John and Barbara Osterweis Principal Dancer
Davit Karapetyan (© David Allen)
Joined as a principal dancer in 2005.
Appointed John and Barbara Osterweis Principal Dancer in 2013.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Davit Karapetyan trained at the Armenian School of Ballet and Schweizerische Ballettberufsschule. After dancing with Zurich Ballet, he joined San Francisco Ballet as a principal dancer in 2005.
Karapetyan has danced such major roles as Albrecht in Tomasson’s Giselle, Nutcracker Prince and King of the Snow in Tomasson’s Nutcracker, Romeo in Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, Prince Desiré in Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Tomasson’s Swan Lake, Basilio in Tomasson/Posskhov’s Don Quixote, Onegin in Cranko’s Onegin, Sea Witch in Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, and Prince Gillaume in Wheeldon’s Cinderella. He created principal roles in Tomasson’s Caprice, On a Theme of Paganini, and On Common Ground.
His repertory also includes principal roles in Tomasson’s 7 for Eight, Chi-Lin, Chaconne for Piano and Two Dancers, The Fifth Season, and Trio; Balanchine’s Agon, Allegro Brillante, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (4th movement), “Diamonds,” Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, “Rubies,” Scotch Symphony, Serenade (Waltz), Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in C, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Theme and Variations; Ashton’s Voices of Spring; Caniparoli’s Ibsen’s House; Forsythe’s in the middle, somewhat elevated; Gsovsky’s Grand Pas Classique; Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; Makarova’s (after Petipa) “The Kingdom of the Shades” La Bayadère, Act II (Solor); van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples; Martinez’s Delibes Suite; Morris’ A Garden; Nureyev’s Raymonda—Act III; Page’s Guide to Strange Places; Possokhov’s Reflections; Ratmansky’s From Foreign Lands, Russian Seasons, and Shostakovich Trilogy (Chamber Symphony); Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering (Brown and Purple), Fancy Free, Other Dances, Opus 19/The Dreamer, and West Side Story Suite; and Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas.
Karapetyan danced the role of Romeo in the 2015 film of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet as part of the inaugural season of Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance. He choreographed and produced 1915 Meran vor Aprink, a dance film about the Armenian genocide, included in the 2015 San Francisco Dance Film Festival. In 2014 he performed as a guest artist at the International Ballet Gala in Dortmund, Germany; other guestings include the Armenian Opera House, The Hamburg Ballet’s Nijinsky Gala, and Japan’s NBA Ballet. In December 2008 he was featured as the Nutcracker Prince 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.
Karapetyan won Best Couple with Vanessa Zahorian in the senior division at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, in 2006. He received gold and silver medals at the Armenian Ballet Competition in 1997 and 1998, respectively, and was a prizewinner at the Prix de Lausanne in 1999.