballet Premiere (Tomasson production): April 8, 1999—War Memorial Opera House;
San Francisco, California
The 1999 world premiere of Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle was underwritten by The Hellman Family,
The Edward E. Hills Fund, Lucy and Fritz Jewett, and an anonymous donor, in honor of Chris Hellman.
This project was made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Dance Residency Program
(NDRP), a program underwritten by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered at the New York
Foundation for the Arts.
30 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
MATHILDE FROUSTEY IN TOMASSON’S GISELLE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
MATHILDE FROUSTEY IN TOMASSON’S GISELLE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
Giselle
At 174 years old, Giselle remains a
vigorous perennial. Choreographed by
Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, it is the jewel
of the Romantic ballets, surpassing even
its much-admired predecessor, August
Bournonville’s La Sylphide. Since its
premiere in Paris in 1841, Giselle has done
more than merely endure—it has become
one of the most frequently performed
ballets in the world’s classical repertory.
The story of Giselle originated in a
German legend about ethereal creatures
called Wilis. These maidens, who were
betrayed by their lovers and died before
they could wed, emerge from their
graves at night to seek vengeance
on any man who happens upon them.
Théophile Gautier, a poet and leader of
the Romantic movement in the French
art world, discovered the legend in the
writings of German poet Heinrich Heine
and decided it would make a beautiful
ballet; he enlisted playwright Jules-Henri
Vernoy de Saint-Georges to help him
transform the eerie tale into a theatrical production. Together with composer
Adolphe Adam, these collaborators
32
S F B A L L E T.O R G
produced an instant success, encompassing themes of love, betrayal, and
forgiveness: Giselle, ou les Wilis.
San Francisco Ballet first presented
Giselle in 1947, courtesy of Anton Dolin,
a former dancer with Diaghilev’s Ballets
Russes, The Royal Ballet, and Ballet
Theatre (now ABT). Dolin had formed a
touring company with Alicia Markova;
his Giselle featured himself and Markova
in the lead roles, with SF Ballet dancers
filling out the ranks. Portions of Giselle
were done in 1965 (the peasant pas
de deux) and 1975 (the grand pas de
deux, again performed by guest artists).
It wasn’t until 1999, when Artistic
Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi
Tomasson premiered his production,
that SF Ballet’s dancers could call the
Romantic classic their own.
Tomasson’s Giselle, like many versions,
retains most of the Coralli/Perrot
choreography, handed down largely
thanks to Marius Petipa, who restaged
this classic in St. Petersburg in 1884.
Over the years, some choreographers
have taken creative license with the
ballet—Mats Ek’s production for Cullberg
Ballet lands Giselle in an insane asylum,
and Frederic Franklin’s version for Dance
Theatre of Harlem sets it in Louisiana,
where the Wilis haunt the bayou.
Tomasson, however, remains true to
Giselle’s original story and setting.
Tomasson was a young dancer when
he “fell in love” with Giselle, he says. “I
loved dancing Albrecht.” He had plenty of
opportunity to do so, in four productions
and with four companies: Erik Bruhn’s
Giselle for the Royal Danish Ballet,
Alicia Alonso’s at Paris Opéra Ballet
(with Noëlla Pontois), David Blair’s for
American Ballet Theatre, and Anton
Dolin’s at National Ballet of Iceland.
When he decided to create his own
production of Giselle, Tomasson says, “I
tried to bring my love for it to the stage.”
Tomasson retained much of Dolin’s
approach, which was filtered down from
Alicia Alonso, Olga Spessivtseva, and
Alicia Markova. “A lot of things Dolin
had spoken about came into my mind as
I was working, particularly the way he
interpreted Albrecht,” he says. “He made
him more noble, aristocratic. It’s because
of circumstances that he leaves Giselle
in the first act; it’s not his choice. He
realizes how much in love with her he is.”
Tomasson speculates about why Albrecht
might be drawn to Giselle: “Is it because
he doesn’t care for the superficiality of
the court? Is that what led him away? And
her innocence, her joy of life—she wasn’t
pretending to be someone else. Maybe
that’s what he fell in love with.”
A self-described traditionalist, Tomasson
does recognize that dancers and audiences
change over time; consequently, he looked
for ways to update the ballet that retained
its integrity and intent. Such choreographic
fine-tuning is like walking a tightrope: you
want to engage new audiences without
alienating those who know and love the
tradition of the classics. Some changes
you make “because of what you have
around you,” says Tomasson. “We have
fabulous male dancers these days, in many
companies. Is there a way to incorporate
them [more fully] into the production and
still have it make sense?”
As an artistic director, Tomasson felt
compelled to give his men more to do. To
expand Albrecht’s role, he added a pas
To perform Giselle well
requires impeccable technique
and the ability to immerse
oneself in the characters
that occupy an “otherworld”
in which undead brides-to-be
fly through the forest at
night and make strong men
dance to their deaths.
To perform Giselle well requires
impeccable technique and the ability to
immerse oneself in the characters that
occupy an “otherworld” in which undead
brides-to-be fly through the forest
at night and make strong men dance
to their deaths. Whether audiences
connect emotionally with the fantastic
story—and thus come to care about
that world’s inhabitants—depends
largely on the choices made by the
choreographer and the dancers.
de deux in Act 1, setting it to a portion
of the original score that had fallen
out of use. “To me, Albrecht wanted to
show off for Giselle, and how would he
do that?” he says. “In ballet, he would
dance. The music was there, so why
not do that?” He also changed the Act I
peasant pas de deux (for two dancers)
to a pas de cinq (for five). After all, he
reasoned, it made sense that a dance
that celebrates friendship and the
harvest would include more people—and
thus allow him to feature more dancers.
“[George Balanchine] always said, ‘Use
what you’ve got,’ ” Tomasson says. “And I
have wonderful dancers.”
Giselle is famous for its difficult footwork,
balances, and virtuoso sequences—all
of it done, if you’re Giselle or Myrtha
(Queen of the Wilis), while looking otherworldly, weightless, and alternately
serene, vengeful, or sad. But character is
equally important. Giselle, in the course
of a brief intermission, leaves her naïve
girlhood behind and becomes a mature,
loving wraith/woman capable of forgiving Albrecht for his betrayal. Albrecht
can be played as a conniving cad or, as
Tomasson prefers, a misguided, earnest
young man in love, frustrated by the social
constraints imposed on him by nobility.
And the dancer who plays the outwardly
DAVIT KARAPETYAN IN TOMASSON’S GISELLE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
33
heartless Myrtha must find a shred of
humanity in her no-longer-human form
that allows her to hesitate when Giselle
pleads for Albrecht’s life. Without this kind
of emotional depth from the dancers, the
characters become flat and distant.
really light, but also feel she’s dead, so
she has something heavy and sad and
deep. This is a life work. Maybe in 10
years I will do it well.” But for her, it’s
the first act that’s “the tricky thing,” she
says. “She is really, really complicated.
It’s not an easy character, like she’s
joyful and everything is right, and then
everything is wrong. No, no, something
is wrong from the beginning.” She wants
to give audiences “the feeling, from the
beginning, that it’s a tragedy.”
For Principal Dancer Maria Kochetkova,
Giselle stands apart from other classical
ballets because of the profound changes
the central character goes through. “It’s
more than a fairy tale,” Kochetkova says.
“It’s much deeper; the story is much more
intense. It’s a drama.” She calls Aurora in
The Sleeping Beauty, for example, “only one
person,” while in Giselle “you get to be so
different, from the peasant girl into the mad
scene and then into the ghost creature. It’s
such an amazing story to live onstage.”
Kochetkova wasn’t quite as enthusiastic
the first time she was asked to dance the
role, at age 19. When Vyacheslav Gordeyev
invited her to perform Giselle with the
Russian State Ballet in St. Petersburg, she
turned him down. “It’s not me. I don’t know
how to do it. It’s not my kind of role,” she
told Gordeyev. Eventually she acquiesced.
During rehearsals in London, Tamara Rojo,
then a principal dancer with The Royal
Ballet (now artistic director of English
National Ballet), told Kochetkova to watch
the film Dancer in the Dark, in which Björk
portrayed a woman going blind.
Björk’s performance—of a woman
desperate to maintain her life despite her
loss of sight—influenced Kochetkova’s
interpretation of Giselle’s mad scene. “I
didn’t want to be a madwoman running
around,” she says. “I didn’t want it to be
scary; I wanted people to feel sorry for
her.” To further develop the character, she
watched interviews and programs and read
books about Giselle. “You need to know all
the background,” she says, “who she is, how
she feels, not just that she’s a peasant girl.
You need to know where she was yesterday
and what she did a year ago, how she is
with Hilarion and Albrecht.”
Now, years later, Kochetkova says she
sees Giselle differently. “The more you do
[a role] and the more you study, the more
you understand,” she says. She equates
revisiting a role to rereading a book.
“Sometimes you understand, but not quite,
and you have to read it a second time.
34
S F B A L L E T.O R G
MARIA KOCHETKOVA AND ANITA PACIOTTI IN
TOMASSON’S GISELLE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
And it becomes so suddenly clear for you.
That’s how I feel with Giselle.” The first
time she danced the role she grappled with
technique. Later, as her understanding
of the character grew, the steps became
natural. “It’s so clear—that’s why I plié here,
that’s why I turn my head to him here,” she
says. “It all makes sense. The steps are the
way to express whatever you do onstage.
Every single step is genius. Everything is in
the music; it leads you into each mood.”
Principal Dancer Mathilde Froustey, who
made her debut in Giselle last season,
agrees with Kochetkova. “Those steps are
perfect,” she says. “If you respect the style
and the steps and the musicality, you will
find Giselle.” Froustey brings to the role
a fluid, profoundly expressive use of her
upper body, typical of the French style. It
was at Paris Opéra Ballet that she began
forming her concept of Giselle, long before
she danced the role. “I spent a lot of years
in the corps de ballet and I saw all the
principals in Giselle, so I remember a lot
of épaulement [use of the head and upper
body], port de bras [arm movements], and
footwork. I watched a lot of videos and I
fell in love with Carla Fracci [in a 1970 film
version of Giselle]; this movie helped me
because there are a lot of close-ups.”
The second act is difficult, Froustey says,
because you have “to look like a ghost,
Then there’s the mad scene, which
Froustey approached with trepidation
because “this scene is so personal,” she
says. Like Kochetkova, she thought, “ ‘This
is not for me; it’s impossible for me to
do that.’ I thought this mad scene is only
for prima ballerina assoluta. This is only
for Carla Fracci and [Natalia] Makarova.”
Tomasson helped to dispel her fears,
Froustey says. “We talked a lot, doing
hours of this scene. He told me, ‘People
don’t have to be sad when they look at
your mad scene; they have to feel sorry for
you. It’s almost embarrassing.’ It changed a
little bit my way to do it, and for the best, I
think,” she says. “This is how I did Giselle—
she became almost blind. She sees the
people [around her], but she doesn’t really
see. I thought, ‘Maybe I don’t see them,
but I can hear them’—like when you know
people are talking about you but you don’t
hear what they say. You know they don’t
say good things about you, so it makes you
feel even more nervous and crazy.”
In performing full-length ballets of this
complexity—particularly Giselle, Froustey
says—a ballerina’s work is “never done. I
can improve all my life,” she says. “This is
the way I think now; maybe in a few years
I will say something totally different. It’s
not like Don Quichotte [Quixote]; Kitri is
Kitri. But Giselle is so complicated, in her
mind and in her body. I think I will never be
satisfied with my Giselle.”
Perhaps Kochetkova is right in thinking that
the complexity of the title role is part of the
reason Giselle has thrived for more than 17
decades. “It’s the same steps, but the story
can be so different—what’s behind it, how the
ballerina feels,” she says. “It’s personal. That’s
why this ballet stays for centuries now.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
VA L E N T I N E ’ S S P E C I A L : B OX S E AT S W I T H P R O S E C C O A N D D E S S E R T S *
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performance dates
quadruple bill
TUE
FEB 24
8:00 PM
WED
FEB 25
7:30 PM
FRI
FEB 27
8:00 PM
SUN
MAR 1
2:00 PM
THU
MAR 5
8:00 PM
SAT
MAR 7
2:00 PM
SAT
MAR 7
8:00 PM
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
Composer: Franz Schubert
Choreographer: William Forsythe
Staged by: Stefanie Arndt and Amy Raymond
Costume Design: Stephen Galloway
Lighting Design: William Forsythe
Music: “Allegro Vivace” from Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D944
World Premiere: January 20, 1996—Ballett Frankfurt
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 5, 1998—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
Variations for Two Couples
Composers: Benjamin Britten, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer, Astor Piazzolla
Choreographer: Hans van Manen
Staged by: Rachel Beaujean
Scenic and Costume Design: Keso Dekker
Lighting Design: Bert Dalhuysen
Music: Benjamin Britten: Andante from String Quartet in F.; Einojuhani Rautavaara: Mvt. 2. “Kopsin Jonas”
from Pelimannit (The Fiddlers), Op.1; J.S. Bach, arranged by Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer: “Lasset uns den
nicht zerteilen”; Astor Piazzolla, arranged by Bob Zimmerman: Melodia die en la menor (Canto de Octubre)
World Premiere: February 15, 2012—Het Muziektheater; Amsterdam, Holland
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: January 22, 2014—San Francisco Ballet 81st Anniversary Gala,
War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
Manifesto World Premiere!
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged by Matthew Naughtin
Choreographer: Myles Thatcher
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Mary Louise Geiger
The 2015 world premiere of Manifesto is made possible by Lead Sponsors Shelby and Frederick Gans,
Alison and Michael Mauzé, Bob Ross Foundation, and The Seiger Family Foundation, with additional support
from the Byron R. Meyer Choreographers Fund of the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation.
“The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II
Composer: Ludwig Minkus
Choreographer: Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa
Orchestration by: John Lanchbery
Staged and directed by: Natalia Makarova
World Premiere (Petipa production): February 4, 1877—Mariinsky Theatre; St. Petersburg, Russia
U.S. Premiere (Makarova production): July 2, 1974—American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera House; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 9, 2000—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
36 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
SARAH VAN PATTEN AND ANTHONY SPAULDING IN VAN MANEN’S VARIATIONS FOR TWO COUPLES (© ERIK TOMASSON)
The Vertiginous Thrill
of Exactitude
Forsythe “is not abandoning the classical
technique,” says Arndt, who set Vertiginous
on the Company. He’s known for his use of
épaulement (the angling of the head and
upper body), an essential aspect of classical
style, and the most visible manifestation
of counterpoint in ballet technique (and in
constant use in Vertiginous). His frequent
practice of pairing classicism with humor is
another form of counterpoint, says Arndt.
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
explodes onto the stage and rockets
through an 11-minute, dizzying ride. This
is classicism à la William Forsythe—and
nothing more than entertainment, according
to him. Not “entertainment” as in trifling
or fluffy, though—don’t forget that oh-soimportant “exactitude.” Vertiginous is an
exuberant example of Forsythe’s brilliance
as a choreographer, mixing precision,
speed, nuance, and an expansive approach
to classicism with a dash of whimsy.
When Vertiginous premiered in 1996 at
Ballet Frankfurt “it was a surprise,” says
stager and former Forsythe dancer Stefanie
Arndt. “The Frankfurt audience always
had seen us with either bare legs or black
see-through tights, really wild costumes,
sometimes boots and sneakers. And
suddenly there were women in tutus, and
it was Schubert music—the audience was
used to [Forsythe’s composer/collaborator]
Thom Willems. They didn’t know how to
handle it.” When San Francisco Ballet
danced the U.S. premiere in New York City
in 1998, however, audiences were thrilled.
Forsythe’s presence at SF Ballet goes back
to 1987, when he made New Sleep, an
early commission from Helgi Tomasson,
whose tenure as artistic director began in
1985. For his 30th-anniversary season
with the Company, Tomasson chose to
pay homage to his long relationship with
Forsythe by including Vertiginous in the
programming, along with works by the two
choreographers who were most influential
to him, George Balanchine (Serenade, on
Program 1) and Jerome Robbins (Dances at
a Gathering, on Program 4).
Vertiginous is infamous for being extraordinarily difficult—so much so that Ballet
Master Katita Waldo, who danced the SF
Ballet premiere, looks rueful when asked
what she remembers about learning it.
“I cried,” she says, laughing. “I never cry.”
Part of the difficulty, says Principal Dancer
Gennadi Nedvigin, is due to the fullness
of the movement. “Stamina-wise it’s really
challenging, and you have to move so fast,”
he says. “At the same time, the positions
are big, so you have to dance big but
be quick. You can’t just murmur through
38
S F B A L L E T.O R G
FRANCES CHUNG IN FORSYTHE’S
THE VERTIGINOUS THRILL
OF EXACTITUDE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
things—the arms are broad, you go from
one opposition into another.”
By “opposition,” Nedvigin means counterpoints, which are central to Forsythe’s
works. His choreographic style is based on
Labanotation’s definition of nine points in
space that outline the movement possibilities
for the human body; working in this way,
using counterbalance and opposition, creates
fullness and depth in the movement. However,
In Vertiginous there’s a sense of pulling
together that creates a visible atmosphere
of community onstage. Dancers who are
cast in this ballet “know it’s going to be a
trip,” Arndt says. “You’re all sitting in the
same boat: ‘We can do this, right? OK,
we can do this.’ ” But that’s only part of it;
camaraderie also arises from the need to
communicate. “In Bill’s pieces, everything
is about communication,” Arndt says. “You
have to be together with this person on
the other end of the stage, or behind you.
It’s a constant communication, not only in
rehearsals but also onstage.”
Nedvigin danced Vertiginous in 2001, so he
knows what he’s in for. He also knows that
once he gets comfortable with “all those crazy
steps, it’s really fun,” he says. “When you can
swim in it like a fish, you feel invincible.”
“This is a piece you never finish mastering,”
says Arndt. “Even if you rehearse it well,
going onstage you’re still trying to master it.
It really is a huge adventure.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
PASCAL MOLAT AND JAIME GARCIA CASTILLA IN FORSYTHE’S
THE VERTIGINOUS THRILL OF EXACTITUDE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
SOFIANE SYLVE AND LUKE INGHAM IN VAN MANEN’S VARIATIONS FOR TWO COUPLES (© ERIK TOMASSON)
Variations for
Two Couples
Hans van Manen is far better known in
Europe than he is in the United States, and
that’s a shame. His works for companies
such as Dutch National Ballet have a sleek
sense of classicism, which the 82-year-old
choreographer ventures away from at
contemporary ballet companies like
Netherlands Dance Theatre. Classicism is
visibly in play in his 2012 Variations for
Two Couples, along with his deft hand in
conveying emotions and tensions and his
unfailing sense of humor—qualities that
define him as a choreographer.
“The overall look to his pieces is very
sleek, very streamlined,” says Ballet
Master Felipe Diaz, who worked with
van Manen at Dutch National Ballet and
danced many of his ballets. “Simple and
very elegant. He has a great sensibility
for ease of movement, because he was a
good dancer himself—not necessarily a
great classical dancer, but a great dancer.
In my experience, in his choreography
things always feel good. And he often
says that he likes when things swing—
they have ease and swing and coolness.”
