Update September 19, 2022: The 2023 Opening Night Gala is now scheduled to take place on January 19, 2023. More details here.
Update August 23, 2022: Val Caniparoli will replace Benjamin Millepied in the next@90 festival. More details here.
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET ANNOUNCES 2023 REPERTORY SEASON, NEXT@90 FESTIVAL
Acclaimed Company’s 90th Season to Feature Nine World Premieres and Five SF Ballet Debuts by International Choreographers, Beloved Classics, and More
San Francisco, CA, May 17, 2022—San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) today announced its 90th Season, which will celebrate the trailblazing company’s nine decades of pushing ballet forward through offering innovative new works and adaptations, highlighting the world’s leading and emerging choreographers and dancers, and performing beloved classical ballets at the highest caliber. The season kicks off with next@90—the company’s first new works festival since 2018’s Unbound—which will feature world premieres by nine outstanding choreographers from across the country and around the world, including Nicolas Blanc (Joffrey Ballet), Bridget Breiner (Badisches Staatsballett Karlsruhe), Robert Garland (Dance Theatre of Harlem), Benjamin Millepied (L.A. Dance Project), Yuka Oishi, Yuri Possokhov (SF Ballet), Jamar Roberts (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Danielle Rowe, and Claudia Schreier (Atlanta Ballet).
The season will also feature beloved story ballets such as Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella and outgoing SF Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle and Romeo & Juliet, complemented by a mixed repertory program featuring elegant and dynamic works from Tomasson, William Forsythe, and the live stage premiere of Myles Thatcher’s COLORFORMS, the runaway hit of SF Ballet’s 2021 Digital Season. Details on the festival and the other programs that comprise the Ballet’s 90th season running January 20 to April 30, 2023 follow below. Tomasson’s beloved family holiday favorite Nutcracker – set in San Francisco and honoring the Company’s legacy as the first to present a full-length production – will advance the repertory season beginning December 8 and run for 33 performances.
“As the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, we deeply appreciate the significance of our 90th anniversary, and what better way to honor this milestone than with a festival to help catalyze the future of ballet as we look towards the next decade and beyond,” said Executive Director Danielle St.Germain. “This is an exciting moment for the organization, and we’re thrilled to work with and support innovative creators, vibrant stories, and exceptional talent here in San Francisco.”
“It is a pleasure to witness the Company, on the eve of its ninth decade, building upon its tradition of sharing new work with our dedicated and passionate audiences, welcoming a roster of world renowned choreographers into the studios, and celebrating the company’s immensely talented dancers,” said Tomasson. “This is a forward-looking season that also offers a chance to reflect on all that has been accomplished in the company’s near-century history.”
“I am greatly looking forward to joining this exceptional company as Artistic Director as it launches its 90th season and building on San Francisco Ballet’s legacy of elevating new artistic voices with opportunities to create work for some of the best dancers in the field,” said incoming Artistic Director Tamara Rojo. “I’ve long admired the innovative spirit of both SF Ballet and San Francisco itself and am excited to further explore what the future of ballet can look like at this renowned and deeply creative institution.”
The repertory season will be presented in the newly renovated War Memorial Opera House. SF Ballet performs with the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Ballet Orchestra throughout the season, under the direction of Music Director Martin West.
2023 Opening Night Gala
January 18, 2023
San Francisco Ballet will host its 90th Season Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. The annual launch of the repertory season includes a pre-performance cocktail hour and dinner hosted by the SF Ballet Auxiliary at San Francisco City Hall and a performance by San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House. More details will be announced in fall 2022.
January 20–February 11, 2023
This marks the first festival at SF Ballet since 2018’s Unbound, which debuted new works by Dwight Rhoden, Cathy Marston, Christopher Wheeldon, and Arthur Pita. The next@90 festival will include three programs of three ballets each, a total of nine world premiere ballets and five Company debuts that exemplify the experimentation and bold innovation of the dance world on the San Francisco stage.
The lineup will feature new choreography – to be announced later this year – by emerging and established choreographers from across the country and around the world, including:
- Nicolas Blanc, former SF Ballet Principal Dancer and choreographer at The Joffrey Ballet;
- Bridget Breiner, an American-born, Germany-based choreographer and Artistic Director of the Badisches Staatsballett Karlsruhe (SF Ballet debut);
- Robert Garland, Resident Choreographer of Dance Theatre of Harlem (SF Ballet debut);
- Benjamin Millepied, current Artistic Director & Co-Founder of the L.A. Dance Project who will premiere new choreography for SF Ballet for the first time;
- Yuka Oishi, the first Japanese soloist of Hamburg Ballet and currently a freelance choreographer around the globe (SF Ballet debut);
- Yuri Possokhov, SF Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, who will premiere his sixteenth work for the company;
- Jamar Roberts, Resident Choreographer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (SF Ballet debut);
- Danielle Rowe, the Australia-born, SF-based choreographer whose SF Ballet repertory debut Wooden Dimes recently premiered in the 2021 Digital Season;
- and Claudia Schreier, Choreographer in Residence at Atlanta Ballet and Artistic Director of Claudia Schreier & Company (SF Ballet debut).
The next@90 festival is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Jim and Cecilia Herbert with Major Support from an Anonymous Donor. “As a longtime friend to SF Ballet and Helgi Tomasson, I am thrilled to see the Company yet again at the frontier of this art form,” said James H. Herbert, II, Vice Chair of SF Ballet’s Board of Trustees and Founder and Executive Chairman of First Republic Bank. “It is an honor to support SF Ballet on the eve of its next chapter, building on what Helgi has accomplished and looking ahead to its next decade.”
