Pack a Picnic, Wear Layers, and Head Over to Stern Grove

Pack a Picnic, Wear Layers, and Head Over to Stern Grove

SF Ballet returns to the Stern Grove Festival on July 28

San Francisco Ballet’s annual performance at Stern Grove Festival returns this summer on Sunday, July 28. In addition to seeing a free performance in a grove of eucalyptus trees, come visit various family-friendly activity booths hosted by our education and community programs. In the week prior, Kids Days with SF Ballet takes place between 11 am and 2 pm on July 23, 24 & 25, and are held at the outdoor stage at Stern Grove. These mini-camps feature workshops created for kids ages 4–11 where they will experience dance classes in ballet and other styles such as Bollywood, Latin dance, musical theater, and West African dance, as well as drumming.

SF Ballet School Faculty member Kristi DeCaminada leading a dance workshop at the Stern Grove’s Kids Days // © San Francisco Ballet

On July 28, pack a picnic, wear layers, and head over to Stern Grove in the morning. Seating is first come, first served, and entry is allowed as early as 6 am. Those who arrive early enough may get a chance to see the SF Ballet dancers warm up onstage! From longtime SF Ballet fans to San Franciscans who may have never seen ballet before, the community that comes together is what makes Stern Grove special.

The audience during San Francisco Ballet’s 2018 Stern Grove performance // © Erik Tomasson

From 12–1 pm, a moderated Artist Talk in the Trocadero Clubhouse will feature a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce a SF Ballet performance. Afterwards, grab a snack at one of the food tents nearby! At the same time in the West Meadow, KidStage is open to all families between 12 and 1:30 pm. Every 15 minutes, a SF Ballet School faculty member will lead a short ballet movement experience (think: mini-Nutcracker or mini-Swan Lake). Kids can also spend time making a souvenir arts and crafts project, and patrons of all ages will love trying on ballerinas’ tutus and seeing pointe shoes close-up.

Learning about pointe shoes with SF Ballet // © Alex Akamine Photography for Nikki Ritcher Photography

At 2 pm, when the SF Ballet performance begins, expect to be dazzled by our Company dancers. No matter your view of the stage, you’ll be able to hear the SF Ballet Orchestra, led by music director and conductor Martin West. This year’s performances will feature works by SF Ballet artistic director Helgi Tomasson, George Balanchine, Justin Peck, and Yuri Possokhov.  During intermission, there will be a brief onstage demonstration by members of SF Ballet School’s Dance for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease classes. Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, these classes integrate ballet, modern, folk, and improvisation to create an experience that develops individual artistic expression while honoring PD-specific concerns such as balance, flexibility, and coordination. Audience members are invited to participate in the PD demonstration from their seats as a way of experiencing the joy of movement and community.

San Francisco Ballet staff leading the audience through ballet exercises during the annual Stern Grove performance // © Erik Tomasson

We hope you’ll join us at Stern Grove Festival on July 28!

Kids Days, KidStage, Artist Talks in the Trocadero Clubhouse, and all Stern Grove performances are free and open to the public. No advance sign-up required.

Stern Grove Festival is located at 19th Avenue & Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco.

Programming is subject to change.

Header image: Hansuke Yamamoto in Wheeldon’s Rush© // © Erik Tomasson