To ballet-goers, the term “variation” means
“solo”; it also describes a musical form:
variations on a theme. In Variations for Two
Couples, the emphasis is on the latter; but
van Manen takes a subtle approach. His
variations are tonal, relating more to nuance
and dynamics than to large-scale variations
of a particular step or sequence. The four
dancers in Variations share a movement
vocabulary that, naturally, takes its cue
from the music (four distinctive pieces that
create a seamless whole) but also from
the tensions between and within the two
couples. Van Manen does that, at least
partially, by creating contrast: flowing and
staccato, for example, or humorous and
elegiac. “That’s what gives it levels,” Diaz
says. “That’s what gives it colors, the up and
the down and the slow and the fast.”
Diaz learned Variations from stager
Rachel Beaujean, who set the ballet on
the Company for the 2014 Repertory
Season Gala. Van Manen’s ballets “are not
incredibly complex and showy,” Diaz says.
Their power, he says, comes in “the details.
The way a hand is placed on the thigh”—he
demonstrates two options—“makes a huge
difference. There’s a very elegant and
understated sexiness to it. Elegant and
understated—that’s crucial.” As is typical of
van Manen’s works, there’s no narrative to
Variations, but there is story in the nuances
and subtext. “He manages to create a
great sense of drama, a great sense of
atmosphere for each piece,” says Diaz. This
is a choreographer who makes you feel.
Variations, which won the Benois de la
Danse Award for choreography in 2013,
is the first van Manen ballet that Principal
Dancer Sarah Van Patten has performed.
She says what’s definitive about this piece
for her is what Beaujean and Diaz called
van Manen’s “direct” style. “Generally when
we do certain steps, we tilt the head in a
certain way that gives a softer feel,” Van
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
39
Variations is van Manen
at his best: simple,
clean, understated—yet
emotional and evocative.
Patten says. “We’re trained to do that.” In
learning Variations, she says, “there were
many instances when I was specifically told
not to incline the head.” Instead, the dancers
were told to “look very directly wherever
you’re going, either forward at the audience,
at your partner, wherever the position is,”
she says. “That intention is throughout
the entire piece.” In terms of movement
vocabulary, one position struck Van Patten
as “very ‘Hans van Manen,’ you could say—I
think he refers to it as the widest position
possible, where the arms are in à la seconde
[open to the sides] and rounded, but also
extended and lifted, and the fingers are
stretched even beyond that position so you
gain as much length sideways as possible.”
In rehearsals, Diaz finesses the steps,
using descriptive terms or images to
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convey the desired movement quality.
What’s most important isn’t necessarily
the position or angle of a body part but a
combination of elements that add potency:
“the intensity and the look of it, the intent,
the sensibility for the music, the strength,
the connection to the floor,” he says. “You’re
not acting in this piece, but you need to
have some sense of drama.”
Variations is van Manen at his best: simple,
clean, understated—yet emotional and
evocative. Van Patten thinks the ending is
perfect, and “very powerful, the way the
music comes together in that last chord
as we slide off the stage,” she says. “I feel
like we’re taking it somewhere else; it’s not
stopping. By not having a grand finale, it has
an everlasting effect.”
The drama, Van Patten says, is in the
connections between partners and
between couples. “You do have these
separate relationships happening; there’s
something there that definitely needs to
be addressed and sensed,” she says. “Even
though Felipe talks about how your head’s
in a certain direction and your partner is
behind you, there’s still a sense that you’re
dancing alongside each other and you’re
very much connected.” There’s no element
of romance, she says, but “there still needs
to be a connection—which is challenging,
but which I think makes it so powerful.”
Diaz describes Variations as “very classy,
chic smooth. But that’s just the look,”
he says. “There’s a sense of mystery, of
sadness, and of joy in this piece.”
What may be this ballet’s most intimate
moments come not in the partnering but
in the simple walks—a hallmark of van
Manen’s work, according to Diaz. In this
case, a man takes his partner’s hand, or
puts a hand on her shoulder—or on the
back of her neck. “It’s intimate and almost
dominating,” Diaz says about the hand
on the neck. “In Hans’ ballets the woman
is always very strong; in most of them
the woman trashes the man.” Here, the
women are strong but so are the men;
a push/pull dynamic creates part of the
ballet’s tension. “This gesture has a little
bit of that edge to it,” Diaz says.
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
Manifesto
In Manifesto, his first San Francisco
Ballet Repertory Season commission,
young choreographer Myles Thatcher
explores the ideas of constraints and
conformity, of finding balance between
the desire for comfort—often what’s
familiar—and the need for authenticity,
which can be uncovered only by pushing
beyond boundaries. In Thatcher’s hands,
ballet, tradition-heavy yet capable of
embracing new ways to speak as an
art form, is a perfect metaphor for this
search for balance.
“It’s what I’m going through as an artist,”
says Thatcher, a corps de ballet member,
“finding a way to speak as an artist and
in my own voice, but through what some
people consider a restrictive medium,
the art of classical ballet. I wanted to
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S F B A L L E T.O R G
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET REHEARSES THATCHER’S MANIFESTO (© ERIK TOMASSON)
explore that. There are moments when
classical ballet can be suffocating and
so frustrating: ‘Why do I put myself
through this?’ But then there are the
moments when you think: ‘This is why I
put myself through this.’ It was something
I was looking at both as a dancer and a
choreographer. As human beings we’re
told, ‘This is normal,’ or ‘This is OK or not
OK,’ and there’s a point where you have to
throw that all out the window and just try
to be yourself.”
At 24, Thatcher seems to have quite a
good sense of himself. With the dancers,
he’s calm and respectful, clear about
what he wants yet open to ideas. Before
receiving this commission from Artistic
Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi
Tomasson, he’d made five ballets—one
for the Assemblée Internationale at
Canada’s National Ballet School, three
for SF Ballet School Showcases, and
In the Passerine’s Clutch for the 2013
Repertory Season Gala—plus a dance for
San Francisco Symphony’s Le Martyre de
Saint Sébastien.
Tomasson was taken by Thatcher’s skill,
particularly in structuring his ballets.
“It’s always much harder to move a
group of people around—a pas de deux
is much easier than working with sixes
and eights and twelves,” Tomasson says,
“and he seemed to have a great sense of
that. There was no question in my mind
that there was talent there.” He asked
Thatcher to choreograph for the Gala,
he says, to “break him in with his own
colleagues” as opposed to students,
where there’s an inherent distance
between them and a choreographer/
company member. “He has to establish
himself as the one saying, ‘I want this; no,
I don’t want that,’ ” Tomasson says. “The
opportunity has been given to him, and
hopefully it will go on from there. That’s
what my wish would be.”
Tomasson isn’t the only one to recognize
Thatcher’s potential. Alexei Ratmansky,
artist in residence at American Ballet
Theatre (his Shostakovich Trilogy
appears on Program 6), calls Thatcher
“bright and wonderfully talented,” and
chose to mentor him for the Rolex Mentor
and Protégé Arts Initiative for 2014–15.
“I see his interest in dance on pointe and
SASHA DE SOLA, STEVEN MORSE AND MYLES THATCHER REHEARSE THATCHER’S MANIFESTO
(© ERIK TOMASSON)
classical structures and I admire and
encourage that,” Ratmansky says. “He is
passionate about choreography.”
Thatcher’s passion, however, doesn’t
preclude a practical approach to
developing his skills. “Each new work I
do, I give myself a specific thing to work
on,” he says. With Manifesto he hopes
to “bring an edge to classical steps.
There’s lots of crafting in the steps, but
there’s also a lot of crafting with the how
the steps can be executed, and that’s
something I wanted to play with,” he says.
“I wanted to make a point of playing with
dynamics and at the same time keep it
tasteful—more nuanced than vulgarly
fierce. I wanted to keep it constrained in
that way; I was looking for that balance.”
Thatcher’s choice of music, portions
of two works by J.S. Bach, both fuels
“Each new work I do,
I give myself a specific
thing to work on...with
Manifesto I hope to bring
an edge to classical steps.”
—Myles Thatcher
and reflects his ideas: The Musical
Offering for the ensemble sections and
selections from The Goldberg Variations
for each pas de deux. “I did want to
reflect Bach’s almost hyper-classicism
in the steps, in a way that’s almost
suffocating,” Thatcher says. “Especially
with The Musical Offering—it feels over
constructed and almost contrived to be
this perfectly mathematical piece. And
he’s very clever with crafting it, which
for me seems to strip away the heart
of it. I wanted to play off that—to have
contrasting and conflicting themes
with something that’s hyper-traditional,
where you can feel the pressure and
suffocation. And then find liberation
in the same exact thing you’ve been
oppressed by.”
Choreographically, Thatcher shows that
oppression and rebellion in several ways
in Manifesto. The first couple, which
appears to be the principal pair, doesn’t
get the expected central pas de deux;
instead, that emotional dance goes to
the third couple. And in fact the first
duo isn’t much of a couple; the woman is
central and the man merely her enabler
in what Thatcher calls her devotion to
a “sterile environment, to a point where
she’s oddly and vacantly passionate
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
41
“The Kingdom of
the Shades” from
La Bayadère—Act II
High on a platform, a woman dressed
in white steps forward, one leg
stretching behind her in an arabesque.
Straightening, she arches, arms
overhead, then repeats the steps while
moving down a series of ramps to the
stage. Another woman follows, doing
the same steps, then another, until 24
seemingly identical dancers are onstage,
moving and breathing as one. So begins
“The Kingdom of the Shades”, the oftenexcerpted second act of La Bayadère—
arguably the single most breathtaking
entrance in the classical ballet lexicon.
JENNIFER STAHL AND SEAN ORZA REHEARSE THATCHER’S MANIFESTO (© ERIK TOMASSON)
about it. There’s an absence of
everything, and that’s why I say
‘sterile.’ I wanted the first movement
to be only about certain shapes and
certain themes.” What results is a kind
of energy that “nobody can break out
of, or no one’s willing to break out of
because that’s all they know and it’s all
they’ve ever known.”
The second couple brings lightness.
The woman begins alone, then
draws her partner into her dance.
“She’s the first one to take the risk
of being independent and exploring
this vocabulary in a way that lets you
breathe,” says Thatcher, “and I find this
step so important in life, and ballet as
an art form and a technique.” It’s not
until the third couple unleashes their
emotions that a shift finally happens,
one that frees everyone—to a degree.
The movement softens, grows lush.
Gone are the straight lines and sharp,
military moves of the first movement;
now the dancers melt, their upper
bodies expressing the freedom they
have learned is possible.
In the third movement, Thatcher plays
with Bach’s complicated canons,
42
S F B A L L E T.O R G
once again with an eye to breaking
conventions. “Mathematically, they’re
really interesting to work with,” he
says. “I wanted to over-construct them
in a way, doing a canon that’s never a
real canon.” None of his choreographic
canons is complete; the patterns
break, and always in a different way.
Thatcher destroys our expectations of
the canon form (sequences of repeated
movements at staggered intervals),
then destroys any expectations of
how he will interrupt them. Sometimes
what changes is the tempo, sometimes
the steps, sometimes the direction.
As a thematic strategy, it’s effective
and sophisticated.
Long-term goals and strategies aside,
Thatcher enjoys the immediate rewards
of choreographing: “Working with the
dancers to help them figure out how to
communicate the things I need them to
say with the movement, and allowing
them to challenge me with their own
ideas and points of view,” he says. “Those
are the best moments—when we can
all challenge each other and something
that’s bigger than all of us manifests.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
The full-length La Bayadère premiered
in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1877,
choreographed by Marius Petipa,
preceding his 1877 Swan Lake and, in
1890, The Sleeping Beauty. As is typical
for Romantic ballets, La Bayadère has
an exotic locale (India) and ethereal
beings (Shades). The scene is the
opium-induced hallucination of Solor,
who grieves for his love, the murdered
temple dancer (bayadère) Nikiya.
When Natalia Makarova staged La
Bayadère for American Ballet Theatre
in 1980, it was the first time the
full-length had been seen in the West.
The excerpted “The Kingdom of the
Shades,” however, had been seen earlier:
the Kirov toured it in 1961, Rudolf
Nureyev staged his version at The Royal
Ballet in 1963, and Makarova staged it
at ABT in 1974. Makarova, who defected
in 1970, had danced La Bayadère in
Russia at the Kirov Ballet. Re-creating
this ballet at ABT “was her linkage to the
Kirov, what she was passing on to us,”
says ABT ballet master Susan Jones,
who set “The Kingdom of the Shades” on
San Francisco Ballet.
La Bayadère—Act II first came to
the Company in 2000, when Artistic
Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi
Tomasson invited Makarova to stage it.
Taking unison dancing to the sublime,
this ballet sets the standard for the ballet
blanc. The Shades “have to be, as a group,
absolutely as one,” Tomasson says. That’s
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN “THE KINGDOM OF THE SHADES” FROM LA BAYADÈRE, ACT II (© ERIK TOMASSON)
The full-length La Bayadère
premiered in St. Petersburg,
Russia, in 1877, choreographed by Marius Petipa...
As is typical for Romantic
ballets, La Bayadère has
an exotic locale (India) and
ethereal beings (Shades).
true for other “white scenes”—the Wilis
in Giselle and Swans in Swan Lake, for
example—but in Bayadère, Tomasson
says, “it’s beyond that.”
As the Shades enter, their steps show
that they are “between reality and dream,
a metaphysical kind of state”—exactly
how Dante’s “Inferno” describes a Shade,
says Jones, who has set Bayadère on five
companies. “There’s something pulling
them down the ramp, which is Solor,
toward reality [seen in the arabesque],
and something that pulls them back [the
arched step back, arms high].”
That’s the abstract, the spirituality of
Bayadère. The reality, though, is that
“technically everything is revealed,”
Jones says. In the role of Nikiya,
“you’re very exposed in the variation
[solo]. The standard is high because
of how Natasha danced it, and she
gets it out of people; she’s a terrific
coach. But it’s not an easy process.
She has a standard and she wants
to get people there and surpass it,
if possible.” Equally difficult is the
third soloist Shade variation, which
Jones calls “the ‘walking on eggshells’
variation. It takes a tremendous
amount of control. It’s very slow, and
such a strain on the left calf.” As for
the Shades’ entrance, “you have to
work them up to it,” Jones says. “In
Natasha’s version they do all of the
arabesques [38 for the first dancer
onstage] on the same leg.”
The spiritual connection in “The Kingdom
of the Shades” is given tangible form
in the pas de deux: a scarf links Solor
and Nikiya. It’s “a connection from this
metaphysical or dream world to Solor’s
reality,” Jones says. “It’s symbolic of
their love.” The same kind of connection
develops among the Shades. “Sharing
that spirituality with 23 girls,” Jones
says, “is an incredible force.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
43
4
double bill
performance dates
THU
FEB 26
8:00 PM
SAT
FEB 28
2:00 PM
SAT
FEB 28
8:00 PM
TUE
MAR 3
8:00 PM
WED
MAR 4
7:30 PM
FRI
MAR 6
8:00 PM
SUN
MAR 8
2:00 PM
Dances at a Gathering
Composer: Frédéric Chopin
Choreographer: Jerome Robbins
Staged by: Jean-Pierre Frohlich, assisted by Jenifer Ringer Fayette
Costume Design: Joe Eula
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
World Premiere: May 22, 1969—New York City Ballet, New York State Theater; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: February 5, 2002—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
Hummingbird
Composer: Philip Glass
Choreographer: Liam Scarlett
Scenic and Costume Design: John Macfarlane
Lighting Design: David Finn
Music: Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
World Premiere: April 29, 2014—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
The 2014 world premiere of Hummingbird was made possible by Lead Sponsor Yurie and Carl Pascarella.
44 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
YUAN YUAN TAN AND LUKE INGHAM IN SCARLETT’S HUMMINGBIRD ( © ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
45
Dances at a Gathering
Say the words “community” and
“choreographer” to a ballet lover and ask
what comes to mind: chances are the
answer will be “Jerome Robbins.” And the
answer might include mention of one of
his most widely loved ballets, Dances at
a Gathering. A series of dances, nothing
virtuosic, set to Chopin piano music, this
ballet “should look like a group of friends
together, just dancing,” says Robbins Rights
Trust stager Jean-Pierre Frohlich. “Simple
as that. And that’s what’s so beautiful
about it.” Robbins said there’s no story; the
dancers are merely being themselves—but
they are also, as writer Deborah Jowitt put
it, “members of a community that lives in
Chopin’s music.”
What elevates Dances at a Gathering
beyond its simple ingredients is “how
it was put together, the simplicity of
it, the pure dance form,” says Frohlich.
Robbins created this ballet five years
after Fiddler on the Roof premiered on
Broadway; both reflect his explorations
of his Jewish heritage. “He used to
analyze himself: ‘Why? How did this
come to be?’ ” Frohlich says. “I think
this ballet in particular meant a lot to
him.” Robbins wrote that Dances at a
Gathering “is full of the things I loved
about dancing and about being Jewish.”
In staging this season’s production,
Frohlich referred to a video from the
ballet’s premiere year, 1969, because
of “the sense of movement and wind
blowing,” he says. Over the years he’s
seen this ballet “slowly get smaller and
smaller, and I felt that wasn’t the original
intent.” He wants today’s dancers to
move like those in 1969, with “a sense
“With Robbins, so often,
there is humanity in his
ballets, with Dances at a
Gathering, “even though
there’s not a story, you feel
that there’s a community,
and joys, and loves, and
humor. It all comes through.”
—Helgi Tomasson, artistic director &
principal choreographer
46 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
of devouring space, abandonment in
the movement but without being out of
control.” Also important, he says, is giving
the dancers information and boundaries,
“but then letting them make it their own.
Jerry would do that. Everyone has this
impression that Jerry had to do it this
way—sometimes he was like that, but
if he trusted you as a dancer he let you
have the freedom.”
San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director &
Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson
was one of those trusted people; he
danced many of Robbins’ works at New
York City Ballet. “With Robbins, so often,
there is humanity in his ballets,” Tomasson
says. With Dances at a Gathering, “even
though there’s not a story, you feel that
there’s a community, and joys, and loves,
and humor. It all comes through.”
It’s true that community is key in Dances
at a Gathering, but so is memory.
Memories propel the Man in Brown to
move at the ballet’s beginning, says
Tomasson, who performed that role many
times. “It was like I’m in deep thought
about what was,” he says. “It’s not like I
start dancing because the music starts;
it’s more that the music is coming from a
distance and all of a sudden I remember.”
In the poignant ending, “all 10 dancers
are gazing at the sky and a storm is
passing,” says Tomasson, “and the story
has been told, or the memory has taken
its course.” In these final moments, the
Man in Brown kneels and touches the
floor. “When I danced it in New York,”
says Tomasson, “it was like I felt the floor
coming back at me: ‘This is mine. This
is my career. This has brought me to
where I am, and what a wonderful, warm
feeling that is.’ Yet when I danced it in
Poland [Chopin’s birthplace], it changed.
It was like an emotional electric charge
that went through Robbins to Chopin—a
connection, almost like Chopin’s spirit
was around.”
