Press Releases

March 11, 2013

San Francisco Ballet Celebrates the U.S. Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Full-Length Cinderella with an Opening Night Ball Friday, May 3, 2013 at 5pm

Evening Includes a Benefit Dinner, the full-length Cinderella performance, plus an After Party

SAN FRANCISCO, Monday, March 11, 2013—In celebration of the U.S. premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, SF Ballet will host a fundraising dinner in a special tented pavilion in the Memorial Court between the War Memorial Opera House and the Veterans Building. Co-produced by SF Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet, Cinderella had its world premiere in December 2012 by the Dutch National Ballet at The Amsterdam Music Theatre. The production was met with rave reviews and deemed “a triumph of storytelling and stage design firmly in touch with the 21st Century” by The Financial Times, and “a vibrant piece of theatre and an enchanting love story rolled into a hugely entertaining whole” by The Times (London). SF Ballet will present the U.S. premiere of the work on May 3, 2013 following the dinner.

San Francisco Ballet is America’s oldest professional ballet company with an illustrious history of “firsts,” including the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker.

Dinner Benefits San Francisco Ballet
On May 3, prior to the premiere, a black-tie fundraising dinner will be held in a spectacularly designed tent in the Memorial Court between the Opera House and the Veterans Building. All proceeds from the dinners benefit San Francisco Ballet’s annual fund.

The San Francisco Ballet Cinderella Opening Night Ball is hosted by co-chairs Stephanie Barage Ejabat, and Suzy Kellems Dominik. The Dinner Chair is Shelby Gans. The décor chair is Sandy Katzman.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 5pm in the Lobby of the War Memorial Opera House. The dinner begin at 6pm, and will be catered by McCall Associates, with wine provided by William Hill® Estate Winery, water by Crystal Geyser, and sparkling wine courtesy of La Marca™ Prosecco.

The décor for the entire evening is by J. Riccardo Benavides of Ideas. The Ball dinner concept, “Before the Ball,” adheres to the Brothers Grimm tale of Cinderella, while the main tent pays homage to the more well-known Perrault tale, with clocks as part of the room décor.

A life-size Cinderella Carriage will be displayed in front of a 50’ tall by 200’ wide façade of a French Castle. Guests will be welcomed by footmen and horse-head characters.

Foyer Tent
A foyer tent reminiscent of a palace corridor will follow the grand castle entrance. Inside, guests will be greeted by a 20’ fog wall depicting a whimsical, growing tree.

Main Tent
Benefactors will dine in a fairytale courtyard while enjoying a resplendent experience with imagery of falling leaves, towering trees, and the soft ticking of over-sized clocks. The pavilion tent will be furnished with plush textiles and gold finishes. An abundance of chandeliers and ambient lighting used throughout the room and on the ceiling will contribute to an idyllic, fanciful atmosphere.

After Party
The After Party will be held in the main tent and feature music, refreshments, and desserts. Tickets for the After Party are $100 for SF Ballet subscribers and $125 for non-subscribers.

Official Launch Party
On April 8 from 6-8pm, Saks Fifth Avenue San Francisco will host an official launch party to celebrate the U.S. premiere of Wheeldon’s Cinderella. The Cinderella-themed décor will feature a special couture collection, Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Collection No. 4, by Giambattista Vali. Additionally, archival pieces released by the designer will be on display especially for this event. Guests will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, wine and cocktails.

Cinderella performance tickets are currently on sale to the public and are $40–300. Tickets for the After Party are $125 for the general public, and $100 for subscribers. To order, visit or call Ticket Services at 415.865.2000, Monday through Friday from 10am–4pm.

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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