February 24–March 5, 2023
Featuring some of the most coveted roles in the classical repertory, Giselle has continued to captivate audiences since its Paris premiere in 1841 with a tragic and romantic story of a young peasant girl, passionate about dance, whose fate is sealed by a nobleman. Audiences are led through an unforgettable journey from a Rhineland village to a forest glade haunted by ethereal spirits who enact revenge on the men who have wronged them. Originally created in 1999, Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle, with choreography by Tomasson after Marius Petipa, Jules Perrot, and Jean Coralli, will be staged at SF Ballet the first time since 2015, marking the return of an equally epic and timely story.
Tomasson’s 7 for Eight | Thatcher’s COLORFORMS | Forsythe’s Blake Works I
March 14–March 19, 2023
The season’s mixed repertory program opens with Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight from 2004, a series of elegant solo and ensemble numbers for eight dancers and set to portions of four of Bach’s keyboard concertos. 7 for Eight includes black-on-black costume designs by Sandra Woodall and lighting designs by David Finn.
The program will also feature the stage debut of Myles Thatcher’s COLORFORMS, a new work the choreographer began developing for the Company in spring 2020, which premiered as a dance film in SF Ballet’s 2021 Digital Season, set at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Gardens, and Golden Gate Park. Now, Thatcher’s vibrant reflection on joy and connection set to Steve Reich’s Variations for Vibes, Pianos, and Strings will come to life on the stage.
Forsythe’s Blake Works I is set to seven songs from James Blake’s album The Colour in Anything. Forsythe—one of ballet’s most innovative creators—crafts a living love letter to the artform with complex, kaleidoscopic movements that riff off the classic ballet vocabulary.
March 31–April 8, 2023
A co-production with Dutch National Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella foregoes fairytale tropes to tell a simultaneously human and magical story. Featuring scenic and costume design by Julian Crouch, as well as lighting design by Natasha Katz and projection design by Daniel Brodie, the production includes the breathtaking tree and carriage sequence directed and designed by master puppeteer Basil Twist. The production was last performed at SF Ballet in 2020 and is set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev. Cinderella is one of eleven commissions Wheeldon has created for SF Ballet, and his first full-length production for the Company.
Romeo & Juliet
April 21–April 30, 2023
Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet has been a signature work of the Company following its premiere in the 1994 season, marked by its exhilarating swordsmanship and passionate dancing set to Sergei Prokofiev’s masterful score. This full-length production features opulent, Italian Renaissance-inspired set and costume designs by Jens-Jacob Worsaae, and lighting design by Thomas R. Skelton. This production of Romeo & Juliet is one of four productions recorded and released by “Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance,” which was shown at cinemas nationwide in 2015; after being featured in SF Ballet’s 2021 Digital Season, audiences will now have the chance to see this work in person.
Subscription and Single Tickets
Principal series subscribers in the 2023 Season can renew their subscription packages starting May 17. Three, five, and seven program subscription packages to SF Ballet’s 2023 Repertory Season range in price from $66 to $2,555 and go on sale to the public later this summer. Individual tickets for SF Ballet’s 2023 Repertory Season, starting at $29, will be available at a later date in fall 2022. Visit sfballet.org or call Ticket Services, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm at 415-865-2000.
San Francisco Ballet School, Education, and Community Programs
San Francisco Ballet School, founded alongside the Company in 1933 and led by Patrick Armand, is one of the most highly sought-after dance training institutions in the industry, cultivating the next generation of professional dancers for San Francisco Ballet and ballet companies around the world. Grounded in strong classical technique, the School brings a sense of energy, freedom, and joy to dance, and emphasizes the importance of a well-rounded, multidisciplinary artistic training. More than 75% of San Francisco Ballet dancers trained at SF Ballet School, and students in the School appear in SF Ballet productions throughout the season, including the annual Nutcracker, plus Giselle, Cinderella, and Romeo & Juliet in the 2023 Season.
SF Ballet’s robust training, education, and community programs reach more than 42,000 people in the Bay Area annually. The Company’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the dance field is reflected through its efforts to recruit and train young dancers and choreographers of diverse backgrounds, to provide free and equitable access to arts education through its over-40-year partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and to promote an inclusive art form by serving myriad sectors of the community that are often underserved.
For over 40 years, SF Ballet has led its flagship Dance in Schools and Communities (DISC) Residency Program, an in-school dance program in partnership with SFUSD that offers dance education at more than 35 public schools free of charge, serving over 2,500 school children across the Bay Area. Programming includes the annual SF Ballet Student Matinee Series, sensory friendly dance classes for the special needs community, professional development workshops for K-12 educators, after-school dance residency programs at Boys & Girls Clubs, a dance class specially designed for people with Parkinson’s, and an invitation to select SFUSD students to attend SF Ballet School on a one-year full scholarship through the Community Scholarship Program, which awards more than $420,000 in scholarships annually.
About San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet is one of the world’s leading ballet companies. As a commissioner, collaborator, and presenter, the Ballet performs locally, nationally, and internationally with the top choreographers, artists, and dancers while proudly celebrating its trailblazing role in dance. Since its founding in 1933 and as the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, the organization has been an innovator in dance and an originator of well-loved cultural traditions, from staging the first American production of Swan Lake to being the first company in the United States to present an annual holiday Nutcracker. In the progressive, innovative spirit of San Francisco, its mission is to share the beauty of classical and contemporary ballet, the joyful, transformative experience of live dance performance by artists working at the highest caliber, and to provide exceptional training opportunities for the next generation of professional dancers in its School.