What has given Dances at a Gathering
longevity is its purity and simplicity,
Frohlich says. “It was really just how Jerry
related to the music and what the music
meant to him. He used to say, ‘Let the
music make you dance.’ ”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
DORES ANDRÉ AND LIAM SCARLETT
REHEARSE SCARLETT’S HUMMINGBIRD
(© ERIK TOMASSON)
Hummingbird
In today’s contemporary-ballet–minded
world, it’s not often that a young
choreographer unabashedly defends
classicism. Enter 29-year-old Liam
Scarlett, artist-in residence at The
Royal Ballet since 2012. “The classical
tradition is embedded in me,” says
Scarlett, who trained at The Royal Ballet
School. “I love working from where I’ve
come from, using all the technique I’ve
been taught and then trying to put a
twist on it.”
In his first ballet for the Company,
Hummingbird, Scarlett shows his roots
(the tradition) and perspective (the twist).
Built on classicism and set to music
by Philip Glass, Hummingbird is threedimensional not only in terms of space
but in Scarlett’s approach to movement.
On a macro scale, there’s depth in how he
uses levels and fills the space, complexity
in his groupings and movement on and
off the stage—a sense of fullness that’s
also there on a micro scale, in the body.
When he demonstrates a tiny twisting
movement, you’d swear you could see
his intercostal muscles engage. This is
a young man who knows, with minute
specificity, what he wants.
And what Scarlett wants is movement
that comes from deep in the body.
When he makes a miniscule adjustment
in how a dancer originates a movement,
the nature of the movement changes
completely; it’s like altering one pixel
and having the effect go widescreen.
What he’s seeking is “something that’s
breathing, from the lungs and from
the heart, from the back,” Scarlett
says. “Like an earthquake epicenter,
it ripples out. It’s using your breath;
it’s using your natural body rhythm. It
has a human quality because it’s using
everything you have.”
Despite Scarlett’s attention to nuance,
he works quickly, so much so that
soloist Sasha De Sola, who dances
principal and soloist roles in the piece,
says keeping up with him wasn’t easy.
It was as if the choreography was
“escaping from him,” she says, “and we
were trying to catch it. He has a really
good sense of dynamic and syncopation
and things that make what could be
simple steps much more interesting.”
For this commission, Scarlett chose
what appears to be, on casual
listening, simple music: Philip Glass’
2000 Tirol Concerto for Piano and
Orchestra (so called because it was
partially supported by the Tirol Tourist
Board). However, when you listen to
Tirol Concerto with a choreographer’s
ear, it’s far from simple. “I think every
choreographer should tackle a piece
of Glass at some point,” Scarlett
says. Tirol Concerto is “a complex,
methodical, layered piece [with]
different counterpoint melodies from
what you’d expect,” he says.
What drew Scarlett most was the
music’s second movement, which he
describes as “beautiful and touching.
It has kind of a Ravel’s Bolero-style
building and layering.” De Sola calls
the choreography for that movement
“mesmerizing. I love how just the girls
come out,” she says, “and we do very
simple [steps], not really dancing, but
hands and weight changes, wrist flicks
and things we don’t often do in ballets.”
De Sola is talking about what Scarlett
calls “heightened senses,” an elevation
of the ordinary to something less
tangible and attainable. In part of the
second movement, “the dancers are
just walking,” he says, “but somehow
it’s transcended into something more;
it’s gone past ballet technique. There’s
something wonderful about an audience
member watching the stage and
thinking, ‘I’d never be able to do that.’
“It’s the subtleties of the simplistic stuff
that I find fun to home in on,” Scarlett
continues. “I can spend hours on a look,
or how you can get there. In essence, it’s
trying to make it as real as possible, so
that you do have moments of forgetting
it’s a dance piece you’re watching,
because it’s so human.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN SCARLETT’S HUMMINGBIRD (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
47
5
full-length
performance dates
FRI
MAR 20
8:00 PM
SAT
MAR 21
2:00 PM
SAT
MAR 21
8:00 PM
SUN
MAR 22
2:00 PM
TUE
MAR 24
8:00 PM
WED
MAR 25
7:30 PM
THU
MAR 26
8:00 PM
SAT
MAR 28
8:00 PM
SUN
MAR 29
2:00 PM
Don Quixote
Composer: Ludwig Minkus
Choreographers: Alexander Gorsky and Marius Petipa
Staging and additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Scenic and Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Associate Scenic Designer: Arnulfo Maldonado
Associate Costume Designer: Heather Lockard
Author of Don Quixote: Miguel de Cervantes
World Premiere (Original Petipa production): December 26, 1869—Imperial Ballet, Bolshoi Theatre; Moscow, Russia
World Premiere (Tomasson/Possokhov staging): March 14, 2003—San Francisco Ballet War Memorial Opera House;
San Francisco, California
The 2012 newly designed production of Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov’s Don Quixote was made possible by
New Production Fund Lead Sponsors Mrs. Jeannik Méquet Littlefield, and Mr. and Mrs. John S. Osterweis;
Major Sponsors Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation, and Larry and Joyce Stupski; and Sponsors Richard C. Barker,
Christine H. Russell Fund of the Columbia Foundation, Suzy Kellems Dominik, Stephanie Barlage Ejabat, Gaia Fund,
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Cecilia and Jim Herbert, Alison and Michael Mauzé, and Diane B. Wilsey.
48 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
VANESSA ZAHORIAN IN TOMASSON/POSSOKHOV’S DON QUIXOTE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN TOMASSON/POSSOKHOV’S DON QUIXOTE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
Don Quixote
For anyone who has read Miguel de
Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote
or seen the musical Man of La Mancha,
the name “Don Quixote” conjures
an addled, would-be knight and his
roly-poly counterpart, Sancho Panza,
who pursue adventure in the name
of chivalry. But in the ballet world’s
Don Quixote, it’s a love story that
takes center stage —starring Kitri, an
innkeeper’s daughter, and Basilio, the
town barber—leaving the “knight of the
woeful countenance” and his reluctant
squire to play supporting roles.
Don Quixote is filled with physical
humor and fiery dancing, topped off
with a wedding—a virtuosic celebration
often performed as a stand-alone ballet
titled Kitri’s Wedding. But the full ballet
offers much more than a fabulous
finish. It’s a romantic comedy done
ballet style—dressed up in tutus, tiered
dresses, and bolero jackets and peopled
with passionate young lovers, rowdy
50
S F B A L L E T.O R G
townspeople, dashing toreadors, the
foolish Gamache, a band of Gypsies, and
even Cupid and her Driads (in a romantic
dream sequence in which Don Quixote
sees Kitri as his idealized true love,
Dulcinea). There’s even a horse or two.
To Tomasson one of Don Quixote’s most
appealing aspects is “the joy it gives you—
you could say it’s a little bit of a farce. It’s
nothing dramatic or psychological. It’s
upbeat; it’s fun.”
Don Quixote is filled with
physical humor and fiery
dancing, topped off with
a wedding—a virtuosic
celebration often performed
as a stand-alone ballet
titled Kitri’s Wedding. But
the full ballet offers much
more than a fabulous finish.
It’s a romantic comedy
done ballet style...
Cervantes’ Don Quixote had been
captivating readers for well over a century
when the first ballet version was presented.
That was in Vienna in 1740, choreographed
by Franz Hilverding. Version after version
followed: Jean-George Noverre’s in 1768,
Charles-Louis Didelot’s in 1828, Paul
Taglioni’s in 1850. Of the 20th-century
versions, George Balanchine’s is probably
the best known, mostly for the perceived
parallel between Don Quixote’s love for
his Dulcinea and the choreographer’s for
his muse, Suzanne Farrell. But the most
influential version is the one by the great
French choreographer Marius Petipa. He
staged Don Quixote in Moscow in 1869,
making changes and adding more music
for a St. Petersburg production in 1871.
Alexander Gorsky restaged Petipa’s
version in Moscow in 1900 and again in
St. Petersburg two years later, and it is this
Petipa/Gorsky version that has endured.
Don Quixote first took the stage at San
Francisco Ballet in 2003, choreographed
by Artistic Director & Principal
Choreographer Helgi Tomasson and
Yuri Possokhov, then a principal dancer
and now the Company’s choreographer
in residence. Possokhov grew up with
Don Quixote as a student at the Bolshoi,
dancing various roles, and though he and
Tomasson based their Don Quixote on
the Petipa/Gorsky version, they included
much of what Possokhov remembered.
To help tell the story, they made some
choreographic changes; for example,
giving the lovers, Kitri and Basilio, an
intimate pas de deux in the Gypsy camp
scene and expanding the role of the Gypsy
Queen. And rather than ending with the
grand pas de deux and Don Quixote’s
exit as some versions do, Tomasson
added music (also by Ludwig Minkus, who
wrote the ballet’s score) that extends the
wedding festivities.
Tomasson looks at Petipa’s libretto as a
ballet version of commedia dell’arte, a
type of dramatic improvisation popular
throughout Europe during the 16th and
17th centuries. It relied on stock character
types to enact variations on recurring
themes, such as a father who tries to
marry off his daughter to a moneyed, older
gent. She’s in love with someone else,
of course. Translating that plot to Don
Quixote, we find Kitri, who’s in love with
Basilio, rejecting the ridiculous Gamache,
her father’s choice for her. And Sancho
Panza, Don Quixote’s squire, is essentially
a Zanni, a stock servant character.
Commedia dell’arte always involved
healthy doses of deception, chase scenes,
and physical humor, and Tomasson says
he finds “a lot of similarities. The chasing,
Harlequin taking Columbine away—it’s the
same thing here. They just happen to be in
Don Quixote’s story.”
In planning to stage Don Quixote again in
2012, Tomasson decided it was time to give
the Company its own production. (Previously
the sets and costumes were rented from
the Royal Danish Ballet.) His priority in
terms of production design was to allow
things to flow, especially in the second act’s
transitions from scene to scene. “The second
act is in three sections,” says Tomasson,
“and I like it to keep going as much as
possible, at the same pace and rhythm” as
the rest of the ballet, without bringing in
the curtain and playing transitional music.
The result: “a smooth transition from the
Gypsy camp into the Vision.”
Although the choreography remains
unchanged in the new production, the ballet
got a completely new look: 19th-century
Spain was brought to life with scenery and
costumes by the late Martin Pakledinaz,
a Tony Award–winning designer whose
credits includeTomasson’s Nutcracker.
Pakledinaz’s most important resources for
Don Quixote were “the visuals of Spain,
both the cities and the countryside, not
only of La Mancha but Andalusia,” he said
in a 2012 Company-produced video. “[The
story] technically takes place in the larger
cities of Sevilla, Barcelona, but we decided
to create our own village.” He was always
influenced by fine artists, he said; for Don
Quixote, he turned to some 17th-century
sources (including Francisco de Zurbaran
and Jusepe de Ribera) even though it’s a
19th-century ballet.
Working with Tomasson was “very intense
in a friendly way,” Pakledinaz said.
Together they brainstormed how best
to tell the story, clarifying characters
and relationships through entrances
and exits, costuming, and even the
palette. Tomasson wanted to stick to the
traditional, and Pakledinaz responded
with what he described as “a dusty study
where we discover Don Quixote; a bright,
Spanish, earth-toned plaza; and a plain,
barren terrain with a spooky tree and a
windmill.” In his creative process, the sets
came before the costumes. “You have to
find out what your world is before you
know who the people are that inhabit it.”
Along with doing research, Pakledinaz
said he “constantly referenced the
previous production, sometimes purely
for the choreography and sometimes to
see if I felt that the scenic changes or the
costume changes needed to be the same
or could be readdressed.” In redeveloping
a classic, he said, it’s important to “drop
what you’ve seen and try to make it your
original production.”
The dancers, too, have to make the ballet
their own. For Principal Dancer Vanessa
Zahorian, dancing Kitri was a big step in
2003. “By then I’d probably done Romeo
and Juliet, maybe Sleeping Beauty,” she said
in 2012. “And so this was a dissection—it
still is, with the full-lengths.” Now that
she’s danced it many times and with
various partners, she approaches the role
differently, focusing more on character than
technique. “I can play with it a little bit now.
I think characterization is very important in
my career now, and showing the audience
what the story is about.”
Compared to The Sleeping Beauty, which
Zahorian says is “all technique, all control and
balance and internal energy,” Don Quixote
is lighter. But, she adds, “there’s a fine line
between being very pizzazzy and showy
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN TOMASSON/POSSOKHOV’S DON QUIXOTE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
51
and being contained, because you don’t
want to be too light. Somebody gave me
that correction [once], and it was wild for me
because I perceive myself as a shy person.
So to have somebody say, ‘Tame it down
a little bit, Vanessa,’ I thought, ‘Wow! It’s a
good thing, because I’m taking it to that
next level.’ ” In 2012, she said she was
“fine-tuning. That’s my approach to everything
I’m doing at this moment—finding little
things to incorporate or tell a bigger story.”
Principal Dancer Maria Kochetkova has
danced Kitri more times than she can count,
with many companies; consequently, she is
“kind of settled” in the role, she says. “For
me it’s important to do something a few
times, to get the different inspirations.”
What she has settled on, she says, is a
classical interpretation. “I think it comes
from [Ekaterina] Maximova, my idol of Kitri
when I was growing up. [Maya] Plisetskaya
does it a little bit more Carmen-like, more
womanish. I like it more classical; it suits
me. Of course there is a style, but you
decide how playful she is, how serious, how
she reacts to certain things.” Kochetkova’s
Kitri is “flirtatious, definitely playful,” she
says. “It’s a comedy, so it shouldn’t be
serious; even the serious is funny, like
when she thinks Basilio is dead.”
One Basilio, Principal Dancer Joan
Boada, danced the role in the Company’s
Don Quixote for the first time in 2003,
but he made his debut as Basilio at age
18, at National Ballet of Cuba. Over
the years, he says, the role changes
“because you grow as a person.
And then you approach it with other
choreographers and they give you their
input. But because we got such good
training in Cuba, you always go back to
your roots, all the details that make the
role exciting.” Those details, he says,
have more to do with character than
technique. “They taught us well how to
approach the playing with Kitri and how
to have sensitive moments but also kind
of flirting. Basilio is the man of the town,
a player. He loves Kitri, but he’s a flirt.”
Laughing, Boada adds, “It’s a natural role
for a Latin man.”
Comic roles are more natural than dramatic
ones, Boada says. “For a prince you have to
look and move a certain way, have certain
mannerisms.” In contrast, he says, Basilio is
52
S F B A L L E T.O R G
MARIA KOCHETKOVA AND TARAS DOMITRO IN TOMASSON/POSSOKHOV’S DON QUIXOTE
(© ERIK TOMASSON)
“just fun. For Cubans it’s one of the best roles
to do. You feel at home. You do it so much,
you see it so much; in school that’s all they
prefer you to do—the big classical ballets.”
The town square and tavern scenes are
“like a party,” he says. “Everything is about
happiness. And at the end there’s a wedding
and you have to dance in white tights and
everybody freaks out because they’re tired
after three hours. But it is amazing.”
Like Boada, Principal Dancer Taras Domitro
first danced Basilio at National Ballet of
Cuba. The Cuban version’s story is the
same, he says, but the dancing is quite
different. “I find the one here way harder
technically and stamina-wise,” he says.
“Don Q is hard no matter what; it’s a lot of
technique and jumps and turns. In this one
Basilio has a variation in the first act that we
don’t have in Cuba, and I love it. It’s one of
my favorites, and it’s quite hard.”
What he likes best about dancing the
role, Domitro says, “is the freedom.
There’s freedom in everything, technically
and artistically—especially artistically,
because you get to play this cool guy in
town and he has the coolest girlfriend, and
everybody wants to hang out with him.”
And, he says, “the dancers [who perform
Basilio] don’t all do the same steps. Helgi
and Yuri give you that freedom, to do
your best jump or make a turn better.
Sometimes I change a step in the show,
depending on how my body feels. I
might rehearse a double saut de basque
[turning jump with one foot drawn up to
the opposite knee] for three months, and
then the show comes and I do a double
assemblé [a jump in which the body is
angled in the air and the legs gather during
the turn].” When he’s feeling “on,” he says, “I
make everything harder. I go for whatever
the audience is going to like most.”
Domitro says he has danced Basilio so many
times that the role has become “an evolution.
I always add a little bit more. You can add
many things, and it’s always good with the
choreography. The more you do it, the more
ideas you get.” Developing a role is one of the
pleasures of returning to a ballet again and
again, but with Don Quixote, there’s only so
much time, Domitro says. “I think it’s a ballet,
especially for men, that you have to do when
you’re young, because it takes a lot out of
you. It’s three acts packed with variations,
jumps and partnering.”
Russian classicism, Spanish flair, and a
relentless sense of humor—that’s Don
Quixote. Or, as Zahorian sums it up, “explosive
and powerful energy, pizzazzy fun.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
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6
performance dates
three act full-evening
WED
APR 8
7:30 PM
THU
APR 9
8:00 PM
SAT
APR 11
2:00 PM
SAT
APR 11
8:00 PM
TUE
APR 14
8:00 PM
FRI
APR 17
8:00 PM
SUN
APR 19
2:00 PM
Shostakovich Trilogy
Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky
Staged by: Nancy Raffa
Scenic Designer: George Tsypin
Costume Designer: Keso Dekker
Lighting Designer: Jennifer Tipton
Symphony #9
Music: Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70
World Premiere: October 18, 2012—American Ballet Theatre, New York City Center; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: April 2, 2014—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
Chamber Symphony
Music: Chamber Symphony Op. 110a
Arranged by: Rudolf Barshai
World Premiere: May 31, 2013—American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera House; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: April 2, 2014—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California
Piano Concerto #1
Music: Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings, Op. 35
World Premiere: May 31, 2013—American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera House; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: April 2, 2014—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
Shostakovich Trilogy was co-commissioned by American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet.
The 2014 San Francisco Ballet premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy was made possible by
New Productions Fund Lead Sponsors Mrs. Jeannik Méquet Littlefield, and Mr. and Mrs. John S. Osterweis;
Major Sponsors Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation, and Larry and Joyce Stupski; and Sponsors Richard C. Barker,
Christine H. Russell Fund of the Columbia Foundation, Suzy Kellems Dominik, Stephanie Barlage Ejabat, Gaia Fund,
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Cecilia and Jim Herbert, Alison and Michael Mauzé, and Diane B. Wilsey.
54 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
YUAN YUAN TAN AND MARIA KOCHETKOVA IN RATMANSKY’S SHOSTAKOVICH TRILOGY (© ERIK TOMASSON)
DAVIT KARAPETYAN IN RATMANSKY’S SHOSTAKOVICH TRILOGY (© ERIK TOMASSON)
Shostakovich Trilogy
Think of ballet music and it’s not likely that
Dmitri Shostakovich comes to mind. Often
not particularly melodic, with rapid-fire
shifts in tone and tempo, his music seems
more suited for concert halls and film scores
than for the ballet stage. But in the hands
of choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, this
music is danceable indeed. Shostakovich
Trilogy, a co-production of San Francisco
Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, consists
of three discrete ballets conceived as a
full-evening work. Like George Balanchine’s
Jewels, the three ballets complement one
another, producing their full impact when
seen together. Yet each multifaceted dance
sparkles on its own.
The Bessie Award–nominated trilogy
of ballets—Symphony #9, Chamber
Symphony, and Piano Concerto #1—
premiered in spring 2013 at ABT,
where Ratmansky is artist in residence.
(Symphony #9 had premiered the
previous autumn.) The original plan was
to create one portion of the trilogy at SF
Ballet, but Ratmansky’s travel schedule
precluded that. “But we were involved
in it from the very beginning,” says SF
56
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Ballet Artistic Director & Principal
Choreographer Helgi Tomasson. His
first reaction to Ratmansky’s concept
was admiration “for going with the same
composer for the whole evening,” he says.
