Press Releases

October 27, 2015

SF Ballet School Trainees & Houston Ballet II Present Two Collaborative Performances

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Tuesday, October 27, 2015—On November 1, SF Ballet School Trainees will welcome dancers from Houston Ballet II to San Francisco for a week-long collaboration, culminating in two evening performances on November 6 and 7 at the Ballet Building. Seating is limited, but will be available for SF Ballet School families and select guests.

This phase of the unique collaboration between the two pre-professional groups begins on November 1 with 12 students from Houston Ballet IIHouston Ballet’s second companyand the 12 students from SF Ballet School’s Trainee Program, taking a joint class. SF Ballet School Associate Director Patrick Armand, Houston Ballet II Ballet Master Claudio Munoz, and Hoston Ballet II Ballet Mistress Sabrina Lenzi will co-lead the class together.

The program for both performances includes Means to an End, a new work by SF Ballet Soloist James Sofranko, featuring music by Tunisian composer Anouar Brahem. In May 2015, Sofranko choreographed Mozart Symphony for the School’s Student Showcase, a work that was called “elegantly wrought and intensely musical” by the San Francisco ChronicleMeans to an End will be performed by the SF Ballet School Trainees.

Also on the program is Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s The Long and Winding Road, to be performed by dancers from Houston Ballet II. This ballet features Baroque orchestrations by Peter Breiner, based on popular songs by The Beatles and was called “charming …” by the New York Times when it premiered. As a finale, both groups will jointly present the revival of SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s Handel—A Celebration, a joyful, neo-classical ballet set to music by George Frideric Handel.

“This collaboration between the SF Ballet School Trainees and Houston Ballet II is so vital to our dancers’ development,” remarked Armand.  “As pre-professionals on the verge of joining the world’s most renowned ballet companies, our students must learn how to work with a diverse group of dancers in a short period of time. Hopefully, this collaboration emulates that experience and offers an opportunity for growth.”

Houston Ballet Academy Director Shelly Power added, “We are anticipating yet another incredible experience as we complete this collaboration in San Francisco. This unique opportunity allows students to push themselves in a nurturing and collaborative way. Learning and performing repertoire of Mr. Tomasson’s is icing on the cake and we could not have asked for a richer means to expand our student’s understanding of their art form.”

The SF Ballet School and Houston Ballet Academy collaboration began in November 2014 when Houston Ballet II hosted SF Ballet School Trainees for a week of training, rehearsals, and performances.

San Francisco Ballet School
SF Ballet School, America’s oldest professional ballet academy, is directed by SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson and Associate Director Patrick Armand. Now, over 80 years after its founding, the School boasts an international roster of prominent instructors, a Trainee curriculum for pre-professional students, a robust scholarship program, and a community outreach branch dedicated to sharing the joy of dance. SF Ballet School attracts students from around the world, training approximately 350 annually. In addition to filling the ranks of SF Ballet, graduates have gone on to join prestigious ballet companies throughout the world. For those who wish to pursue a career in ballet, SF Ballet School offers a distinguished training program of unqualified excellence. 

Houston Ballet Academy
Since its founding in 1955, Houston Ballet Academy has provided the highest quality ballet training. The Academy's outstanding faculty includes teachers who have performed with Houston Ballet and other prestigious companies throughout the world. The Academy also includes Houston Ballet II, the second company of Houston Ballet comprised of an array of ballet students from around the world.  Houston Ballet Academy also engages over 39,000 local students per year in dance through several Education and Community Engagement programs. For more information, visit

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