Press Releases

January 19, 2017

San Francisco Ballet Announces Program and Casting for Its 84th Repertory Season Opening Night Gala, Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 8pm

SOLD-OUT Evening Includes Three Benefit Dinners and a One-Time-Only Gala Performance 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Thursday, September 29, 2016—Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson has announced the repertory for San Francisco Ballet’s 84th Repertory Season Opening Night Gala, with the theme of Ever Magical, on Thursday, January 19 at 8pm at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. The Gala launches the 2017 Repertory Season, which includes three acclaimed full-length productions: Tomasson’s Swan Lake, Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella©, and the North American premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein; works by an array of choreographers including George Balanchine, Justin Peck, and Alexei Ratmansky; plus world premieres by Jiří Bubeníček, Arthur Pita, Yuri Possokhov, and Myles Thatcher.

As part of this one-night-only program, two acclaimed choreographers have been commissioned to create new works: Trey McIntyre and Benjamin Millepied. The two ballets will be part of a program presented by the Company that includes eleven classical and contemporary works.

Gala Performance
The program will begin with Thatcher’s Foragers, set to music by Franz Liszt. The ballet was created on Angelo Greco and Natasha Sheehan for the Twelfth International Erik Bruhn Prize competition, which both dancers won in November 2016 (in the male and female categories, respectively). Greco and Sheehan will reprise their roles for this performance. Lorena Feijoo and Wei Wang will perform a pas de deux from Liam Scarlett’s Promenade Sentimentale, which is an SF Ballet premiere. The full ballet, created in 2013, was Scarlett’s first commission for K-Ballet Company and is set to music by Claude Debussy. Balanchine’s Agon was created for New York City Ballet in 1957 and was last performed by the Company during the 2014 Season. A pas de trois from the work, which was first performed by SF Ballet in 1976, will feature Dores André, Sasha De Sola, and Jaime Garcia Castilla. Tomasson’s Valses Poeticos was first premiered by SF Ballet in 1990 and is set to music by Enrique Granados. The neo-classical work for two was last performed by the Company during the 2004 Season and will be performed by Mathilde Froustey and Carlo Di Lanno. Trey McIntyre, an accomplished and renowned artist, has spent over twenty-five years as a freelance choreographer, producing more than one-hundred ballets to date. His first work for the Company, Presentce, is a pas de deux for Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham, set to three songs. Vassili Vainonen’s full-length ballet Flames of Paris was debuted in St. Petersburg by the then Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky Ballet) in 1932, and is based on songs of the French Revolution. Vanessa Zahorian and Taras Domitro will perform a pas de deux from the work, which was last performed by the Company during the 2012 Opening Night Gala. Following intermission, a new work by Benjamin Millepied will premiere—his first for the Company. Millepied, a former New York City Ballet dancer and former artistic director of Paris Opera Ballet, is a prolific choreographer and founder of LA Dance Project and the Amoveo Project. Set to John Adams’ The Chairman Dances, his new work of the same name is for twelve dancers and features Maria Kochetkova and Carlo Di Lanno. When James Kudelka’s ballet Terra Firma was premiered by SF Ballet in 1995, it was called “a winner” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Set to music by Michael Torke, the full work has not been performed by SF Ballet in 21 years. Frances Chung and Vitor Luiz will perform the “Purple” pas de deux from the ballet. Joseph Walsh will perform “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)” from Paul Taylor’s Company B, set to recordings by The Andrews Sisters. The full ballet, called “a smash hit” by the New York Times, was first performed by Houston Ballet in 1991. SF Ballet first performed the full work in 1993 and last performed an excerpt of it during the 2010 Opening Night Gala. Yuan Yuan Tan and Aaron Robison will perform a pas de deux from Stanton Welch’s La Cathedrale Engloutie, set to the piano prelude by Debussy. The work was premiered by the Company in 1997 and last performed by SF Ballet during the 2002 Opening Night Gala. The Gala performance will conclude with the finale from Balanchine’s Diamonds, featuring Sofiane Sylve and Tiit Helimets and an ensemble. The full work, part of Balanchine’s evening-length Jewels, was created in 1967 for New York City Ballet. The Company last performed Diamonds as part of Jewels during the 2009 Season and it will be presented again this season on Program 4: Must-See Balanchine.

Program, program order, and casting are subject to change.

Dinners Benefit SF Ballet
Prior to the Gala performance, three SOLD-OUT black-tie fundraising dinners will be held in City Hall. All proceeds from the dinners benefit SF Ballet’s annual fund.

The SF Ballet Auxiliary will host the Grand Benefactor, Benefactor, and Patron dinners in City Hall. All three dinners will have the theme of Ever Magical. Avé M. Seltsam is the Gala chair and Meg Ray is the Gala dinner chair. The Honorary Chairs are David and Vicki Cox.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 5pm in the Van Ness lobby of City Hall for guests of the Grand Benefactor, Benefactor, and Patron dinners. The Grand Benefactor dinner will be held in City Hall’s Rotunda, and the Benefactor dinner and the Patron dinner will both be held in the North Light Court and the Mezzanine of the Rotunda. All dinners begin at 6pm.

For all dinners, catering will be provided by McCalls Catering & Events, with sparkling wine provided by Avissi Prosecco, wine provided by Folie à Deux and Trinchero Napa Valley, and vodka provided by Blue Angel Vodka.

The Opening Night Gala décor is by J. Riccardo Benavides event styling and Claire Kostic is décor chair. The décor for this year’s Opening Night Gala was inspired by the extravagant Beaux Arts architecture of San Francisco’s City Hall. The spectacular dome is highlighted with swaths of rich royal blue velvet and delicate floral arrangements. Mirrored tables reflect the dazzling sparkle of crystal chandeliers.

The Presenting Sponsor for the evening is Osterweis Capital Management. Grand Benefactor Dinner Sponsor and Launch Party Host is Tiffany & Co. The Benefactor Dinner is sponsored by KPMG, and the Patron Dinner is sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. The After Party Sponsor and Patron Party Host is La Perla. The Cocktail Reception is sponsored by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. The Performance Sponsors are Elizabeth Pang Fullerton and Teri and Andy Goodman. The Invitation Sponsor is Pacific Union - Christie’s International Real Estate. The Grand Benefactor Dinner Media Sponsor is the Nob Hill Gazette. The Benefactor Party Hosts were Jennifer and Steven Walske.

In addition, ENCORE!, the social and networking group of young professionals supporting SF Ballet, will host a cocktail buffet in the South Light Court beginning at 6:15pm. The SOLD-OUT reception will feature specialty cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres by McCalls Catering & Events. Sparkling wine is provided by Avissi Prosecco, wine is provided by Folie à Deux, and vodka is provided by Blue Angel Vodka. The ENCORE! Launch Party was hosted by Tesla in San Francisco. Elizabeth Sgarrella is ENCORE! Gala Chair and Kelcie Lee is ENCORE! Gala Vice Chair.

For those attending the Gala performance only, the “Prosecco Promenade” (featuring complimentary Avissi Prosecco for all performance ticket holders) will begin at 7pm in the Opera House main lobby.

After Party
The After Party, sponsored by La Perla, will be held in City Hall from 10pm-1am. The After Party celebration will feature DJ Chris Clouse, silent disco by Silent Storm, live music by Pop Rocks, a monochrome photo booth by mirmir photo™, dancing, as well as an open bar with specialty cocktails, and late-night fare by McCalls Catering & Events. This year's After Party will feature elements of Ever Magical décor, including majestic floating tutus and colorful, shimmering fabrics.


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