“Shostakovich is not nearly as familiar
to most audiences as other composers.
And to use a little bit of his life story—I
was very taken by that. If anybody
could do it, it would be Alexei.” Certainly
no other choreographer has shown as
much dedication to Shostakovich as
Ratmansky, who has set at least 11
ballets to the composer’s music.
To appreciate any music, it’s best to grasp
the context of the times in which the
composer worked. That’s particularly true
of Shostakovich. Coming of age in Stalinist
Russia, he, like all artists, was under
scrutiny. He gained celebrity at an early
age, and political expectations followed in
the form of requests for compositions that
exalted the Soviet state. Often he rebelled,
and several times he was denounced by
the state; he walked a tightrope between
survival and artistic choice. “Stalin was
interested in music that celebrated
everything that was great about Russia, and
Shostakovich was at odds with that,” says
Music Director and Principal Conductor
Martin West. “He was trying to create
music for all time, not just for Russia.”
Ratmansky, though, had Russia in mind
when he created Shostakovich Trilogy,
according to ABT ballet master Nancy
Raffa. “This is an homage to Shostakovich,
because of Alexei’s enormous admiration
for his talent and for what he symbolizes
for Russian people,” she says. “But it’s
also a homage to [Ratmansky’s] heritage.
He grew up listening to and loving
Shostakovich, so this was like a gift [to
the composer]. And a gift to Russia.”
Raffa, who has worked closely with
Ratmansky during his five years
at ABT, says she has “enormous
admiration and respect for Alexei; I
believe he’s a genius.” (As does the
MacArthur Foundation; it bestowed
a “genius” award on Ratmansky in
September 2013.) Raffa was at the
choreographer’s side during the birth of
Shostakovich Trilogy—a process, she
says, that evolved slowly. “When we
started, I said, ‘Alexei, do you have any
idea what you’re going to do?’ and he
said, ‘I know I’m using three pieces for a
Shostakovich evening, and I know this
is an ambitious project. Period.’ ”
As always with Ratmansky’s work, the
movement is inherently classical—
that’s the default, even when a step is
unquestionably contemporary. “Wherever
you can use your classical training, put it
there,” Raffa tells one dancer. She asks
for a tight fifth position “so you have
something solid to work against when
your arms are going crazy.”
For Raffa, that melding of classical and
contemporary is what’s “special about
[Ratmansky’s] work,” she says. “He uses
the classical vocabulary with a style
that’s specific to him. There’s a freedom
of the upper body, in his movement
and phrasing and musicality, that’s
expressive. Alexei is always saying
something. You can say a million things
with the same movement, [through] the
energy and how you utilize the line and
shape of your body. That’s the key to Alexei’s
work. The vocabulary is the vocabulary; it’s
how he uses it that’s so extraordinary.”
When choreographing, Ratmansky tends
to avoid giving the dancers specifics
about intent and emotion. However, in
ALEXEI RATMANSKY AND RICARDO BUSTAMANTE DURING A REHEARSAL OF RATMANSKY’S
SHOSTAKOVICH TRILOGY (© ERIK TOMASSON)
setting his works, Raffa, who staged
the trilogy for SF Ballet, is more
forthcoming. She knows exactly what
he wants and conveys his intent through
imagery and approaches to movement.
“The arm movement has to be a result of
something moving inside you; it has to
mean something,” she tells one dancer.
To another: “Tension has to be there.
You’re torn. Don’t make a pretty pose at
the end.” A pas de deux couple needs to
“be softer. She should look like lace, a
ribbon wrapping around him.” To another
couple: “Be really close; he wants to see
you like two dolphins.”
Permeating these ballets are the most
fundamental human emotions: love and
SARAH VAN PATTEN AND CARLOS QUENEDIT IN RATMANSKY’S SHOSTAKOVICH TRILOGY (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
57
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN RATMANSKY’S SHOSTAKOVICH TRILOGY (© ERIK TOMASSON)
euphoria, grief and despair, and deeply,
pervasively, fear—of being watched or
followed, or (we assume) disappeared, as
so often happened to those in political
disfavor during Shostakovich’s lifetime.
The color red is prominent; backdrops offer
hints of Stalin-era Russia. Yet all three
ballets are markedly different.
Symphony #9
In creating Symphony #9, Raffa says,
Ratmansky considered “the time the
piece was written and the emotions
behind what was happening in
Shostakovich’s life.” The first principal
couple represents Shostakovich and
his wife, supporting each other in a
time of great danger; the other couple
represents “the regime, the communist
party, the whole Stalin mentality,” Raffa
says. “He wanted them to be almost a
caricature, expressing the sarcasm in
parts of the score. But everything is
abstract. He kept saying, ‘There’s no
story, but there’s a lot of meaning.’ ”
West calls Shostakovich’s ninth symphony
“so much fun; it goes by like the wind.” Fun
and flashy it is, but it was also was one of the
composer’s acts of rebellion. West explains:
“When the war was finished, it was agreed
that he would write a Beethoven’s Ninth
type of thing, to celebrate the beating of the
Nazis. He started writing it and scrapped it.”
What he wrote instead—this funny, acerbic
58
S F B A L L E T.O R G
symphony—was interpreted as thumbing
his nose at Stalin. “He was in big trouble,”
West says. “They were expecting something
triumphal and this is just a bit of fun. [In
places] it’s like he’s mocking Stalin. I don’t
know if he was, but that’s the feeling you get.”
In Ratmansky’s hands, tension underlies
the fun, giving the ballet an edge of fear.
The subtext is clear: no one is safe. Raffa
tells one couple, “You’re running away from
something. The arm is like a window—look
through it.” Yet the ballet is buoyed by
hope, manifested by a solo principal man
Ratmansky calls the Angel. “He’s symbolic
of something beyond our tangible, physical
world,” Raffa says. “He’s a guide. Despite
the turmoil that somebody could live
[through], there’s always a way through it.
That dancer is symbolic of this.” She tells
the Angel dancer to “come out like you’re
attacking all the evil. That means you can’t
touch the ground. Come out like fire.”
There is always, Raffa says, the “guidance
of your own integrity, your value system.
Of hope, where there’s perhaps no hope;
light where there’s only darkness.”
Chamber Symphony
Chamber Symphony is as close to a narrative
ballet as the trilogy gets. The lead man is
Shostakovich and the three principal women
are his loves—the girl he was infatuated
with but never made time for, the wife (and
mother of his children) whose death undid
him, and the young wife who shared his
later years. The ballet takes the form of a
retrospective—again with the constancy of
fear, this time referencing the persecution
of the Jews. (Note the Jewish theme in the
music, and the fragments of folk dancing.)
Loss weighs heavily in this ballet—of loved
ones and what Shostakovich risked to be
the artist he wanted to be.
In making this ballet, Ratmansky was
responding to the well-documented fact
that Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony,
an orchestration of his Quartet No. 8,
was intensely personal to the composer.
He quotes his own music here more than
anywhere else, and each movement bears
an insistent theme—his signature, “DSHC
(D.Sch.),” letters in his name (written in
German) that can be played as musical
notes. The piece, which includes part of an
old Russian prison song, was Shostakovich’s
personal protest (the dedication reads, “In
Memory of Victims of Fascism and War”),
he said. Various sources claim that he said
this music could serve as his epitaph.
The way Principal Dancer Mathilde Froustey
sees it, “we are what Shostakovich wanted
to create. There is a kind of double sense—
we are the instruments of Alexei and
Shostakovich. There is the choreography,
and there is the music. There is the context
of the creation of this music.”
There’s a moment in this ballet when the
Shostakovich character raises a finger in a
moment of recognition. Raffa says it’s as if
he’s thinking, “Everything I’ve lived through
had a purpose, a meaning. I can pass
peacefully now because I’ve left something.”
In the final tableau, she says, Ratmansky
builds an image that pulls the viewers’ eyes
up, to a single girl held high, as if to say
“what he left is monumental. The scene is
like a monument to Shostakovich’s thoughts
and ideas, his humanness.”
“they make you feel good.” Ratmansky
shared “his knowledge and his deep
attention to details. He said, ‘It’s like
fine cuisine. You have to put in all these
ingredients, and they are all measured in
grams. You have to use all that.’
So when Nancy put together Piano
Concerto,” Luiz continues, “the image
she said he wanted is a prisoner in a
country—the artists who couldn’t get
out. She said, ‘Imagine that you cannot
go back to Brazil, and your whole family
is there—your daughter, everyone—and
you can’t ever talk to them again.’ And
so in this moment that’s what you think.
You’re trying to find a solution or a way
out, and you can’t. Every movement has
a meaning. Maybe that’s why you feel
good afterwards—because you feel like
you accomplished something technically
but also artistically.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
Piano Concerto #1
Piano Concerto #1 is the most abstract
ballet in the trilogy; Ratmansky is “using
the dancers as instruments, creating the
music with their movement,” Raffa says.
Yet there’s visible emotion. “Shostakovich
is extremely emotional,” Raffa says. “You
can’t work with his music and not have
that quality in your choreography.”
The music, “Concerto No. 1 for Piano,
Trumpet, and Strings,” is mercurial, whipping
from one mood to another. West describes
the piece as “a very good example of classic
proportions where Shostakovich was able
to take off on tangents that only a great
comedy genius could do. Especially the
last movement—it goes nuts. Suddenly he
slams on a chord out of nowhere, or he’ll
make it sound like he’s going to trill into a
little Mozart cadenza [embellishment] and
then doesn’t.” That frantic quality in the last
movement may have roots in Shostakovich’s
youth, when he played piano accompaniment
for silent movies. “He was able to make
stuff up,” West says. “That’s almost how the
‘Piano Concerto’ is—it’s a ridiculous play on
everything.” Yet it has “all styles of music,
very deep and serious,” he says, “and the
slow movements are beautiful.”
Principal Dancer Vitor Luiz says he loves the
contrast in the music, especially during a
solo he dances. “The music shifts to this very
energetic movement—it’s like showing off—
and then it goes back to quiet. It’s theatrical.
The image Nancy gave us was of looking out
a window to see your future, but you don’t
see any future there. That already gives you
the idea why you do that solo—because you
have nowhere to go,” he says. “If you do this
solo right, it will touch people’s souls.”
What’s remarkable about dancing
Ratmansky’s ballets, Luiz says, is that
THE PEOPLE
THE CUISINE
Brazilians are colorful. Is it any surprise our cuisine is, too?
Churrasco, our tradition of grilling meat on swords, is anything
but boring. It’s a feast of fourteen different meats served tableside and an extensive variety of salads and side dishes. Enjoy an
evening you won’t experience anywhere else.
www.espetus.com | 710 South B St. San Mateo 650.342.8700 | 1686 Market St. San Francisco 415.552.8792
Job # / Name: ESP-114 SF Ballet_Jan2015_1/2 Pg_Vibrant_ME03
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
Date: 12/05/14
Publication: SF Ballet Season Guide
Issue date: 2015 Season
Due at pub: 12/05/14
59
7
triple bill
performance dates
FRI
APR 10
8:00 PM
SUN
APR 12
2:00 PM
WED
APR 15
7:30 PM
THU
APR 16
8:00 PM
SAT
APR 18
2:00 PM
SAT
APR 18
8:00 PM
TUE
APR 21
8:00 PM
Caprice
Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Scenic Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Costume Design: Holly Hynes
Lighting Design: Christopher Dennis
Music: Symphony No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 55; Adagio from Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78
World Premiere: April 4, 2014—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
The 2014 world premiere of Caprice was made possible by Lead Sponsors Gaia Fund, and
Mr. and Mrs. John S. Osterweis, with additional support from the TeRoller Fund for New Productions
of the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation.
Swimmer World Premiere!
Composers: Shinji Eshima, Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan, and Gavin Bryars
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Scenic Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: David Finn
Video Design: Kate Duhamel
Animation Created By: Photon SF, Inc.
The 2015 world premiere of Swimmer is made possible by Lead Sponsors Kate and Bill Duhamel, Gaia Fund,
Yurie and Carl Pascarella, Judy C. Swanson, and Miles Archer Woodlief, with additional support from the
TeRoller Fund for New Productions of the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation.
The Four Temperaments
Composer: Paul Hindemith
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Bart Cook
Music: The Four Temperaments: Theme with Four Variations for String Orchestra and Piano
World Premiere: November 20, 1946—Ballet Society, Central High School of the Needles Trade; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: January 27, 1974—Hawaii International Center; Honolulu, Hawaii
The Four Temperaments, a Balanchine © Ballet, is presented by arrangement with the George Balanchine Trust
and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style © and Balanchine Technique © service standards
established and provided by the Trust.
60 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
DAVIT KARAPETYAN IN TOMASSON’S CAPRICE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
61
Caprice
“Danceable, very danceable.” That’s what
San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director &
Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson
thought when he first heard Camille
Saint-Saëns’ “Symphony No. 2.” For his
first ballet since his 2011 Trio, Tomasson
chose music that’s big, exhilarating, and
off the beaten choreographic track. With
two adagio sections—the very brief one in
“Symphony No. 2,” plus the generous one
he added from the well-known “Symphony
No. 3”—Tomasson ended up with a lively,
varied score that allowed him to take a
fresh approach to structure and scale.
“Symphony No. 2” was written when
Saint-Saëns was 24—for him “not that
early, because he was a child prodigy,”
says Music Director and Principal
Conductor Martin West. “But it’s still
quite young to do a symphony of any
major importance. He was playing major
recitals when he was five and memorized
the entire Bach ‘Toccata and Fugue’ by
the time he was six.” West isn’t sure why
Saint-Saëns wrote such a short adagio
(a slow movement that typically serves
as a ballet’s centerpiece), but it does
indeed flash by with no opportunity to
HELGI TOMASSON, TARAS DOMITRO, AND MATHILDE FROUSTEY REHEARSE TOMASSON’S CAPRICE
(© ERIK TOMASSON)
develop an expansive pas de deux. “All
that beautiful music—a great beginning,
a great finale,” Tomasson says. “But it
needed something else.”
YUAN YUAN AND LUKE INGHAM IN TOMASSON’S CAPRICE (© ERIK TOMASSON)
62
S F B A L L E T.O R G
He found what he calls “a beautiful
adagio” in “Symphony No. 3.” He gave
the short adagio from “Symphony No.
2” to three men; for the longer adagio,
he decided to forgo tradition and use
not one but two principal couples: first
one, then the other, then both together.
“That would be different structurally,”
Tomasson says. “Always constant in the
back of one’s mind is to try to get out
of the box; don’t do something exactly
the same way all the time.” Lush and
luxurious, the adagio is emotional without
being romantic. “It has a sway to it, but I
don’t approach it as a love pas de deux,”
he says. “It’s just an interpretation of
what that music means.”
Music as big and grand as Saint-Saëns’
symphony begs for a full stage, and
Tomasson responded. He began with
five corps de ballet couples, because
he likes to work with odd numbers; but
as rehearsals progressed, he found that
he “didn’t use the five couples the way I
thought I would, structurally or musically.
And particularly when we got to the final
movement, I felt we needed to have more
symmetry.” He added another couple
because he wanted to have “a feeling of
a big group out there,” he says. “The music
is so wonderful; it builds and builds.”
Principal Dancer Frances Chung sees
each movement as having “a different
flavor,” she says. “In the first movement,
you’re like pow, pow, pow! Nonstop
technique. And the third movement, for
us, is more playful, which I really enjoy.
The fourth movement starts with the
adagio couple, and then my partner and I
do another adagio; it’s more mature.” She
sees her role as “displaying everything
you are as a dancer. My partner and I
are in the first, third, fourth, and fifth
movements, so there’s a lot of dancing!
It’s quite difficult stamina-wise.”
Principal Dancer Mathilde Froustey says
she was thrilled to be part of the creation
of a neoclassical ballet. New classically
based ballets aren’t done at Paris Opéra
Ballet, Froustey’s previous company. “To
have Helgi with me in the studio makes me
feel classical ballet is still alive,” she says.
“It was very emotional.”
It’s emotional for Tomasson too. In
rehearsal one day, he urges the corps
to enter with more abandon. “Be more
daring,” he tells them. Dancers sometimes
approach a classically based ballet too
seriously, he says, “and I don’t look at it that
way. I’m saying, ‘Just go for it. Enjoy.’ I think
the music is very joyous.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
Swimmer
Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov
has an enviable memory, often a source of
artistic inspiration for him. For Swimmer,
his latest work for the Company, works of
iconic American art that he discovered as
a young man, long before he came to the
United States, flesh out a ballet inspired by
John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer.”
Literature, film, fine art, and music intersect
in a ballet that’s about American culture,
memory, and, most of all, beauty.
Possokhov is a great consumer of culture;
the works that he chose to provide content
and subtext in Swimmer are things that
“stuck [with me] so many years, I can’t
get out from them,” he says. “I don’t know
why, but they hooked me.” Cheever, Jack
London, J.D. Salinger, Vladimir Nabokov,
Edward Hopper, and Mike Nichols—all of
them, by virtue of their art, have a presence
in Swimmer. The ballet, Possokhov says,
presents his images of these works, linked
by the concepts embodied in Cheever’s
story and an orchestral score that
incorporates three songs by Tom Waits.
“The Swimmer” is a surrealistic story of
a man who “swims home” through his
neighbors’ pools, only to find his own
home—and the life he thought he had—long
gone. Although it provides a framework
for the ballet, Possokhov does not tell
Cheever’s story. “I took the idea, swimming
through the swimming pools of the
neighbors,” he says. “And each pool shows
highlights of my vision of American art.” The
associations he makes are not literal: “It’s
not how it’s supposed to be; it’s what I feel
and what I see.”
Within the context of this idea—a man
“swimming home”—Possokhov weaves
together references, images, moments,
and settings from Salinger’s Catcher in
the Rye, London’s Martin Eden, Hopper’s
Nighthawks, Nichols’ film The Graduate,
and Nabokov’s Lolita. (Why Lolita, when
Nabokov was Russian? Because it was set
in the United States and written in English.)
Combined, these works highlight what
Possokhov loves most about American
culture, from a non-American point of view.
“It’s the eyes of Soviet Union guy; it’s not
eyes of an American,” he says.
Cheever (who, ironically, has been
dubbed “the Chekhov of the suburbs”)
wrote “The Swimmer” in 1964; the
movie of the same name (starring Burt
Lancaster) was released four years later.
And it’s that ’60s setting that Possokhov
chooses to evoke. Though he was a child
then, his memory has a long reach, into
very early years of life inaccessible to
many of us. “[The] Sixties for me was
the most mesmerizing, beautiful time,”
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET REHEARSES POSSOKHOV’S SWIMMER (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
63
he says. “I think in the whole world, [ the]
’60s was the happiest. Like in childhood,
you’re looking forward, like life is always
going to be good.”
This ballet has been on Possokhov’s “shelf”
of choreographic ideas for decades. It
was a difficult concept to bring to fruition;
one stumbling block for many years was
finding suitable music. Once introduced to
the songs of Tom Waits, though, Possohov
knew immediately that the singer’s growled
poetry matched his concept. Waits makes
“images in his songs, so that you live in
these songs,” Possokhov says. “You’re not
just listening, you’re participating in his
songs. This was my image.” While the ballet
does not literally depict the lyrics in Waits’
songs, Possokhov needed something to link
those songs and all of his images, and for
that he turned to his collaborator on RAkU,
Shinji Eshima. “I think he brought it together
beautifully,” Possokhov says.
