Press Releases

World Premiere of Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov’s Interpretation Marks the 100th Anniversary of the Ballet’s Premiere

SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday, October 24, 2012—San Francisco Ballet announces the addition of the revolutionary ballet The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps) to Program 3 of the Company’s 2013 Repertory Season, marking the 100th anniversary of its premiere. SF Ballet Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov, whose interpretation of The Rite of Spring will be a world premiere, has created more than 15 works for the Company.

The Rite of Spring, which heralded the start of the modernist movement, was originally created for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and featured an original score by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky. On the night of its premiere in Paris in 1913, the ballet’s depiction and celebration of a human sacrifice, along with its dissonant score and provocative movement, sparked an audience riot.

Yet subsequent performances were well received, and in time, the score and the ballet were accepted as classics. Numerous revivals of The Rite of Spring have been staged over the years, by companies such as the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet and by choreographers including Pina Bausch, Glen Tetley, and Maurice Bèjart, to name a few.

“On the 100th anniversary of its premiere, we are thrilled to have Yuri’s staging of The Rite of Spring enter our repertory for the first time,” said SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson. “We are especially honored to join our colleagues across the country and worldwide in paying tribute to the groundbreaking innovation and artistry of this masterpiece.”

“The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and I are very excited for the opportunity to perform such a rich and historical score,” said SF Ballet Music Director & Principal Conductor Martin West. “Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is often performed in concert halls but it’s wonderful to have it back in the theater accompanying the ballet, in the way it was first conceived.”

In addition to The Rite of Spring, Program 3 (February 26-March 10) also features Mark Morris’s Beaux and Ashley Page’s Guide to Strange Places. Tickets to Program 3 are currently only available on subscription. Program 3 is a part of SF Ballet’s Principal 8 and Principal 3 packages as well as the “New Works” mini-package. To subscribe to SF Ballet’s 2013 Repertory Season, visit sfballet.org/subscribe or call 415.865.2000.

The 2013 world premiere of Yuri Possokhov’s interpretation of The Rite of Spring is made possible by Lead Sponsors Yurie and Carl Pascarella and Athena and Timothy Blackburn.

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’s ambitious tour schedule included engagements in London and Washington, D.C., as well as first time visits to Hamburg, Moscow, and Sun Valley, Idaho.

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