Artist Spotlight Podcasts

San Francisco Ballet dancers come from an extraordinarily diverse range of backgrounds. Learn more about the influences that shaped the world-class performers you see onstage by listening to our Artist Spotlight podcasts, featuring one-on-one conversations with Company dancers.

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Artist Spotlights

Maria kochetkova

Photo by David Allen

Artist Spotlight on Principal Maria Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova joined San Francisco Ballet as a principal dancer in 2007. She trained at the Bolshoi School in Moscow and danced with The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, and the Russian State Ballet as a guest artist before joining the Company. The many honors Ms. Kochetkova has received include a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Seoul, Korea, in 2005 and a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition of Luxembourg, 2003, and she was a winner of the Prix de Lausanne, 2002. Here she talks about the transition to San Francisco and how her background shaped the dancer she is today. 10:47 Minutes.

Enhanced podcast
(5 MB, M4A)

Audio only podcast
(3.7 MB MP3)

Read the transcript

Pierre-Fran├žois vilanoba

Photo by David Allen

Artist Spotlight on Principal Pierre-François Vilanoba

Born in Lille Nord, France, Pierre-François Vilanoba trained at the Lille Conservatory and Paris Opéra Ballet School. After dancing with Paris Opéra Ballet, he joined San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 1998 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1999. Vilanoba talks about his training at the prestigious Paris Opéra Ballet School, his challenging new role as an academic student, and the works he's most looking forward to in the upcoming 75th Anniversary Season. 13:26 Minutes.

Enhanced podcast
(6.3 MB, M4A)

Audio only podcast
(4.6 MB MP3)

Read the transcript

James sofranko

Photo by Erik Tomasson

Artist Spotlight on Soloist James Sofranko

San Francisco Ballet soloist James Sofranko was born in Marion, Indiana, and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He trained at institutions such as Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet Academy, and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School in 2000. That same year, he joined San Francisco Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. He danced a number of prominent roles during the 2007 Repertory Season, in works such as Lar Lubovitch's Elemental Brubeck and Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free, and subsequently was promoted to the rank of soloist. 17 Minutes.

Enhanced podcast
(8.4 MB, M4A)

Audio only podcast
(5.9 MB MP3)

Read the transcript

Vanessa zahorian

Photo by David Allen

Artist Spotlight on Principal Vanessa Zahorian

Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Vanessa Zahorian trained at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and with the Kirov Academy prior to joining San Francisco Ballet in 1997. She quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to soloist in 1999 and then became a principal in 2002. Vanessa has dazzled audiences in a variety of works, including Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen in Nutcracker, Myrtha in Giselle, and most recently, Kitri in Don Quixote. 19 Minutes.

Enhanced podcast
(9.2 MB, M4A)

Audio only podcast
(6.5 MB MP3)

Read the transcript

Nutnaree pipet-suksun

Photo by David Allen

Artist Spotlight on Soloist Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun

Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun joined SF Ballet as a soloist in 2004. She quickly took on lead roles in a variety of works, including Myrtha in Giselle and the pas de deux from Bintley's The Dance House. She has been praised by critics for her musicality, long fluid lines, and captivating stage presence. In the following interview, Pipit-Suksun talks about leaving her native Thailand, making the jump from ballet student to soloist, and her hidden musical talent. 8 Minutes.

Enhanced podcast
(4.0 MB, M4A)

Audio only podcast
(2.7 MB MP3)

Read the transcript

Tiit helimets

Photo by David Allen

Estonian Tiit Helimets on Dancing in America

Born and raised in the Baltic Republic of Estonia, Helimets danced with Estonian National Ballet and Britain's Birmingham Royal Ballet. In July 2005, he joined San Francisco Ballet. Helimets has quickly caught the attention of dance critics and audiences alike. In the following interview, he discusses his history with dancing, highlights from his career, and his life in San Francisco. 10 Minutes.

Enhanced podcast
(5.2 MB, M4A)

Audio only podcast
(2.0 MB MP3)

Read the transcript

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FAQ

What is an enhanced podcast?
An enhanced podcast offers chapter marks, images, or links that you can view while you listen. Enhanced podcasts can be viewed on your computer in iTunes or on an iPod with video capabilities. To take advantage of all the features of an enhanced podcast, subscribe for free via iTunes.

Once in iTunes, select "View" from the iTunes menu and then choose "View Artwork" in order to see the images and links in the podcast. Select "Chapters" from the iTunes menu to go directly to a specific section of the podcast.

What is an audio-only podcast?
This is an audio file that you can download and play on your computer using iTunes or Windows Media Player, or you can play it on your iPod.

How do I subscribe? For audio only podcasts, copy and paste the URL below into your podcast subscription software, such as iPodder, Odeo.

XML

http://podcast.sfballet.org/artist_spotlight.xml

Or click on the iTunes icon to see a preview and subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes (please note that this will launch iTunes):

iTunes

How do I download? Place your cursor on the link and right click with a PC or control click with a Mac. Select "Save link as" from the options listed. After the file has downloaded, open it in iTunes.