Eshima’s music sets the ’60s tone early on,
moving from lounge-y smoothness to an
upbeat bop. Then he plunges the Swimmer—
and the audience—into the water, creating a
vivid sense of place as this lone man moves
through a series of vistas. Scene changes
happen with the aid of film sequences, a
technique that reflects Possokhov’s love of
the art form and gives a nod to Hollywood,
another iconic aspect of America.
For Eshima, the ballet’s concept, structure,
and enmeshing of the Waits songs gave him
direction as well as limits—and pushed him
into uncharted territory. “I’ve never written
pop tunes; I’ve never written for a drum set,”
he says. And he’d never used a kitchen sink
as an instrument before. “When Yuri threw
all this at me, it was like it had everything in
“[The] Sixties for me was
the most mesmerizing,
beautiful time. I think
in the whole world, [the]
’60s was the happiest.
Like in childhood,
you’re looking forward,
like life is always going
to be good.”
—Yuri Possokhov
64
S F B A L L E T.O R G
it, from Hollywood to Hopper,” Eshima says.
The idea came from the joke—everything
but the kitchen sink—but he discovered
that he likes the sound a metal kitchen
utensil makes against the stainless steel,
and he uses it to help set the scene in the
Swimmer’s home.
The motion of swimming influenced Eshima
too. “Swimming has a certain pace, a
certain rhythm, a certain regularity,” he
says. “And it feels good; Cheever talks
about that. Swimming is sometimes just
an opportunity to gulp in a warm summer
day; it’s that pleasure of experiencing
life.” To parallel that feeling of comfort, in
composing the swimming motif he used
“a series of notes that felt good. I tried to
create a pattern using notes that would fit
my hand, so that the musical gesture then
became ergonomic.”
In the score Eshima quotes other
composers: a theme from Marvin Hamlisch’s
film score for The Swimmer inspires the
swimming sequences, and a fragment of
the “Dies Irae” (“Day of Wrath,” or judgment
day) from Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique
appears in the last movement. And Eshima
quotes himself, using a snippet of RAkU
“as an introduction to a Tom Waits song,”
he says. “It was a fun way to throw my own
thing in there.”
A solo trumpet begins the ballet, “to
represent the soul of one person,”
Eshima says. “It’s both solo and a
personal identity.” And it evokes taps—a
foreshadowing, because it’s London’s
Martin Eden, which ends in death,
that provides the ballet’s ending. “The
crystalline moment is: ‘And at the instant
he knew, he ceased to know,’ ” Eshima
says. “I had to figure out what death
sounded like in a way that’s beautiful.
I think in all these things Yuri finds beautiful,
there’s a moment that, as in dance,
encapsulates what he wants to give.” If
there’s beauty in death, it might be in the
idea of redemption, seen in Possokhov’s
reference to Catcher in the Rye, when
Holden Caulfield imagines saving children
from falling off a cliff to their deaths.
In the ballet’s last movement, we see the
Swimmer multiplied in 15 men: “It’s him,
all of them,” Possokhov says—one man’s
emotions, magnified. The men dance
with the fluidity and suspension and
weightlessness that come with immersion
in water, yet there’s fierceness in them
too, “like horses stampeding,” Eshima says.
Then they are washed away, leaving only
the Swimmer onstage. “It’s like a kind of
confession,” Possokhov says. That mad
dance is a “last song, last scream, last
swim,” he says. “It’s our scream.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
The Four
Temperaments
In the 1940s George Balanchine was hard at
work changing the face of ballet in America.
His now-iconic “black-and-white” ballets,
costumed in simple practice clothes so
that simplicity and clarity enhance the lines
and formations, first appeared in 1946, at
the premiere of The Four Temperaments. A
landmark ballet, this abstract work was the
first to depict classical technique without the
decorative trappings that dominated ballet
since the 1800s.
The Four Temperaments is as striking and
contemporary today as it was nearly 70 years
ago. It’s hard to imagine what it was like with
its original costumes—body-obscuring garb
commissioned from artist Kurt Seligmann—
or what its future might have been had
Balanchine not rejected those adornments
for a more streamlined look.
The ballet is set to music for piano and
string orchestra by Swiss composer Paul
Hindemith (1895–1963), which Balanchine,
a talented pianist, commissioned in 1940 for
his personal use. Six years later he decided
to use Hindemith’s score, “Theme and Four
Variations: “The Four Temperaments,” for a
new dance he was making for his fledgling
troupe Ballet Society, the precursor to
New York City Ballet.
The music’s theme reflects the ancient
concept of balance in the body as
a prerequisite for good health. The
structures of both score and ballet are
based on the idea that different personality
traits are associated with the body’s four
humors—black bile, blood, phlegm, and
yellow bile. Balanchine took this idea—
that body and being are connected—a
theme and variations idea. This is a grand
example of that.” He points out that Time
magazine chose The Four Temperaments
as the single dance work in its “Best of the
Century” recognition in December 1999.
Cook, whose roles at New York City
Ballet included Melancholic in The Four
Temperaments, describes his job as
“waking the artists up to what they’re
doing.” Technical proficiency is a given;
his main thrust, he says, “is the music,
because I think that’s where all the
ideas for the movement came from. I
like to make sure they’re interpreting the
music exactly how I saw that Balanchine
wanted it. I try to pass on how he
illuminated it for me.”
In the studio last summer, Cook emphasized
timing (“there’s strength in community,”
he says) and propulsion. “Get your hips
going,” he says to the dancers. “It’s almost
menacing. There’s beauty, but it has to be
menacing too.”
SARAH VAN PATTEN AND TIIT HELIMETS IN BALANCHINE’S THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
(CHOREOGRAPHY BY GEORGE BALANCHINE © THE BALANCHINE TRUST; PHOTO © ERIK TOMASSON)
step further: in his ballet, physicality and
emotion are one. The three themes, and
their variations, convey and explore four
contrasting emotional tones.
With those expressive variations as a
structure, Balanchine took classical
steps to unfamiliar extremes. Jutting
hips, turned-in legs, stabbing pointes,
hieroglyphic arms—all now familiar in
neoclassical ballets—were groundbreaking
in 1946. The Four Temperaments “is
definitely a pivotal stylistic landmark,”
says Bart Cook, a repétitéur with The
Balanchine Trust who staged the ballet for
the 2012 and 2015 Repertory Seasons.
Along with “the turning in, the hips out,
the thrust, the use of the tombé [a ‘falling’
step from one leg to the other],” Cook says
this ballet was innovative in its use of “the
Though it’s not a large-scale ballet,
The Four Temperaments leaves a big
imprint. The finale (revised in the 1970s
when the ballet was filmed for Dance in
America, and still called the “new finale”)
“looks monumental,” says Cook. “The
architecture, the use of the groupings, is
fantastic.” Unison movement, dramatic
angles, and high-flying lifts add to its
impact. To the dancers, Cook says, “It has
to be so unified and plugged in, it’s like a
sacred ritual. It’s a wonderful moment, and
you have to let it happen. Let the music
propel you, and you will fly.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN BALANCHINE’S THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS (© ERIK TOMASSON)
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
65
8
performance dates
full-length
FRI
MAY 1
8:00 PM
SAT
MAY 2
2:00 PM
SAT
MAY 2
8:00 PM
SUN
MAY 3
2:00 PM
TUE
MAY 5
8:00 PM
WED
MAY 6
7:30 PM
THU
MAY 7
8:00 PM
SAT
MAY 9
8:00 PM
SUN
MAY 10
2:00 PM
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
Made possible by the E.L. Wiegand Foundation
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 Group, and Deloitte.
66 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
MARIA KOCHETKOVA AND JOAN BOADA IN TOMASSON’S ROMEO & JULIET (© ERIK TOMASSON)
Romeo & Juliet
Every dancer has a dream role that he never
gets to dance, and for San Francisco Ballet
Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer
Helgi Tomasson, it was Romeo. That’s why,
when he launched his production of Romeo
& Juliet in 1994, he poured his heart into it,
delivering through his dancers every emotion
he would have brought to that role. And
perhaps that’s why his version of William
Shakespeare’s tale of “star-cross’d lovers” is
rich in character and vibrantly human. Then
again, as Tomasson says with a smile, it could
be because he’s “a hopeless romantic.”
Shakespeare’s tragic tale of young lovers
has been dramatized in theater, film, opera,
music, and dance. Ballet versions of Romeo
and Juliet first appeared in the late 1700s,
in Italian productions by Eusebio Luzzi
and Filippo Beretti. Next came a five-act
version by Ivan Ivanovitch Valberkh in St.
Petersburg, Russia, in 1809, and Vincenzo
Galleoti’s production for the Royal Danish
Ballet in 1811. Jumping ahead to 1926,
in Monte Carlo, Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets
Russes presented Bronislava Nijinska’s
version, about two dancers who elope during
rehearsals for a Romeo and Juliet–themed
ballet. Then, in 1938, Willam Christensen,
ballet master of San Francisco Opera Ballet
(SF Ballet’s predecessor), choreographed a
new production, with himself as Romeo. And
in 1943, Ballet Theatre presented Antony
Tudor’s meditative one-act version, with Alicia
Markova and Hugh Laing (and Tudor as Tybalt).
The best-known productions are those set
to the full-length ballet score by Sergei
Prokofiev, written in 1935. The first major
staging of the score came in 1940, with
the Kirov Ballet’s production of Leonid
Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, which had
premiered in Brno, Czechoslovakia, two
years earlier. Lavrovsky’s production had not
been seen in the West when Sir Frederick
Ashton created his version for the Royal
Danish Ballet in 1955. However, John
Cranko and Kenneth MacMillan saw the
Bolshoi perform Lavrovsky’s Romeo and
Juliet in London, and their versions (Cranko’s
in Milan in 1958, then at Stuttgart Ballet
in 1962; MacMillan’s at The Royal Ballet in
1965) show Lavrovsky’s influence.
Tomasson, too, decided on the Prokofiev
score, but not without some deliberation. “I
68
S F B A L L E T.O R G
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET IN TOMASSON’S ROMEO & JULIET (© ERIK TOMASSON)
had thought of using something else, and
the reason for it goes back a long time,
when I went to Moscow for the International
Ballet Competition in 1969,” he says.
“Norman Walker had choreographed a solo
for me, which was to Berlioz’s Romeo and
Juliet. It was a beautiful solo, seven minutes
long, and the music is beautiful, too. But I
felt the music for this production had to be
Prokofiev—for me it was more emotional,
and it suited what I wanted to do more than
any other composer.”
What Tomasson wanted to do was draw
characters in detail; in his Romeo & Juliet
the characters are as clearly etched in
movement as they are depicted in words
in the play. “I thought it was necessary to
convey that because it’s not just Romeo
and Juliet, it’s the people around them that
make the story happen,” Tomasson says.
“Tybalt has to be a hothead; he has to be a
bully in many ways, to everybody outside
his clan. There were things that had to come
through so that the whole thing makes
sense. It’s not an abstract, make-believe
story or fairy tale; it’s a human story. This
could be today, anywhere.”
Adding to the sense of realism are the
ballet’s detailed fight scenes. Tomasson
called in Martino Pistone, a movie stunt
man and stunt coordinator, swordsman,
choreographer, and actor, and together
they created carefully timed street-fighting
scenes that use real fencing technique.
“Most productions have lots of this kind of
action,” Tomasson says, miming thrashing
a sword about. “Ours is all choreographed,
and if you miss [a step], it’s not that you’ll
get killed, but you could hurt yourself. And
people run through the fighting at certain
times, because I thought that was realistic.
But they have to know exactly when they
can run and where the guys are placed.”
Tomasson’s production is set in the Italian
Renaissance; true to the period, the men
fight with rapiers (straight swords with
narrow, double-edged blades), daggers,
bucklers (small, round shields), and capes.
Step one in teaching dancers how to fight
is as basic as how to hold the weapons.
From that point on, safety is the priority.
Pairing the dancers for battle presents a
rehearsal-time challenge along with safety
concerns. “If you rehearse this Tybalt and
this Romeo together, because casting-wise
you see them work well together, and then
one of them gets sick or injured, you have to
put someone else in,” says Tomasson. “The
choreography of the fighting is the same,
but the timing might be slightly different,
so you have to find the time to rehearse.
But sometimes casting changes happen at
the last minute—and then I’m sitting there
hoping that nothing’s going to happen.”
Working with the score before rehearsals
began, Tomasson plotted each scene.
Always one to look for a logical flow, he
added action that helps drive the plot,
referring to the play to ensure that he wasn’t
tampering with Shakespeare’s intent. For
example, in the ballet’s opening scene,
Romeo and Juliet are both onstage but don’t
see each other. “They live in the same village,
and everybody else is there; the Nurse is
taking Juliet to the market,” Tomasson says.
“Who’s to say that they haven’t been in the
same place without being aware of one
another?” The multilevel set by Jens-Jacob
Worsaae expanded the choreographic
options. Tomasson has Juliet and the Nurse
run onto the bridge and see Romeo kill
Tybalt. Giving Juliet that knowledge made
dramatic sense to Tomasson. “For me, that
brought on the desperation of the bedroom
scene,” he says. “This is what’s happened,
and they both know.”
Despite detailed preparations, most of
what ends up onstage evolves as Tomasson
works with the dancers. Referring to
choreographing the balcony scene, he
says, “It’s an enormous thing in people’s
expectations, but on top of that, the dancers
I work with influence me—who they are, how
they react to that music and to each other.
There has to be a connection between those
two dancers. And there are times when you
see something and think, ‘Yes, it would suit
them very well if I did that.’ I see the dancers
as being part of the creative process and I
use their approach to it and their willingness
to do anything I want them to do.” Well-known
moments like the balcony scene, he says,
require him to block out expectations and turn
inward for direction. “Do I remember when I
was a teenager? The first time I kissed a girl?
What would I say, what did I feel? What was
the insecurity, the attraction?”
The same complexities of characterization that give this story its weight make
the ballet, particularly the role of Juliet,
appealing to dancers at any stage in
their career. Those who dance Juliet in
their teens come to the role with the
immediacy of youth, with the tenderness
of first love fresh in their minds; those
who dance it later in their careers might
offer more nuanced performances,
layered with a deeper understanding of
what it means to love someone—and
sometimes, to make sacrifices for that
love. For Principal Dancer Sarah Van
Patten, who has danced Juliet at five
points in her career, the role has served
as a milestone in her development as
a ballerina. “I would love to do it every
couple of years, because it has been
MARIA KOCHETKOVA AND JOAN BOADA IN TOMASSON’S ROMEO & JULIET (© ERIK TOMASSON)
paving my way throughout my career,” she
says. “It’s interesting to see and feel how
you change in a role like that.”
In 2000 Van Patten was a 15-year-old
apprentice at the Royal Danish Ballet
when she first performed Juliet, in John
Neumeier’s 1971 production created for
Frankfurt Ballet. Now, after nine years
as a principal dancer, she can re-create
the emotions she felt at age 15 while
adding depth to her interpretation. Her
performance as an apprentice, she
says, “was probably the most honest,
because I was the age of Juliet. I was very
inexperienced, so I think it made the story
very real for the viewer.” Now she describes
her approach as “finding that place again,
but incorporating everything I’ve learned. I’m
not saying it was better when I was 15 or
16, but it was different, and it was realistic
in that sense. I was Juliet at 16.”
Most important to her in this ballet, Van
Patten says, are the transitions, which
define the emotional development of Juliet
and move the story forward. “You go from
this young, carefree, raw girl to grown,
mature, deep, thoughtful,” she says. “I love
the buildup of it, the moments when you
recognize that there’s growth or a change
or a decision happening.” Usually those
moments are interludes between major
choreographic moments—so it’s not during
the balcony scene that we see the extent of
Juliet’s love for Romeo, nor is it when they
spend their first night together. “It’s after
the bedroom pas de deux, when he leaves
and she feels the first sense of devastation
that he’s gone,” Van Patten says.
If Juliet is a milestone role for Van Patten,
so too is Mercutio for Principal Dancer
Pascal Molat, whose career as a dancer
began with this role. He was given the role
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
69
HANSUKE YAMAMOTO IN TOMASSON’S ROMEO & JULIET (© ERIK TOMASSON)
at Royal Ballet of Wallonie in his first year
as a professional dancer; he danced it again
at Royal Ballet of Flanders and at Ballet de
Monte-Carlo (where he also danced Romeo).
In his eyes, Mercutio is “a showman,” he
says. “He’s sure about his force; he knows
he’s the best in town. He doesn’t need to
impress Romeo, but he always needs to
impress the crowd and the ladies, to get the
affection of everybody. Mercutio is loved—
not by the other clan, of course, but in his
own clan he is really loved.”
Although Molat had read the play, it was
Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film that shaped
his perception of Mercutio. “Reading the
Shakespeare gives you a beautiful idea,
of course,” Molat says, “but for me, as a
visual artist, to see the movie makes you
understand even more the character. This
is an ambiguous role; you can develop the
character in many different directions.”
Mercutio is a joker, but “this is the
superficial layer,” he says, “underneath
that there is a lot of depth. Maybe he
loves the women, but is he more attracted
to Romeo?” Referring to the way Mercutio
steps in for Romeo in the swordfight with
70
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Tybalt, Molat says, “If somebody touches
your wife, you’re going to react. I think
there is a little bit of that going on. Of
course there is love in their relationship,
but is it just friendship or is it more than
that?” Molat chooses not to interpret the
role that way, but it’s easy to make an
argument in favor of it.
Of the versions he’s danced, Molat says
Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet has the most
depth, “even with things like the dying
scene. It’s a long one; you don’t dance
a lot, but every step is crucial, knowing
that’s going to be his last steps. I think
this gives also the humanity of that
role.” In a sense, the death scene is the
equivalent of Giselle’s mad scene, and
it requires a similar approach. “It’s not
about what you’re going to do,” Molat
says, “it’s about the reason you’re going
to take the step, your breathing, your
look, your smile. For Mercutio, it’s first
realizing, ‘I got hit,’ but making believe
everything is OK. That subtlety is the
most tricky part—to make sure they
got it in the audience, and at the same
time making sure onstage they don’t
get it. That’s a complex thing to do; that
subtlety gives the quality of your death.
“Mercutio cannot lose face,” Molat
continues. “It’s all about the last image
you’re going to get from him.” He calls the
role “kind of a trademark” for himself as a
dancer. “I started with it, and I’ll finish with
it. It’s like a full circle.”
For Tomasson, Romeo & Juliet is close to
his heart not only because it was a ballet
he would have loved to have danced, but
because it was the last production he
and Jens-Jacob Worsaae, the designer,
did together. “He passed away,” says
Tomasson. “I was in Copenhagen
rehearsing Sleeping Beauty and had to fly
back here to do the costume fittings for
Romeo. He was not well enough to come,
so I had to be his spokesperson. And he
designed those wonderful sets.” Tomasson
calls the designs “the most beautiful
work [Worsaae] ever did. And yet he did
not see it. That’s another reason why this
production is very, very special to me.”
