Press Releases

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Monday, July 9, 2012–Frequent SF Ballet collaborator and celebrated costume designer Martin Pakledinaz died on Sunday, July 8, at the age of 58, after a long illness. Pakledinaz, known for his work on Tony Award winning musicals such as Kiss Me, Kate; Thoroughly Modern Millie; and Anything Goes; collaborated frequently with SF Ballet, beginning in the early 1990s. For SF Ballet, he designed for choreographers such as Mark Morris, SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon.

“Martin was not only a wonderful collaborator but also a good friend. For over fifteen years, I’ve had the privilege of working with him and seeing his extraordinary designs come to life on stage,” said Tomasson. “For San Francisco Ballet, his diverse body of work included notable ballets, both short and full-length, such as my most recent productions of Nutcracker and Don Quixote, Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour, and Mark Morris’ Sylvia, to name a few. Martin was incredibly talented and original and he will be greatly missed.”

As a costume and scenic designer, Pakledinaz worked in theatre, dance, opera, and film. His work has been seen in New York, the United States, and all over the world. He was nominated 10 times for the Tony Award, winning twice in the Best Costume Design category for the 1999 revival of Kiss Me, Kate and in 2002, for the original production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. His designs for opera include “Rodelinda” for the Met; Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” for Seattle Opera; “L’Amour De Loin” (directed by Peter Sellars) for Opera Salzburg and the Chatelet; as well as productions at New York City Opera, Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company. Memorial donations may be made to: The Martin Pakledinaz Scholarship, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10003.

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. In 2012, SF Ballet embarked on an ambitious tour schedule that includes engagements in London and Washington, D.C., as well as first time visits to Hamburg, Moscow, and Sun Valley, Idaho.


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