Press Releases

SF Ballet Returns to London with Three Mixed Bill Programs,
Including Nine UK Premieres

SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—San Francisco Ballet has announced programming for its engagement at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, September 14–23, 2012. The Company will present three mixed-bill programs of 10 works over nine performances, featuring a diverse array of acclaimed works by George Balanchine, Edwaard Liang, Mark Morris, Ashley Page, Christopher Wheeldon, SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, and SF Ballet Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov. The Company last performed in London in 2004.

“London is a favorite tour destination for our Company and we’re delighted to be returning after eight years,” said Tomasson. ”We are privileged to work with some of the best choreographers in the world and some of their new works provide a wonderful showcase for our dancers’ broad ranges and abilities. I think London audiences will enjoy the diverse and exciting works that we’ll be presenting, almost all of which are UK premieres.”

Tour to London
Program A  (September 14, 18 at 7:30pm; September 23 at 4:00pm) includes George Balanchine’s historic Divertimento No. 15, the UK premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Symphonic Dances, a ballet set to Sergei Rachmaninov’s score of the same name and Liang’s first commission for SF Ballet, and the UK premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour. Set to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Divertimento No. 15 in B-flat,” Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 was first premiered in the U.S. by New York City Ballet in 1956, and performed by San Francisco Ballet in 1979. Liang’s Symphonic Dances will have its premiere on Program 5 of SF Ballet’s 2012 Repertory Season, and Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour, set to music by Ezio Bosso, was created for the Company’s 75th Anniversary New Works Festival in 2008, and has been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…one of Wheeldon's best works...”

Program B (September 15 and 21 at 7:30pm; September 16 at 4:00pm) will open with the UK premiere of Wheeldon’s Ghosts, a ballet set to music by C.F. Kip Winger and made for five soloists and a six-couple corps. The program also includes the UK premiere of Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov’s RAkU. Set to a commissioned score by Shinji Eshima, the multimedia dance-theater work premiered in February 2011 and was hailed as “a gripping, virtuoso piece” by the San Francisco Examiner. The program will conclude with the UK premiere of Tomasson’s Trio, set to set to Tchaikovsky's string sextet “Souvenir de Florence,” and called “elegant and engrossing” by the LA Times.

Program C (September 19, 20, and 22 at 7:30pm) kicks-off with the UK premiere of Mark Morris’ Beaux, a ballet choreographed for nine male dancers and set to Bohuslav Martinů’s “1935 Concerto for Harpsichord and Small Orchestra.” Also appearing on Program C is the UK premiere of Possokhov’s Classical Symphony. Last performed during the Company’s 2010 Repertory Season, Classical Symphony is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s symphony of the same title and dedicated to Peter Pestov, a revered teacher of Possokhov’s. Page’s first work for the Company, Guide to Strange Places, will have its premiere on Program 6 of SF Ballet’s 2012 Repertory Season, and is set to John Adams’ “Guide to Strange Places.” The evening closes with the UK premiere of Wheeldon’s Number Nine, a ballet set on four principal couples and eight corps de ballet couples, to an energetic score by Michael Torke.

About San Francisco Ballet
As America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. San Francisco Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States. Guided in its early years by American dance pioneers and brothers Lew, Willam and Harold Christensen, San Francisco Ballet currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson for more than two decades, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. In 2005, San Francisco Ballet won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Dance” and in 2006, it was the first non-European company elected “Company of the Year” in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll. In 2008, the Company marked its 75th anniversary with a host of initiatives including an ambitious New Works Festival. Recent highlights include a tour to the People’s Republic of China, the celebration of Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s 25th anniversary with the Company, and the United States premiere of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, which was broadcast internationally, as well as nationally on PBS’s Great Performances “Dance in America” in December 2011.