Program notes by Cheryl A. Ossola
“We can travel anywhere with San Francisco Ballet
and know that our money is in good hands.
For us, First Republic is about peace of mind.”
MARLENE TOMASSON
HELGI TOMASSON
Former Dancer, Wife and Mother
Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer
San Francisco Ballet
(800) 392-1400 or visit www.firstrepublic.com New York Stock Exchange Symbol: FRC
Member FDIC and
Equal Housing Lender
san francisco ballet orchestra
2014-15 season
MUSIC DIRECTOR AND
PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR
Martin West
CONTRABASS
Steve D’Amico, Principal
Shinji Eshima, Associate Principal
Jonathan Lancelle,
Assistant Principal
Mark Drury
© DAVID ALLEN
FLUTE
Barbara Chaffe, Principal
Julie McKenzie, 2nd & Piccolo
OBOE
Laura Griffiths, Principal
Marilyn Coyne, 2nd & English Horn
VIOLIN I
Janice McIntosh,
Associate Concertmaster
Beni Shinohara,
Assistant Concertmaster
Heidi Wilcox
Mia Kim
Robin Hansen
Brian Lee
Mariya Borozina
VIOLIN II
Marianne Wagner, Principal
Craig Reiss, Associate Principal
Jeanelle Meyer, Assistant Principal
Patricia Van Winkle
Clifton Foster
Elbert Tsai
VIOLA
Anna Kruger, Acting Principal
Joy Fellows,
Acting Associate Principal
Caroline Lee,
Acting Assistant Principal
Elizabeth Prior **
Paul Ehrlich
CELLO
Eric Sung, Principal
Jonah Kim, Associate Principal
Victor Fierro, Assistant Principal
Thalia Moore
Nora Pirquet
CLARINET
Natalie Parker, Principal
Anthony Striplen, 2nd & Bass Clarinet **
HARP
Annabelle Taubl, Principal
ORCHESTRA PERSONNEL
MANAGER
AND MUSIC ADMINISTRATOR
Tracy Davis
MUSIC LIBRARIAN
Matthew Naughtin
GUEST CONCERTMASTERS FOR
THE 2014-15 REPERTORY SEASON
Michael Ludwig
Matthieu Arama
Lydia Hong
Naha Greenholtz
Laurence Jackson
Cordula Merks
BASSOON
Rufus Olivier, Principal
Patrick Johnson-Whitty, 2nd &
Contrabassoon
HORN
Kevin Rivard, Principal
Keith Green
Brian McCarty, Associate Principal
Bill Klingelhoffer
TRUMPET/CORNET
Adam Luftman, Principal
Ralph Wagner
TROMBONE
Jeffrey Budin, Principal
Hall Goff
BASS TROMBONE
Scott Thornton, Principal
TUBA
Peter Wahrhaftig, Principal
TIMPANI
James Gott, Principal
PERCUSSION
David Rosenthal, Principal
** Season Substitute
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
73
san francisco ballet staff
HELGI TOMASSON, Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer
GLENN MCCOY, Executive Director
ARTISTIC
Laura Simpson, Board Relations Manager
Robert Hold, Graphic Designer
Ricardo Bustamante, Christopher Stowell,
Maja Valusek, Human Resources and
Nannette Mickle, Group Sales
Ballet Masters and Assistants to the
Artistic Director
Felipe Diaz, Betsy Erickson, Anita Paciotti,
Benefits Coordinator
Bonnie Fisk, Assistant to Senior
Executive Staff
Katita Waldo, Ballet Masters
Yuri Possokhov, Choreographer
in Residence
Caroline Giese, Artistic Administrator
Alan Takata-Villareal, Logistics Manager
Abby Masters, Assistant to the
Artistic Staff
Erik Almlie, Media Asset Administrator
Thomas W. Flynn, Director of Development
Olivia Ramsay, Social Media Producer
Jennifer Mewha, Associate Director
Deidre Kirk, Marketing and
of Development
Sarah Malashock, Christensen Society
Debra Bernard, General Manager
Elizabeth Lani, Planned Giving Manager
Christopher Dennis, Production
Director
Chad Owens, Technical Coordinator
Jane Green, Stage Manager
Jessica Barker, Assistant Stage Manager
Nixon Bracisco, Master Carpenter
Kelly Corter Kelly, Master Electrician
Kenneth M. Ryan, Master of Properties
Kevin Kirby, Audio Engineer
John O’Donnell, Flyman
George Elvin, Wardrobe Manager
Jim Sohm, Research Manager
Pamela Sullivan, Major Gifts Officer
Emily Markoe, Membership Manager
Jill Lounibos, Grants Officer
Amy Crowson, Corporate Giving Officer
Jasmine Yep Huynh, Christensen Society
Officer
Ingrid Roman, Special Events Associate
Jonathan Levin, Development
Database Coordinator
Nicole Lugtu, Major Gifts Assistant
Sarah Horowitz, Individual Gifts
Assistant
Lynn Noonan, Principal Gifts Consultant
Andrea Pelous, Head of Women’s
Wardrobe
Richard Battle, Make-Up and
Wig Supervisor
Melanie Birch, Wig and Hair Stylist
Sherri LeBlanc, Company Shoe
Administrator
Martin West, Music Director and
Principal Conductor
Mungunchimeg Buriad, Nina Pinzarrone,
Natal’ya Feygina, Company Pianists
Tracy Davis, Orchestra Personnel
Manager and Music Administrator
Matthew Naughtin, Music Librarian
Cecelia Beam, Human Resources
Manager
74
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Jennifer Peterian, Box Office
Manager/Treasurer
Mark Holleman, Sales and Service
Supervisor
Elena Ratto, Patron Services Specialist
David Clark, Box Office Supervisor
Michelle Hughes, Jericho Lindsey,
Jason Narin, Nick Valasco, Patricia Pearson,
Ticket Services Associates
FINANCE
Kim Ondreck Carim, Chief Financial
Officer
Natalie Quan, Controller
Valerie Ruban, Senior Accountant
Julianne Perry, Senior Accountant
Victoria Wilkins, Payroll Coordinator
Stephanie Golden, Staff Accountant
Casey Trujillo, Staff Accountant
Mary Beth Smith, Director of
Marketing and Communications
FACILITIES
Nathan Brito, Acting Facilities Manager
Philip Mayard, Associate Director,
Adrian Rodriguez, Facilities Coordinator
Advertising and Publications
Ralph Baysac, LaeCharles T. Lawrence Jr.,
Betsy Lindsey, Associate Director,
Kyra Jablonsky, Associate Director,
Communications
Todd Martin, Stanley Wong,
Facilities Assistants
Katharine Chambers, Nicole Drysdale,
Tamara de la Cruz, Receptionists
Valerie Megas, Senior Manager,
Retail Operations
Mary Goto, Senior Manager,
Marketing and Sales
Thomas Weitz, Senior Manager,
Digital Marketing
April Johnston, Marketing and
ADMINISTRATION
TICKET SERVICES
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Ticket and Patron Services
MUSIC
Communications Coordinator
Fermin Nasol, Principal Gifts Officer
Julia Nottebohm, Special Events Manager
PRODUCTION
Associate
DEVELOPMENT
OPERATIONS
Juliette LeBlanc, Production Analyst
Lauren White, Communications
James Hosking, Video Producer/Editor
and Membership Manager
Lauren Chadwick, Company Manager
Representative
Promotions Manager
Andrew Delaney, Web and Digital
Platforms Manager
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Murray Bognovitz, Director of
Information Technology
Esther del Rosario, IT Operations and
Project Manager
Karen Irvin, Application Administrator
and Help Desk Coordinator
Josh Marshall, Web Administrator
Jiapeng Jiang, IT Specialist
FRONT OF HOUSE
Eric Colby, House Manager
George Windstrup, Head Usher
Laurent Dela Cruz, Martin Dias,
Starsky Dias, Marialice Dockus,
Karen Horvath, Elaine Kawasaki, Eileen
Keremitsis, Bill Laschuk, Sharon Lee,
Lenore Long, Doug Luyendyk,
Dale Nedelco, Wayne Noel, Beth Norris,
Jan Padover, Julie Peck, Robert Remple,
Bill Repp, Rilla Reynolds, Joe Savin,
Kelly Smith, Tom Taffel, Richard Wagner,
Steve Weiss, JoAnne Westfall,
Ushers
sf ballet school
Helgi Tomasson, Director
Patrick Armand, Associate Director
FACULT Y
Patrick Armand
Damara Bennett
Kristi DeCaminada
Yuko Katsumi
Tina LeBlanc
Jeffrey Lyons
Rubén Martín Cintas, Lee R. Crews
Endowed Faculty Member
Parrish Maynard
Pollyana Ribeiro
Sofiane Sylve, Principal Guest Faculty
Joanna Berman, Guest Faculty
Pascal Molat, Guest Faculty
Brian Fisher, Contemporary Dance
Leonid Shagalov, Character Dance
Henry Berg, Conditioning
Jamie Narushchen, Music
Daniel Sullivan, Music
2014-15 VISITING GUEST
INSTRUCTORS
Jacqueline Barrett, Yannick Boquin,
Monique Loudieres
PIANISTS
Ella Belilovskaya
Ritsuko Micky Kubo
Jamie Narushchen
Daniel Sullivan
Galina Umanskaya
Billy Wolfe
and, Emily Adams, Olga Blednova,
company physicians
Julia Ganina, Lucy Hudson,
Richard Gibbs, M.D., Medical Supervisor
Eleanora Shevkhod, Sky Tan
Jamie Narushchen, School Pianist
Supervisor, Lee R. Crews
Endowed Pianist
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
Andrea Yannone, Administrative Manager
Christina Gray Rutter, Student Services
Coordinator and Registrar
Katelyn Harris, Administrative Coordinator
Wendy Van Dyck, Trainee Program
Coordinator
Elizabeth Roddy, Administrative Assistant
Tai Vogel, Temporary Social Media
Librarian
Rob Chaitin, Residence Manager
Erin Kelly, Residence Assistant
Lauren Hamilton, Residence Desk Staff
Chris Fitzsimons, School Physical
Therapist
Leslie Donohue, School Physical Therapist
center for dance
education
Andrea Yannone, Interim Director of
Education
Dina D. Toy, Education Office Manager
Cecelia Beam, Adult Education
Coordinator
Cynthia Pepper, Interim Dance in Schools
and Communities Supervisor
DANCE IN SCHOOLS AND
COMMUNITIES TEACHING ARTISTS
Alisa Clayton
Melanie Mitchell
Phoenicia Pettyjohn
Joti Singh
Maura Whelehan
DANCE IN SCHOOLS AND
COMMUNITIES ACCOMPANISTS
David Frazier
Zeke Nealy
Wade Peterson
Bongo Sidibe
Rowan Paul, M.D, Primary Care
Sports Medicine
Peter Callander, M.D., Keith Donatto, M.D.,
Supervising Orthopedists
Frederic Bost, M.D., Jon Dickinson,
M.D., John Belzer, M.D., Orthopedic
Advisors to the Company
Michael Leslie, Company Physical
Therapist
Karl Schmetz, Consulting Physical
Therapist
Active Care, Lisa Giannone,
Director, Physical Therapists
Leonard Stein, D.C., Chiropractic Care
Henry Berg, Rehabilitation Class
Instructor
Michelle Zimmerman, Wellness
Program Manager
The artists employed by San Francisco
Ballet are members of the American
Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO, the Union
of professional dancers, singers and
staging personnel in the United States.
The San Francisco Ballet Association
is a member of Dance/USA; American
Arts Alliance; the Greater San Francisco
Chamber of Commerce; and the
San Francisco Convention and
Visitors Bureau.
Legal Services provided by Adler & Colvin;
Fallon Bixby Cheng & Lee; Fettmann
Ginsburg, PC; Epstein Becker & Green, PC;
Littler Mendelson, PC; Miller Law Group;
and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
Audit services provided by Grant Thornton
LLP. Insurance brokerage services
provided by DeWitt Stern Group.
The Centers for Sports and Dance
Medicine at Saint Francis Memorial
Hospital are the official health care
providers for San Francisco Ballet School.
Special thanks to Dr. James G. Garrick,
Dr. Susan Lewis, Dr. Jane Denton,
Dr. Selina Shah, Dr. Rémy Ardizzone,
and Chris Corpus for generously
providing their services.
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
75
corporate and foundation support of san francisco ballet
Institutional gifts provide valuable support to SF Ballet’s artistic, touring, education, and outreach activities.
Corporate and foundation grants of all sizes, in-kind gifts, and matching gifts enable the Ballet to train and
perform at the highest standard of artistry.
Corporate partnership with SF Ballet delivers a wealth of valuable benefits such as public recognition as a
supporter, hospitality opportunities for clients and executives, and discounts on tickets for employees. To learn
more, please contact Amy Crowson, corporate giving officer, at [email protected] or 415.865.6616.
Foundation giving to SF Ballet is an investment in the cultural life of the Bay Area. To learn more, contact
Jill Lounibos, grants officer, at [email protected] or 415.865.6626.
Corporate Council
In-Kind Gifts
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S COUNCIL
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $100,000–$249,999
First Republic Bank
Osterweis Capital Management
Gifts of $100,000–$249,999
PRESENTER’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $50,000–$99,999
Chevron
KPMG
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
SPONSOR’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $25,000–$49,999
Abbot Downing
Bank of America
Freed of London
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
HSBC Private Bank
Integnology
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Wells Fargo Foundation
ABC7 | KGO-TV
Bay Area Rapid Transit
KCBS Radio
KPIX
KQED TV
La Marca Prosecco®
Method
Neiman Marcus Union Square
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
San Francisco magazine
San Francisco Media Company
William Hill Estate Winery®
Gifts of $50,000–$99,999
7x7
J. Riccardo Benavides of i∙dē∙as
76
Paris-Fairmont Raffles
Hotels International
Foundation and
Government Support
GRAND BENEFACTOR
Gifts of $250,000 and above
Grants for the Arts
The Hellman Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $100,000–$249,999
Foundation
Richard and Elizabeth Fullerton
Family Foundation
Gaia Fund
Shelby and Frederick Gans
CHAIRMAN’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $25,000–$49,999
Gifts of $15,000–$24,999
Burberry
Nespresso USA
Pacific Union–Christie’s
International Real Estate
St. John
Willis
Bay Area Reporter
Gifts of $10,000–$14,999
Dodge & Cox
Gap Foundation
Mechanics Bank Wealth
Management
Men’s Wearhouse
Raffles Le Royal Monceau
Caldwell-Fisher Charitable
PRESENTER’S COUNCIL
SPONSOR’S COUNCIL
CHOREOGRAPHER’S COUNCIL
FXIV Chapter LLC
McCall Associates
Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett
Foundation
George F. Jewett Foundation
Koret Foundation
CHAIRMAN’S COUNCIL
Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation
Gifts of $15,000–$24,999
The Bernard Osher Foundation
Immersive
Bob Ross Foundation
Miette
The Seiger Family Foundation
Nob Hill Gazette
Piedmont Piano Company
PRESENTER’S COUNCIL
Sutter Securities Incorporated
Gifts of $50,000–$99,999
Edward Baker Foundation
CHOREOGRAPHER’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $10,000–$14,999
Academy of Art University
Carmen Marc Valvo
Cox Family Foundation
The Flora Family Foundation
Stephen and Margaret Gill Family
Foundation
DANCER’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $5,000–$9,999
Bingham McCutchen LLP
BlackRock
Delta Dental of California
Patina Catering
National Endowment for the Arts
ASSOCIATE’S COUNCIL
Wallis Foundation
Ghurka
Fairmont San Francisco
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Gifts of $2,500–$4,999
Crystal Geyser and CG Roxane
The Shubert Foundation, Inc.
The Walske Charitable
Foundation
SPONSOR’S COUNCIL
ASSOCIATE’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $25,000–$49,999
Gifts of $2,500–$4,999
The Donald and Carole
Chaiken Foundation
Dorrance Family Foundation
Lakeside Foundation
Post Family Foundation
Springcreek Foundation
Whitman Family Foundation
Arrillaga Foundation
Dan and Stacey Case Family
Foundation
The William G. Irwin Charity
Foundation
Lamond Family Foundation
Charles H. Leach, II Foundation
Masud and Alex Mehran
Foundation
CHAIRMAN’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $15,000–$24,999
The Cockayne Fund Inc.
Robert and Dana Emery
Family Foundation
Mimi and Peter Haas Fund
Roberts Foundation
The Wingate Foundation
CHOREOGRAPHER’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $10,000–$14,999
Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
John and Marcia Goldman
Foundation
Guzik Foundation
Walter & Elise Haas Fund
Heising-Simons Foundation
William and Gretchen Kimball Fund
MARCH 7–MAY 31, 2015
Zellerbach Family Foundation
DANCER’S COUNCIL
Gifts of $5,000–$9,999
Nancy & Joachim Bechtle
Foundation
RBSL Bergman Foundation
Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation, Inc.
Sam And Kelly Bronfman
Family Foundation
Caritas Charitable Foundation
Clumeck Foundation
Fleishhacker Foundation
Crankstart Foundation
Marilyn & Robert Funari
Family Foundation
Robert J. and Helen H. Glaser
Family Foundation
Walter S. Johnson Foundation
Laube Family Foundation
Jeanne and Sanford Robertson Fund
Storm Castle Foundation
The Laney Thornton Foundation
Uplands Foundation
The Vasicek Foundation
This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the National Galleries of Scotland.
Presenting Sponsors: Cynthia Fry Gunn and John A. Gunn and Diane B. Wilsey. President’s Circle: San Francisco
Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums. Curator’s Circle: The Bernard Osher Foundation and the Ednah Root Foundation. Patron’s Circle:
George and Marie Hecksher. Supporter’s Circle: Andy and Carrick McLaughlin and Mrs. George Hopper Fitch. The exhibition is
supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Henry Raeburn, Reverend Robert Walker, Skating on Duddingston Loch, ca.1795. Oil on canvas. Scottish National Gallery
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
77
great benefactors
Since its founding in 1933, San Francisco Ballet has grown into one of the world’s leading ballet companies and ballet schools.
This evolution has been made possible through the steadfast and generous support of patrons in the Bay Area and throughout
the world. In 2005, San Francisco Ballet created the honor of Great Benefactor to recognize donors whose cumulative giving
to SF Ballet is $1 million or more.
American Airlines
Lucy and Fritz Jewett
Estate of Helen Anderton
Estate of Mildred Johnson
AT&T
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Bank of America Foundation
Maurice Kanbar
Richard C. Barker
Dr. and Mrs. Jerome Ormond Kirschbaum
Bingham McCutchen LLP
Diana Dollar Knowles
BRAVO
Estate of Diana Dollar Knowles
Jennifer Caldwell and John H. N. Fisher
Koret Foundation
California Arts Council
Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich
The State of California
Catherine Lego
Estate of Lewis and Emily Callaghan
Paul Lego
Mrs. Daniel H. Case III
Mrs. Jeannik Méquet Littlefield
Chevron Corporation
Deloitte
Suzy Kellems Dominik
Rudolph W. Driscoll
Sonia H. Evers
First Republic Bank
Ford Foundation
Diana Stark and J. Stuart Francis
Estate of Georg L. Frierson
Gaia Fund
Stephen and Margaret Gill Family Foundation
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund
Grants for the Arts
Estate of Richard B. Gump
Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Mimi Haas
Colleen and Robert D. Haas
Walter & Elise Haas Fund
Estate of Katharine Hanrahan
Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey P. Hays
William Randolph Hearst Foundation
The Hellman Family
The Hellman Foundation
The Herbert Family
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Edward E. Hills Fund
Donald F. Houghton
Estate of Dora Donner Ide
The Marver Family
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Nicola Miner and Robert Mailer Anderson
National Endowment for the Arts
The Bernard Osher Foundation
John Osterweis and Barbara Ravizza
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Yurie and Carl Pascarella
The Thomas J. and Gerd Perkins Foundation
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Kenneth Rainin
Mr. George R. Roberts
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock
Bob Ross
Gordon Russell
San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary
The San Francisco Foundation
Kathleen Scutchfield
Shubert Foundation, Inc.
