Press Releases

February 16, 2010

San Francisco Ballet Streams Community Matinee Live From the City's War Memorial Opera House

Innovative & Free Live Telecast Streams to Bay Area School Students

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, February 16, 2010—Today San Francisco Ballet announced a unique video project that will allow select San Francisco private, public, and parochial middle and high schools (in addition to other various Bay Area schools), to view a SF Ballet Community Matinee (CMAT) streamed live from the War Memorial Opera House into their classrooms. The free web streaming will take place on February 17 at 11:30am. The 75-minute program offering an introduction and behind-the-scenes look at the art form of ballet will include a performance by the Company featuring excerpts from George Balanchine’s Serenade and Paul Taylor’s Company B. In addition, the SF Ballet School Trainees will perform Parrish Maynard’s Fractals, as well as Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight and the Bluebird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.

As part of the overall presentation, the matinee will include demonstrations, photo montages, and short interviews with a diverse range of SF Ballet staff, including SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson and Music Director & Principal Conductor Martin West, among others. SF Ballet Principal Dancer Katita Waldo will serve as the matinee’s host and moderator. This experimental use of live streaming technology is made possible through a three-year grant from The James Irvine Foundation, dedicated to furthering SF Ballet’s new media efforts.

“As one of the first ballet companies in America to undertake an education project of this scope, we are grateful to the Irvine Foundation for giving us the opportunity to bring the joy of dance into so many San Francisco school classrooms in real-time,” said SF Ballet Executive Director Glenn McCoy. “Our goal in introducing dance to young people is to inspire and encourage them to become the artists and art patrons of tomorrow.”

The CMAT will be shot from various locations throughout the War Memorial Opera House by both manned and robotic cameras. The live webcast will not impact the audience who will attend this performance and tickets are available. For more information, contact Ticket Services at 415.865.2000, Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm.

CDE Community Matinees
Each year SF Ballet’s Center for Dance Education (CDE) offers students and seniors the opportunity to obtain group tickets for two spring performances at deeply discounted prices. Community Matinees offer a behind-the-scenes look at SF Ballet, including open set changes, a music education component, and special demonstrations featuring students from the SF Ballet School. For each Community Matinee, the CDE provides supplemental study guides that include ballet- and program-specific information. The next CMAT will be held on Thursday, March 4, from 11:30-12:45pm, with a program that includes Michel Fokine’s Petrouchka and excerpts from William Forsythe’s in the middle, somewhat elevated. For more information, contact Ticket Services at 415.865.2000, Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm, or visit

This telecast is made possible by support from The James Irvine Foundation. The Community Matinees series is sponsored by the Gap Foundation.

Corporate Support
Bank of America
Gap Foundation
J.P. Morgan
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
UBS Financial Services
Wells Fargo

Foundation Support
California Arts Council
The Charles H. Leach, II Foundation
The Flora Family Foundation
The Edward E. Hills Fund
The James Irvine Foundation
The San Francisco Foundation
Morris Stulsaft Foundation
Zellerbach Family Foundation

San Francisco Ballet School
San Francisco Ballet School, the country’s oldest classical academy, is directed by SF Ballet Artistic Director & Choreographer Helgi Tomasson and Associate Director Lola de Avila. Now, over 75 years after its founding, the School boasts a distinguished international staff, a Trainee Program for advanced-level students, a dedicated student residence, and an extensive scholarship program. San Francisco Ballet School attracts students from around the world, training approximately 350 annually. In addition to filling the ranks of San Francisco Ballet, graduates have gone on to join distinguished ballet companies throughout the world. For those who wish to pursue a career in ballet, San Francisco Ballet School offers a training program of unqualified excellence.

San Francisco Ballet
As America’s oldest professional ballet company and one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933. It performed the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first production of Coppélia choreographed by an American choreographer. 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 a year locally, nationally, and abroad. 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, its first, in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Dance,” and a year later, was the first non-European company elected “Company of the Year” in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll. In 2008, San Francisco Ballet celebrated its 75th anniversary with a host of initiatives that included a New Works Festival of 10 world premieres by 10 renowned choreographers. 2010 marks Helgi Tomasson’s 25 years of artistic leadership at San Francisco Ballet.

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