Press Releases

September 1, 2015

San Francisco Ballet Returns to China with a Tour to Beijing & Shanghai, October 21-31, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, September 1, 2015—San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America, has announced that it will undertake a two-city tour to the People’s Republic of China this fall. The tour will include prestigious engagements in Beijing and Shanghai from October 21-31, for a total of six performances. The tour marks the second visit by SF Ballet to China; the Company first performed there in 2009.

SF Ballet will present three programs on tour, including SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s full-length production of Giselle and two mixed-repertory programs featuring a range of acclaimed works by George Balanchine, Hans van Manen, SF Ballet Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov, Jerome Robbins, Liam Scarlett, Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon.

“We are delighted to be returning to China six years after our first visit,” said Tomasson. “The Beijing and Shanghai audiences are very enthusiastic and we look forward to performing for them again and presenting a versatile program—ranging from a full-length classic to new works—that highlights the Company’s depth of talent.”

Tour to China
SF Ballet will kick-off its engagement with four performances at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. The programming will feature two mixed-repertory programs (“A Special Performance of the 20th Anniversary of Yuan Yuan Tan at SF Ballet” on October 21 and a program entitled “Caprice” on October 22), as well as Tomasson’s acclaimed Giselle on October 23 and 24. The program entitled “A Special Performance…” includes Tomasson’s The Fifth Season, a pas de deux from Possokhov’s Diving into the Lilacs, Robbins’ In the Night, and Scarlett’s Hummingbird. The “Caprice” program includes Tomasson’s Caprice, Wheeldon’s Rush©, van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples, and Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. Of Tomasson’s Giselle, last performed on the Company’s 2015 Repertory Season, the New York Times noted, “Tomasson’s…staging for the company has an opera house grandeur that Giselle deserves but rarely receives.”

Following Beijing, the Company will present two performances at the Shanghai Culture Square, as part of the 17th annual Shanghai International Arts Festival. The programming will feature Tomasson’s Giselle (October 30) and “A Special Performance of the 20th Anniversary of Yuan Yuan Tan at SF Ballet” (October 31). The opening performance in Beijing and the closing performance in Shanghai will celebrate Principal Dancer Yuan Yuan Tan’s artistry and tenure with the Company.

Tour Sponsors
San Francisco Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following supporters of the 2015 China Tour:

Lead Sponsors
GSR Capital
IDG VC Management

Major Sponsors
Richard C. Barker 
Fang and Gary Bridge

Dr. Nancy Chang
China Guangfa Bank
Olivia Hsu Decker
FICO China
Elizabeth Pang Fullerton
Soul Htite
Keywise Capital
St. Regis Beijing
Miles Archer Woodlief

The following funds of the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation provide permanent support for touring by San Francisco Ballet: Lead Underwriters Osher Touring Fund,

G. William Jewell Touring Fund, The Hellman Family Touring Fund; Major Underwriters Frannie and Mort Fleishhacker Touring Fund, Stephen and Margaret Gill Family Foundation Touring Fund, Teri and Andy Goodman Touring Fund, Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Touring Fund, Bob Ross Foundation Touring Fund, Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Touring Fund; Underwriters Davidson Bidwell-Waite and Edwin A. Waite Touring Fund, Glenn McCoy Touring Fund, Phyllis W. Nelson Touring Fund, Anne and Michelle Shonk Touring Fund.

San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet, America’s oldest professional ballet company, 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, the Company currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, SF Ballet has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. In 2005, SF 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. 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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