The Smelick Family
Estate of Natalie H. Stotz
The Swanson Foundation
Richard J. Thalheimer
Ms. Susan A. Van Wagner
Visa Inc.
Phyllis C. Wattis
Wells Fargo
The James Irvine Foundation
The E. L. Wiegand Foundation
The William G. Irwin Charity Foundation
Diane B. Wilsey
G. William Jewell
Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang
George F. Jewett, Jr. 1965 Trust
The Zellerbach Family
78 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
artistic director’s council
San Francisco Ballet gratefully acknowledges the members of the Artistic Director’s Council. Their generous annual
support of $100,000 or more has been instrumental to the success of San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco
Ballet School, and the San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education. Members of the Artistic Director’s Council
receive customized benefits including special access to performances, exclusive events, and rehearsals. For more
information, please contact Fermin Nasol, principal gifts officer, at [email protected] or 415.865.6622.
Grand Benefactors
GIFTS OF $250,000 AND ABOVE
The Hellman Foundation
Lucy Jewett
Artistic Director’s Council
gifts of $100,000-$249,999
Richard C. Barker
Fang and Gary Bridge
Jennifer Caldwell and John H. N. Fisher
Elizabeth Pang Fullerton and Richard Fullerton
Gaia Fund
Shelby and Frederick Gans
Cecilia and Jim Herbert
Mr. and Mrs. John S. Osterweis
Yurie and Carl Pascarella
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock
Bob Ross Foundation
The Seiger Family Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. James N. Sullivan
Diane B. Wilsey
Miles Archer Woodlief
new productions fund
In FY2012, Artistic Director Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson launched a major new
artistic initiative in support of the creation and performance of new work.
This project included repertory pieces as well as several
new full-length productions. The initiative built on SF Ballet’s
past work in the development and acquisition of new works,
with almost 50 commissions in the last decade alone. It
also complements Tomasson’s own work in creating over
30 repertory works and productions of full-length works
for SF Ballet, including Don Quixote (2003); Giselle (1999);
Nutcracker (2004); Romeo & Juliet (1994); The Sleeping
Beauty (1990); and Swan Lake (1988 and 2009).
The initial projects in this important effort were the Company
premiere of Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine’s
Coppélia and world premieres by Choreographer in Residence
Yuri Possokhov, Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon in 2011.
The 2012 Repertory Season saw the Company premiere
of John Cranko’s Onegin, the newly designed production
of Tomasson and Possokhov’s Don Quixote, and world
premieres by Edwaard Liang, Mark Morris, Ashley Page,
and Possokhov.
During the 2013 Repertory Season the Company presented
the U.S. premiere of Wheeldon’s Cinderella and world premieres
by Wayne McGregor, Possokhov, and Alexei Ratmansky.
The 2014 Repertory Season SF Ballet offered the San Francisco
premiere of Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy; an evening-length
work co-produced with American Ballet Theatre, and world
premieres by Val Caniparoli, Liam Scarlett, and Tomasson.
SF Ballet gratefully acknowledges the generous support
of the sponsors of the New Productions Fund. SF Ballet would like
to thank the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation for its leadership role in launching the New Productions Fund.
Lead Sponsor
($1 MILLION+)
Mrs. Jeannik Méquet Littlefield
Mr. and Mrs. John S. Osterweis
Major Sponsor
($500,000-$999,999)
Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation
Larry and Joyce Stupski
Sponsor
($250,000 TO $499,999)
Richard C. Barker
Christine H. Russell Fund of the Columbia Foundation
Suzy Kellems Dominik
Stephanie Barlage Ejabat
Gaia Fund
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation
Cecilia and Jim Herbert
Alison and Michael Mauzé
Diane B. Wilsey
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
79
san francisco ballet season sponsors
2014 Nutcracker
Lead Sponsors
The Herbert Family
The Swanson Foundation
Sponsors
Yurie and Carl Pascarella
Kathleen Scutchfield
The Smelick Family
2015 Repertory Season
Variations for Two Couples
Sponsor
Lead Sponsor
Karen S. Bergman
Jennifer Caldwell and John H. N. Fisher
Piano Concerto #1
Major Sponsor
Sponsor
O.J. and J. Gary Shansby
Joan E. Roebuck
Sponsors
Courtney Benoist and Jason M. Fish
Kathleen Grant, M.D. and
Thomas Jackson, M.D.
Kacie and Michael Renc
Swimmer World Premiere
Lead Sponsors
Kate and Bill Duhamel
San Francisco Ballet Allegro Circle
Gaia Fund
Serenade
Manifesto World Premiere
Major Sponsors
Judy C. Swanson
Lead Sponsors
Sonia H. Evers
Alison and Michael Mauzé
Catherine and Mark Slavonia
Shelby and Frederick Gans
Sponsor
Bob Ross Foundation
PROGRAM 1
BRAVO
RAkU
Major Sponsors
David and Vicki Cox
Stephen and Margaret Gill
Family Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Smelick
Sponsors
Chaomei Chen and Yu Wu
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Tai
Lambarena
Major Sponsors
Rosemary B. Baker
Grady and Amy Burnett
Irv H. Lichtenwald and
Stephen R. Ripple
Sponsor
ENCORE!
PROGRAM 2
Giselle
Lead Sponsor
Diane B. Wilsey
Sponsors
Katherine and Gregg Crawford
Dr. Janice and Mr. Jonathan Zakin
The Seiger Family Foundation
The Kingdom of the Shades
from La Bayadère, Act II
Major Sponsor
Mary Jo and DIck Kovacevich
Marie and Barry Lipman
Sponsor
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander R. Mehran
PROGRAM 4
Program Sponsor
The Four Temperaments
Sponsor
Larissa Roesch and Jason Crethar
PROGRAM 8
Romeo & Juliet
Lead Sponsors
Cecilia and Jim Herbert
Diane B. Wilsey
San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary
Major Sponsor
Mr. and Mrs. James D. Marver
Sponsor
H. B. and Lucille Horn Foundation
SATURDAY NIGHT
SUBSCRIPTION SERIES
Major Sponsor
Lucy and Fritz Jewett
Donald F. Houghton
Hummingbird
Major Sponsors
Mrs. Suzy Kellems Dominik
Beth and Brian Grossman
PROGRAM 5
Don Quixote
Lead Sponsor
Mr. and Mrs. James N. Sullivan
Major Sponsors
Sue and John Diekman
Julie and Greg Flynn
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
Sponsors
Lead Sponsor
Delanie and Peter Read
Jennifer Caldwell and John H. N. Fisher
The Thalheimer Family
O.J. and J. Gary Shansby
PROGRAM 6
Sponsors
Shostakovich Trilogy
Courtney Benoist and Jason M. Fish
Lead Sponsor
Kathleen Grant, M.D. and
Richard C. Barker
Major Sponsors
Kacie and Michael Renc
Teri and Andy Goodman
San Francisco Ballet Allegro Circle
Joyce L. Stupski
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Miles Archer Woodlief
Dances at a Gathering
PROGRAM 3
Thomas Jackson, M.D.
Yurie and Carl Pascarella
The Bernard Osher Foundation
Major Sponsor
80
PROGRAM 7
Saturday Night Series
2015 Opening Night Gala
Presenting Sponsor
Osterweis Capital Management
Benefactor Dinner Sponsor
KPMG
Patron Dinner Sponsor
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
After Party Sponsor
HSBC Private Bank
Cocktail Reception Sponsor
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Grand Benefactor Reception Sponsor
Integnology
Performance Sponsor
Donald F. Houghton
Prosecco Promenade Sponsor
Burberry
Invitation Sponsor
Pacific Union - Christie’s International
Real Estate
Grand Benefactor Dinner Media Sponsor
Nob Hill Gazette
Performance and After Party Media Sponsor
7x7
2014-2015 Touring
Les Etés de la Danse at the Châtelet
The following funds of the San Francisco Ballet
Theater, Paris, France – July 2014
Endowment Foundation provide permanent support
Major Sponsors
for touring by San Francisco Ballet:
Donald F. Houghton
Lead Underwriters
Lucy Jewett
Osher Touring Fund
Bob Ross Foundation
G. William Jewell Touring Fund
The Seiger Family Foundation
The Hellman Family Touring Fund
Miles Archer Woodlief
Major Underwriters
Sponsors
Frannie and Mort Fleishhacker Touring Fund
Elizabeth Pang Fullerton and
Richard Fullerton
Stephen and Margaret Gill Family Foundation Touring Fund
Teri and Andy Goodman Touring Fund
Teri and Andy Goodman
Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Touring Fund
Denise Littlefield Sobel
Bob Ross Foundation Touring Fund
Mr. and Mrs. James N. Sullivan
Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Touring Fund
Underwriters
Davidson Bidwell-Waite and Edwin A. Waite Touring Fund
Glenn McCoy Touring Fund
Phyllis W. Nelson Touring Fund
Anne and Michelle Shonk Touring Fund
San Francisco Ballet’s performances are made possible in part by grants from Grants for the Arts, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,
The James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
William Hill Estate Winery ® and La Marca Prosecco® are the featured wine and sparkling wine of San Francisco Ballet.
Yamaha Pianos are the performance and rehearsal pianos of San Francisco Ballet and the School, and are provided by Piedmont Piano Company.
Repertory Season Media Sponsors
Nutcracker Media Sponsor
Co-Lead Sponsors of the San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education.
Major support for the Center for Dance Education is provided by the Flora Family Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Generous support is provided by the Gap Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Major Support for Dance in Schools and Communities is provided by the Charles Henry Leach II Foundation.
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
81
san francisco ballet endowment foundation
endowed funds
Income from the assets of the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation is an important revenue source for San Francisco
Ballet. In fiscal year 2015, it will provide funding for approximately 10% of the Ballet’s operating expenses.
All donors who make gifts totaling $25,000 or more to the endowment have a fund created in their name. Named funds can
provide general support or support designated for specific uses at SF Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet School, and the
San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education.
SF Ballet is honored to list all of the funds that have been created as of November 30, 2014. Those highlighted with an
asterisk (*) were fully or primarily funded through bequests and other estates gifts. For more information on endowed
funds or the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation, please contact Thomas W. Flynn, director of development, at
[email protected] or 415.865.6615.
Anonymous (9)
Columbia Foundation Music Fund
Teri and Andy Goodman Touring Fund
Michael C. Abramson Fund
Columbia Foundation New Works Fund
Margaret Stuart Graupner Fund*
Lois and David Anderson Fund
David and Vicki Cox Fund
Eugene H. and Stephanie Gray Fund*
Mr. and Mrs. Walter M. Baird Fund*
Mary B. Cranston New Works Fund
James Gries Fund
Rosemary and Edward D. Baker III
Lee R. Crews School Fund*
Richard B. Gump Fund*
Timothy Dattels and Kristine Johnson Fund
Rita A. Gustafson Scholarship Fund*
Richard C. Barker Fund
Sue and John Diekman Fund
William Bason Fund*
Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Suzy Kellems Dominik New Works Fund
Ernest A. Bates New Works Fund
Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. New Works Fund
Suzy Kellems Dominik School and
Mimi Haas Fund
Foundation Fund
Nancy and Joachim Bechtle Fund
Philip P. Berelson Scholarship Fund*
Phyllis and Bill Draper Fund
The Bertelsen Family Fund
Rudolph W. Driscoll Fund
Davidson Bidwell-Waite and
Joseph B. Durra Fund
Edwin A. Waite Touring Fund
Jacqueline and Christian P. Erdman Fund
Wendy and W. Richard Bingham Fund
Sonia H. Evers Fund
Christopher Boatwright Memorial
Sonia H. Evers New Works Fund
Endowed Scholarship Fund
Sonia H. Evers School Fund
Deborah and Richard A. Bocci Fund
Concepción S. and Irwin Federman Fund
Ron and Susan Briggs Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Felson Fund
Eva Benson Buck Charitable Trusts Fund
The Fifth Age of Man Foundation
Edith Bundy Fund*
Scholarship Fund
Burnett Family New Works Fund
Jason M. Fish and Courtney Benoist Fund
S. E. Bush, Jr. School Fund*
Ann and Robert Fisher Fund
Peter Byram Fund*
Doris and Donald Fisher Fund
Jennifer Caldwell and John H.N. Fisher Fund
Elizabeth and Robert Fisher Fund
Lewis and Emily Callaghan Fund*
Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Fund*
Dr. and Mrs. John N. Callander
Frannie and Mort Fleishhacker Touring Fund
Dancer Wellness Fund
Thomas W. Flynn Music Fund
Christina E. Carroll Fund
Ford Foundation New Works Fund
Margaret Carver Fund
Diana Stark and J. Stuart Francis Fund
Dan and Stacey Case Fund
Diana Stark and J. Stuart Francis
Dan and Stacey Case New Works Fund
Dr. and Mrs. George Cassady
Student Scholarship Fund
Harold and Ruby Christensen Scholarship Fund
Robert Clegg New Works Fund
Angelina and Christopher Cohan Fund
82
Education Fund
S F B A L L E T.O R G
New Works Fund
Mimi Haas New Works Fund
Mimi & Peter Haas Fund
Mimi & Peter Haas New Works Fund
Walter & Elise Haas Education Fund
Walter & Elise Haas Fund
Walter & Elise Haas New Works Fund
Sally and William Hambrecht Fund
Sally and William Hambrecht New Works Fund
Philip and Alicia Hammarskjold Fund
Katharine Hanrahan Fund*
The Lloyd Harper Patron Fund
Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey P. Hays Fund
The William Randolph Hearst
Foundation Building Fund
The William Randolph Hearst
Foundation Scholarship Fund
Libby and Craig Heimark Fund
Chris and Warren Hellman
Endowed Scholarship Fund
Eric Hellman Scholarship Fund
The Hellman Family Fund
The Hellman Family New Works Fund
Gaia Fund
The Hellman Family Touring Fund
Frances and Theodore Geballe Fund
Rosalie G. Hellman Fund
Stephen and Margaret Gill Family
Rosalie G. Hellman Memorial Scholarship Fund
Foundation Touring Fund
Stephen and Margaret Gill New Works Fund
Cecilia and James Herbert Fund
Cecilia and James Herbert New Works Fund
Fund listing as of November 30, 2014
Christine and Josephine Herron Fund
for Dance Education
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
George W. Lord Fund*
Delores M. Schweizer Fund*
Carol Lovell Fund, in memory of
Randee and Joseph Seiger Education
Kenneth Hynes*
and Outreach Fund
New Works Fund
James J. Ludwig Fund
The Seiger Family Foundation Fund
Richard S. Hirsch Fund*
Daniel E. Malkin Fund*
O.J. and J. Gary Shansby Fund
Hank J. Holland Fund
Martinez Family Fund
Anne and Michelle Shonk Touring Fund
Brian and Rene Hollins Fund
The Marver Family Fund
Dr. Lawrence Loy Shrader and
Mr. James C. Hormel and
The Marver Family New Works Fund
Mr. Michael P. Nguyen Fund
Alison and Michael Mauzé Fund
Thomas E. Horn Fund
Russell J. Mays Fund*
William S. Howe, Jr. Fund*
Glenn McCoy Touring Fund
Dr. Samuel C. Hughes Fund*
Alexander Mehran Fund
John E. and Jeanne Hulse New Works Fund
Julia O. Merriman Fund*
Hurlbut-Johnson Charitable Trusts
Byron R. Meyer Choreographers Fund
Introduction to Ballet Scholarship Fund*
Natalie Lauterstein Miller Memorial Fund
Dora Donner Ide Fund*
C. Kenneth and Maureen M. More Fund*
Joan J. Jacobs Fund*
Milton J. Mosk and Thomas Foutch Fund
The James Family Endowed Scholarship Fund
Berit and Robert A. Muh New Works Fund
George B. James New Works Fund
Elizabeth H. and Bradford G. Murphey Fund*
Dorothy and Bradford Jeffries
National Endowment for the Arts
Scholarship Fund
G. William Jewell Dance in Schools
Endowed Scholarship Fund*
G. William Jewell Fund*
G. William Jewell Touring Fund*
Lucy and Fritz Jewett Fund
Lucy and Fritz Jewett New Works Fund
Chris and Cheryl Johns Fund
Grace Eleanor Johnson Fund*
Mildred Maureen Johnson Fund*
Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida
Dancer Wellness Fund
Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida
Touring Fund
Heinrich J. Killian Fund*
Dr. and Mrs. Jerome Ormond Kirschbaum
Trainee Fellowship Fund
The Diana Dollar Knowles Fund*
Mr. and Mrs. Gorham B. Knowles Fund*
Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Family
Foundation Fund
KPMG Fund
Richard LeBlond Fund*
Catherine P. Lego New Works Fund
Paul G. Lego New Works Fund
Mark and Debra Leslie Education and
Outreach Fund
New Works Fund
Phyllis W. Nelson Fund
Phyllis W. Nelson Scholarship Fund*
Phyllis W. Nelson Touring Fund*
Melvin Novikoff Trust Fund*
Osher Touring Fund
John Osterweis Fund
John Osterweis and Barbara Ravizza Fund
Barbara Ravizza and John Osterweis
New Works Fund
Shirley Black Palmer Scholarship Fund
Yurie and Carl Pascarella Fund
Hisako B. Shrader Fund*
The Honorable and Mrs. George P. Shultz Fund
Gail and Robert M. Smelick Fund
The Smelick Family New Works Fund
Cherida Collins Smith Fund
K. Hart Smith Fund*
Michael Smuin Memorial Fund
Mr. Scott C. Sollers Fund
Donald G. Speakman Fund*
Jeanette Sperry Fund*
David Stanton and Shanna McBurney Fund
Natalie H. Stotz Fund*
Maureen and Craig Sullivan Family Fund
The Swanson Foundation Fund
Joyce Taylor Education Fund
Gretchen and L. Jay Tenenbaum Fund
TeRoller Fund for New Productions*
Richard J. Thalheimer Fund
Richard J. Thalheimer New Works Fund
Olivia Thebus Fund*
Carmen S. Thornton Fund*
Charlotte and Harry A. Turner DISC
Family Fund
John and Anna Logan Upton Fund
Marion Ury Fund*
Susan A. Van Wagner Fund
Ruby Rae Pinochi-Johnson Fund*
Mrs. S. W. Veitch Fund
Greta R. Pofcher Fund
Helen Von Ammon New Works Fund
Marie-Louise and David L. Pratt Fund
Harry J. Wagner Fund*
Melinda and Paul Pressler Fund
The Lonna Wais Endowment Fund
Virginia and Walter Price Fund
Gene Walker Fund*
Janet L. Pynch Fund*
Elizabeth F. Wallace Fund*
Kenneth Rainin Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Paul L. Wattis III Fund
Kenneth Rainin New Works Fund*
Phyllis C. Wattis Fund*
George R. Roberts Fund
Karen and David Wegmann New Works Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Claude N. Rosenberg, Jr. Fund
Keith White Scholarship Fund
Bob Ross Foundation Touring Fund
Diane B. Wilsey Tutu Fund
Bob Ross New Works Fund
Timothy C. Wu Fund
Bob Ross Scholarship Fund
Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang
Kate and George W. Rowe Fund
New Works Fund
Susan B. Levine and James W. Lauer Fund
Kate and George W. Rowe New Works Fund
Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Touring Fund
The Debra Leylegian Adagio Fund
W. David Rozkuszka Fund*
Kam Har Yung Fund
Irv H. Lichtenwald and Stephen R. Ripple
Leontine Sassell Fund*
New Works Fund
The Marie O’Gara Lipman Endowment for
Dance Education in the Public Schools
* Fully or primarily funded through estate gifts
Marjorie K. Sawyer Fund*
Franca Schilt Fund*
Janice and Jonathan Zakin Fund
CiCi and Stephen Zellerbach Fund
William Zoller Fund*
Kathleen Scutchfield Fund
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
83
support san francisco ballet
San Francisco Ballet is hailed as one of the finest and most innovative ballet companies in the world. Maintaining its
standard of excellence involves annual expenses that exceed revenue earned from ticket sales. Donors bridge that gap,
providing support that ensures the continued success of the institution. SF Ballet is honored to thank these donors by
welcoming them to the Ballet family and offering behind-the-scenes access to enhance their understanding and
enjoyment of the art form. There are many ways that you can join the San Francisco Ballet family.
