Artistic Staff

Ricardo Bustamante

Rehearsal Director

Ricardo Bustamante


  • BORN

    Medellin, Colombia


    Academia de Ballet de Medellin


    Joined in 1980
    Joined SF Ballet Faculty in 1994
    Appointed as Rehearsal Director and Principal Character Dancer in 2004
    Promoted to Assistant to Artistic Director in 2009
    Appointed Rehearsal Director in 2021

Born in Medellin, Colombia, Ricardo Bustamante began his dance training at the age of eight, at the Academia de Ballet de Medellin. At the invitation of Michael Smuin during Lew Christensen’s leadership of San Francisco Ballet, he joined the company in 1980. He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1985, at the invitation of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Sir Kenneth McMillan, Antony Tudor, Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins, Carole Armitage, and Natalia Makarova are just a few of the high-profile choreographers he has worked with directly through his dance repertoire. In addition, he was a frequent international guest artist, toured twice with “Rudolf Nureyev and Friends,” and starred in two productions that aired on PBS’ Dance in America series.

In 1994, he joined the SF Ballet School faculty where he choreographed three works for the School. From 1998 to 1999, Bustamante successfully served as artistic director of Argentina’s famed Ballet Teatro Colón. From 2000–03, Bustamante directed and choreographed for the Ballet de Santiago in Chile, creating his own version of The Nutcracker and Le Corsaire. In February 2019, along with Rachel Beaujean of Het National Ballet, Bustamante set his own production of Giselle in Amsterdam at Het National Ballet for Holland’s Dutch National Ballet in 2009.

In 2004, Bustamante returned to the San Francisco Ballet as a rehearsal director and principal character dancer, worked as assistant to the artistic director (Helgi Tomasson), from 2009 to 2021, and currently serves as a rehearsal director.