Press Releases

April 16, 2014

San Francisco Ballet to Perform at World-Famous Spoleto Festival in Italy

Company to present four ballets at the Spoleto Festival, July 4- 6

SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday, April 16, 2014—San Francisco Ballet has announced that it will perform four works over three performances during this summer’s Spoleto Festival—the annual summer arts festival in Spoleto, Italy that offers a vast array of concerts, opera, dance, drama, and visual arts.

On July 4, 5, and 6, SF Ballet will perform works by Alexei Ratmansky, Hans van Manen, Sir Frederick Ashton, and SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson.

From Foreign Lands, created by American Ballet Theatre Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, takes audiences on “a lyrical tour through Europe.” (The New York Times) Set to a score by Moritz Moszkowski, the work incorporates steps that hint at traditional dances from Russia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland, and Hungary. Variations for Two Couples by Hans van Manen, resident choreographer at Dutch National Ballet, had its American premiere on January 22, 2014 at SF Ballet’s Opening Night Gala. described the work “the best all-round piece of the evening…from the exquisitely concise choreography by this still-relevant master…”

Set to the music of Johann Strauss, Voices of Spring is a pas de deux ballet choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton, and was first performed as an independent ballet by The Royal Ballet in 1978. Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight has become a cornerstone of SF Ballet’s repertory since its debut in 2004. Upon its premiere, the San Francisco Chronicle proclaimed that 7 for Eight “establishes [Tomasson] at a new level of development where his two artistic faces—the classical and expressive—merge… his ballet overflowed with spare and resonant poetry.”

In addition to Spoleto, SF Ballet will perform in Paris this summer, as part of the Les Etés de la Danse Festival, from July 10-26.

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, 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 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 2011. In 2012, SF Ballet’s ambitious tour schedule included London and Washington, D.C., plus first-time visits to Hamburg, Moscow, and Sun Valley, Idaho. In October 2013, the Company performed at New York’s David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where The New York Times declared SF Ballet “a national treasure.” 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Helgi Tomasson’s tenure as artistic director of San Francisco Ballet.

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