Annual Fund
Contributions to the Annual Fund cover approximately 41% of
the Ballet’s operating expenses each year. The Ballet could not
exist without this vital form of support.
Annual Fund gifts can be made by check, credit card, or stock.
• Gifts by check or credit card can be made by mail, phone,
or online. For more information, please contact Emily Markoe,
membership manager, at [email protected] or 415.865.6628.
•
Gifts of stock can be a cost-effective way to donate, as a
gift of stock that has been held for more than one year allows you
to claim a charitable income tax deduction for the full fair market
value of the stock, even if the original cost to you was less than
its current value. There is no capital gains tax due
on the stock’s appreciation. For more information, please
contact Jonathan Levin, development database coordinator,
at [email protected] or 415.865.6629.
All Annual Fund gifts provide membership benefits. Several
levels of membership are offered, each with its own unique
opportunities to gain insight into the world-class company of
dancers you enjoy onstage.
•
Friends of SF Ballet include donors who contribute $75–$2,499
to the Annual Fund. Friends enjoy exclusive receptions and
lectures, the chance to attend select dress rehearsals, priority
notice of Nutcracker ticket availability, and many other benefits
that enhance your enjoyment of the art form.
•
The Christensen Society honors donors who contribute
$2,500-$14,999 to the Annual Fund. Benefits build on those
offered to Friends and include invitations to pre-performance
dinners with artists of the Company, access to reserved
parking, recognition in program books, exclusive use of the
Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Intermezzo Lounge in the Opera
House, and the opportunity to observe the Company rehearse
in a ballet studio.
•
The Chairman’s Council and the Artistic Director’s Council
are comprised of donors contributing $15,000 or more to the
Annual Fund. In addition to receiving Friends and Christensen
Society benefits, members are offered exclusive access to the
Company, personalized attention, and unique benefits tailored
to their individual interests.
84 S A N F R A N C I S C O B A L L E T
For additional information and a full list of donor benefits
by level, please visit sfballet.org/donate. For a schedule of
upcoming donor events, please visit sfballet.org/donorevents.
Matching Gifts
The matching gifts program is a perfect opportunity to increase
both your contribution and your membership benefits without
added cost to you. Over 15,000 companies and foundations
across the United States will match their employees’ cash
or volunteer gifts to non-profit organizations like SF Ballet.
Contact your human resources department for details about
your company’s matching gift program. For more information,
please contact Jonathan Levin, development database
coordinator, at [email protected] or 415.865.6629.
Estate Gifts
You can share your love of dance with future generations
by including SF Ballet in your will or other estate plans.
Your legacy gift will serve as an enduring tribute to your
generosity, while helping SF Ballet sustain its international
acclaim and exceptional artistry. You may choose a
convenient option such as including SF Ballet in your will
or living trust for a specific amount or a percentage of your
estate. Or you may wish to name SF Ballet as the beneficiary
of a Life Insurance Policy or a Qualified Retirement Plan.
You can even leave a gift of real estate. Alternatively, you
may consider a gift that provides you with income during
your lifetime. A charitable gift annuity or a gift to the Ballet’s
pooled income fund allows you to make a current gift of cash,
stock, or even real estate; claim an immediate charitable
income tax deduction; and receive an annual income.
The Ballet is honored to thank you for your generosity by
welcoming you to membership in the Legacy Circle and
inviting you to an exclusive annual luncheon and a variety
of other events such as receptions and rehearsals that
offer a behind-the scenes look at SF Ballet.
For more information on the Legacy Circle and estate
gift options, please visit sfballet.org/legacy or contact
Elizabeth Lani, planned giving manager, at [email protected]
or 415.865.6623.
San Francisco Ballet in Balanchine’s Serenade.
(Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust; Photo © Erik Tomasson)
The Legacy Circle
What
will your
legacy be ?
You can help advance your personal and philanthropic objectives
by making a planned gift to San Francisco Ballet. Planned gifts provide creative
and flexible ways for you to support America’s oldest ballet company
and receive a lifetime income or tax benefits for your estate. As a donor, you
can take comfort in knowing that your gift will be well managed to benefit an
institution you hold dear, while serving generations to come.
For information about bequests, charitable gift annuities, and other gift options,
contact Elizabeth Lani, SF Ballet’s planned giving manager, at 415.865.6623 or
[email protected] Patrons who make provisions for the Ballet through their
estate plans receive membership in The Legacy Circle and are celebrated as essential
members of the SF Ballet family.
thank you to our volunteers
The San Francisco Ballet “family” extends beyond the footlights of the stage to include a large community
of dedicated and generous volunteers who are personally involved with the success of the Company.
The tireless efforts of these volunteers contribute greatly to SF Ballet’s accomplishments.
Auxiliary
Ms. Kathryn A. Huber
Ms. Katherine Banks
The San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary is a
Mrs. Richard Jasen
Ms. Harriet L. Barbanell
group of dedicated women who organize
Mrs. James C. Kelly
Mrs. Patrick V. Barber
SF Ballet’s annual Opening Night
Mrs. Mark S. Koenig
Mrs. Kent T. Baum
Gala Dinner, Fashion Show, and Student
Ms. Claire Stewart Kostic
Mrs. Peter Berliner
Showcase Dinner fundraising events.
Mrs. Alexander Leff
Mrs. John W. Bitoff
For more information, please visit
Ms. Betsy A. Linder
Mrs. Athena Blackburn
sfballet.org/auxiliary.
Ms. Sheila M. Lippman
Mrs. Richard A. Bocci
Ms. Patricia Ferrin Loucks
Ms. Caroline Krawiec Brownstone
Mrs. Carol Louie
Mrs. Donald W. Carlson
Ms. Rhonda Mahendroo
Mrs. Walter Carpeneti
Mrs. David Joseph Martin
Mrs. Charles E. Clemens
ACTIVE MEMBERS
Ms. Laura Miller
Mrs. Daniel P. Cronan
Ms. Blanca Aguirre
Ms. Margaret Mitchell
Ms. Gail De Martini
Ms. Judy Anderson
Mrs. Timothy Michael Monahan
Mrs. Theodore S. Dobos
Ms. Donna Bachle
Mrs. Michael O’Sullivan
Mrs. David Dossetter
Mrs. Bartley B. Baer
Ms. Melissa Powar
Mrs. Happy Dumas
Mrs. Kevin W. Bartlett
Miss Tanya Marietta Powell
Mrs. Paul Robert Duryea
Ms. Alletta Bayer
Mrs. Michael Prior
Dr. DiAnn Ellis
Miss Carol Benz
Ms. Maria K. Ralph
Mrs. Douglas J. Engmann
Mrs. Steven Bergman
Ms. Megan Ray
Mrs. Christian P. Erdman
Ms. Catherine Bergstrom
Ms. Kacie Renc
Ms. Lorre Erlick
Ms. L’Ann Bingham
Ms. Michelle Renee
Ms. Dixie D. Furlong
Ms. Beverley Siri Borelli
Ms. René E. Rodman
Mrs. Stephen Ghiselli
Ms. Giselle Bosc
Ms. Stephanie B. Russell
Ms. Nonie H. Greene
Mrs. William S. Brandenburg
Ms. Meg Ruxton
Mrs. John P. Grotts
Mrs. Kent F. Brooks
Mrs. James D. Seltsam, Jr.
Ms. Catherine D. Hargrave
Mrs. G. Steven Burrill
Mrs. David Selzer
Mrs. Michael R. Haswell
Mrs. David J. Byers
Ms. V’Anne Singleton
Ms. Terry Hynes Helm
Carolyn C. Chang, MD
Ms. Grace Nicolson Sorg
Ms. Mindy Henderson
Mrs. Kathleen Coffino
Shelby T. Strudwick
Ms. Kelli Hill
Ms. Christine Leong Connors
Mrs. Trecia Knapp Tapolsky
Mrs. Michael F. Jackson
Ms. Rebecca Cooper
Ms. Deborah Taylor
Ms. Daru H. Kawalkowski
Mrs. Angelos J. Dassios
Mrs. Charles V. Thornton
Ms. Lisa A. Keith
Ms. Carleen Hawn DeLay
Mrs. Andrea Valo-Espina
Mrs. Robert Kline
Ms. Carole A. Demsky
Ms. Amy Wender-Hoch
Mrs. Robert D. Kroll
Ms. Christine DeSanze
Mrs. Aimee West
Ms. Jean Larette
Mrs. William Diapoulos
Ms. Freddi Wilkinson
Miss Elizabeth Leep
Mrs. John E. Fetzer
Mrs. Robert W. Wood
Mrs. Barry R. Lipman
Ms. Jane Gazzola
Ms. Patricia Wyrod
Mrs. John C. Lund
Mrs. James R. Gillette
Miss Carla J. Wytmar
Dr. Katalin Kádár Lynn
Mrs. Vincent Golde
Mrs. Ronald Zaragoza
Ms. Susan A. Malecki
Mrs. James M. Goodman
Mrs. Helgi Tomasson
Ms. Sandra Mandel
Ms. Marie Louise Hurabiell
President
Ms. Shelley Gordon
Honorary Member
86
Mrs. Michael L. Mauzé
Mrs. Mark A. Medearis
Mrs. David Grove
Mrs. Joseph Harris, Jr.
SUSTAINING MEMBERS
Mrs. James J. Messemer
Mrs. Terrence M. Hazlewood
Jola Anderson
Mrs. Dennis Mooradian
Mrs. Ronald R. Heckmann
Mrs. James P. Anthony
Ms. Alison Morr
Mrs. Christopher Hemphill
Mrs. Thomas G. Austin
Mrs. Jane S. Mudge
Ms. Kimberly Hopper
Ms. Rosemary B. Baker
Ms. Vickie Nelson
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Mrs. Robert L. Newman
Volunteer Hours During the
40-54 HOURS
Mrs. Willis H. Newton, Jr.
2013-2014 Season
Ricardo Aisenberg
Ms. Carole A. Obley
250+ HOURS
Edie Bazjanac
Mrs. Edward Plant
Corine Assouline
Matilda Belo-Aisenberg
Mrs. Nick Podell
Julie Hawkins
Matilda Borset
Mrs. Todd G. Regenold
Giovanna Jackson
Monique Brown
Ms. Lorrae Rominger
Patricia D. Knight
Janet Gamble
Ms. Dara C. Rosenfeld
Suzanne Knott
Bettina Graf
Ms. Isabel M. Sam-Vargas
Steve Merlo
Piers Greenhill
Ms. Ellen Sandler
Deric Patrick
Kimberly Hall
Mrs. Thomas Schiff
Kathryn Roberts
Diane Hourany
Mrs. David Tai-Man Shen
Steve Wong
Christine Jensen
Ms. Merrill Randol Sherwin
Ms. Karen L. Skidmore
100-249 HOURS
Mrs. Mathew Spolin
Marilyn Breen
Mrs. Jerome J. Suich II
Paulette Cauthorn
Mrs. Judy Swanson
Philip Fukuda
Ms. Jody K. Thelander
Joan Green
Ms. Elizabeth W. Vobach
Roger Green
Mrs. Gregg von Thaden
James Gries
Ms. Barbara Waldman
Elmira Lagundi
Mrs. Jerome M. Weiss
Aldona Lidji
Mrs. Wallace Wertsch
Dosia Matthews
Allegro Circle
Betsy McGuigan
Roberta McMullan
Allegro Circle is a diverse group of
Patricia A. Nelson
donors who contribute their professional
Jazmine Paniagua
expertise and networks in support of
Howard L. Perkins
the ongoing excellence of SF Ballet.
Sara Pope
For more information, please contact
Twyla Powers
Pamela Sullivan, major gifts officer, at
Pauline Roothman
[email protected] or 415.865.6634.
Eileen Soden
STEERING COMMITTEE
Stewart McDowell Brady and Patrice Lovato,
Co-Chairs
Philip Brady
Paula Elmore
Tim and Amanda Link
Walther Lovato
Gregg and Kelly Mattner
David H. Spencer
Patricia Wyrod
BRAVO
Karen Wiel
55-99 HOURS
Jeanette Chudnow
Mary Davi
Inna Edwards
Angela Friday
Ditas Fuentes
Lydie Hammack
Michael Hart
Sanae Kelly
Robin Kinoshita
David Lau
Susan Kalian
Gale Niess
Kathi Saage
Anne Snowball
Nancy Tam
Steve Trenam
Mary Ann Whitten
Stephen Wiel
Daphne Wray
Jill Zerkle
Adam Zhang
ENCORE!
ENCORE! is a group of young Bay Area
men and women supporting SF Ballet
through performance attendance, volunteer
involvement, and financial support.
For more information on ENCORE!, please
email [email protected]
LEADERSHIP
Emily Hu
President
Alyson Blume
Vice President
Susan Lin
Secretary
Wilson Yan
Treasurer and Immediate
Past President
Jane Burkhard
Immediate Past President
BRAVO is an organization of community
Cyndy Lee
volunteers who support San Francisco
Steve Loving
Justin Bank
Ballet through a variety of administrative
Pirkko Lucchesi
Christopher Correa
tasks and activities in the Ballet offices
Linda Miyagawa
Bridget Dixon Nguyen
and at events. For more information and to
Keiko Moore
Lena Gikkas
apply for membership, visit bravo.sfballet.org,
Sue Plasai
Greer Goings
e-mail [email protected] or call
Elizabeth Price
Jimmy Ho
415.865.6750.
Dara Seng-Sourinho
Vanessa Jn-Baptiste
Tracy Stoehr
Ishara Kotagama
Joshua Theaker
Eric Mosse
Desmond Torkornoo
Sunil Sharma
Leslie Tsirkas
Alka Tandan
Sylvia Walker
S. B. Hadley Wilson
Patricia D. Knight
President
2015 S E A S O N G U I D E
87
season ticket and box office information
To contact Ticket Services, please call 415.865.2000, Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm or email
[email protected] On performance dates the phones are open from 10am until the performance begins.
Box Office Open on Performance Dates
The San Francisco Ballet Box Office is open on performance
dates only and is located in the War Memorial Opera House at
301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street.
the standard subscriber price and 8-performance series
subscribers receive an additional 20% off. Choreograph
Your Own subscribers purchasing additional tickets do
so at specially reduced subscriber prices.
Subject to availability.
The Box Office opens at noon Tuesday–Friday, at 10am
Saturday and Sunday, and remains open through the first
intermission. The hour prior to each performance is reserved
for business related to the imminent performance only.
To avoid a long wait in line, please arrive at least 45 minutes
prior to curtain time when picking up tickets at Will Call.
Ticket Exchange Privilege
Never miss a performance! Simply call Ticket Services at
least 24 hours before your scheduled performance, with
your tickets in hand, and we’ll complete your exchange in
one quick phone call. All exchanges are subject to
availability and some restrictions apply. Exchanges from
mixed-bill programs to story ballet programs are subject to
price differentials. We are not able to refund the difference
in cost if your exchange results in a lesser-value ticket.
PRINCIPAL SERIES SUBSCRIBERS
• No fee for advance exchanges into any other performance.
Excludes Box Center seating and special events.
Casting and Program Notes
Casting is available online a few days prior to the
performances at sfballet.org. Program notes are
available online now. Programs and casting are subject
to change without notice.
Arrival and Seating
The War Memorial Opera House is easily accessible by
Muni, BART and other transit systems. It is a short walk
from BART/Muni Civic Center Station and Van Ness Muni
Station. The Opera House is located in the Civic Center,
at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. If driving, please
allow plenty of time for traffic and parking delays as they
are unpredictable.
The Opera House provides a beautiful setting in which to
unwind and enjoy refreshments before the performance,
so plan to arrive early to assure a relaxed experience.
CREATE YOUR OWN (CYO) SERIES SUBSCRIBERS
• No fee for advance exchanges within the same program.
($10 fee per exchange to move to a different program)
For all subscribers there is a $10 day-of-performance
exchange fee in addition to the above fees and price
differential. The deadline for exchanges is two hours prior
to the performance; after that time, Ticket Services is only
able to accept ticket donations.
Ticket Donations
If you are unable to attend a performance or exchange your
tickets, please consider donating your tickets for resale by
calling Ticket Services no later than 30 minutes prior to the
performance. A receipt for your donation will be mailed to you.
Lost Ticket Insurance
We can easily replace lost or forgotten tickets in advance of a
scheduled performance. Please call 415.865.2000 and your
tickets will be ready for pick up in the Opera House.
Discounts on Additional Tickets
Treat friends and family or see a favorite ballet again
and save! Principal Package Subscribers to the 5-and
3-performance series may order additional tickets at
88
S F B A L L E T.O R G
Performances begin on time and latecomers will not be
seated while a work is in progress. Please turn off all cell
phones, alarms, pagers, and electronic devices as their
lights and sounds are distracting to the performers and
other patrons. Photography and recording are not
allowed during the performance. Please refrain from
talking during the performance. Food and beverages are
not allowed in the theater. Opera glasses and hearing
devices are available for rental in the lobby. A checkroom
is located in the lobby. San Francisco Ballet recommends
that children attending Repertory Season performances
be at least 8 years old. Children of any age attending a
performance must have a ticket and lap-sitting is not
allowed. No infants, please.As a courtesy to those who
may have fragrance allergies, please avoid wearing
perfume or cologne.
Discounts at the Ballet Shop
Subscribers receive a 15% discount on all purchases at
the Ballet Shop located on the Mezzanine level in the
Opera House. Present your subscriber ID card at the time
of purchase. Save all year long when you shop online at
sfballet.org/shop. Remember to log in before shopping to
receive your 15% discount.
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