Principal Dancers

Damian Smith

Damian Smith

Damian Smith (© Chris Hardy)

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New South Wales, Australia

Company Membership:

Joined in 1996. Promoted to Soloist in 1998, to Principal Dancer in 2001.


Born in New South Wales, Australia, Damian Smith trained at Robin Hick School of Dance, McDonald College School of Arts in Sydney, and School of American Ballet. After dancing with Ballet du Nord, he joined San Francisco Ballet in 1996. He was promoted to soloist in 1998 and to principal dancer in 2001.

Smith has danced such lead roles as Hilarion in Tomasson’s Giselle, Drosselmeyer and King of the Snow in Tomasson’s Nutcracker, Tybalt and Paris in Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, Von Rothbart in Tomasson’s Swan Lake, Gamache in Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote, Dr. Coppelius in Balanchine’s Coppélia, Gremin in Cranko’s Onegin, Iago in Lubovitch’s Othello, Orion in Morris’ Sylvia, and The Poet in Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid. He created roles in Adam’s Angelo; Jenkins’ Thread; Possokhov’s Study in Motion, Reflections, Fusion, and RAkU (Prince); Stowell’s Opus 50; Tomasson’s Criss-Cross, The Fifth Season, Chi-Lin (Tortoise), and Silver Ladders; Wheeldon’s Continuum, Ghosts, Number Nine, Quaternary, Rush, Sea Pictures, and Within the Golden Hour; and Welch’s Tu Tu, among others.

Smith’s repertory also includes Ashton’s Symphonic Variations; Balanchine’s Agon, “Emeralds,” The Four Temperaments, Liebeslieder Walzer, Serenade, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in C, Theme and Variations, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?; Bintley’s The Dance House; Caniparoli’s Death of a Moth, Lambarena, No Other, and Slow; Duato’s Without Words; Forsythe’s Artifact Suite and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Kudelka’s Dreams of Harmony, Some Women and Men, and Terra Firma; Liang’s Distant Cries and Somewhere in Time; Lubovitch’s Elemental Brubeck and “… smile with my heart”; MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations, The Invitation, and Winter Dreams; van Manen’s Black Cake and Grosse Fuge; de Mille’s Rodeo; Morris’ Beaux, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, A Garden, Maelstrom, Pacific, and Sandpaper Ballet; Nureyev’s Raymonda—Act III; Possokhov’s Magrittomania; Robbins’ The Cage, Dances at a Gathering, Fanfare, Glass Pieces, In the Night, and West Side Story Suite; Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons; Taylor’s Company B and Sunset; Tudor’s Gala Performance; Welch’s Maninyas and Taiko; and Wheeldon’s Polyphonia and the pas de deux from After the Rain.

Smith has performed at benefits and galas, including Fire Island Dance Festival in New York and Noosa Longweekend Festival in Noosa, Australia, and as a guest artist with The Hong Kong Ballet and other companies. He received the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Ensemble Performance in MacMillan’s The Invitation in 2000. In December 2008, Smith was featured as Drosselmeyer in the PBS Great Performances broadcast of Tomasson’s Nutcracker, co-produced by San Francisco Ballet and KQED Public Television San Francisco, in association with Thirteen/WNET New York.


2016 Nutcracker Pre-Sale
San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)

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