Looking Back, Moving Forward

Looking Back, Moving Forward

“Where Do We Go From Here?”

Although Dwight Rhoden’s world premiere, A Promised Land, has only been in development since 2021, it feels years in the making. In a way, it was—Rhoden’s inspiration came directly from the tumult of the world around him. However, Rhoden stresses, “The essence of the piece is not the pandemic, racial equality, all of the death and loss that we’ve all been experiencing. It’s about how we recover.”

This poignant reflection on resiliency premiered alongside Christopher Wheeldon’s Finale Finale© in Program 6, which ran April 6–15. The choreography is frenzied, precise, cathartic, and above all, achingly, unapologetically human. “My goal is for people to walk away with the sentiment, the emotion, the essence of this time that we’re living in,” Rhoden explains. “These days, you have successes, you have failures, you have challenges, you have questions. Where do we go from here?”

Rhoden’s answer is simple—we dance.

Watch below as Rhoden speaks in-depth about the piece that beautifully closed out Program 6. 


Under Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s intrepid leadership, San Francisco Ballet has balanced an innovative focus on new and contemporary choreographers with a deeply held dedication to the classics. It is individuals like you that make this all possible, and we hope you consider supporting the continued creation of new works. 


Header Image: San Francisco Ballet in Rhoden’s The Promised Land // © Erik Tomasson