Press Release

Press Release

‘San Francisco Ballet at 90’ Unveiled at San Francisco International Airport

Costumes from SF Ballet’s new works festivals are on display in SFO’s International Terminal through January 7, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, March 2, 2023—SFO Museum at the San Francisco International Airport recently unveiled San Francisco Ballet at 90, a new exhibition located in the International Terminal featuring costumes from the past 30 years of SF Ballet’s 90-year history. SF Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, has balanced the commissioning of new works with classics of ballet repertory since its founding in 1933.

On view until January 7, 2024, San Francisco Ballet at 90 features 18 unique costumes, particularly highlighting the new works festivals commissioned by previous artistic director Helgi Tomasson: UNited We Dance Festival (1995); Discovery Program (2000); 75th Anniversary New Works Festival (2008); and Unbound: A Festival of New Works (2018). These festivals have introduced emerging and established choreographers to San Francisco and have made SF Ballet one of the premiere centers for new ballet choreography in the United States and around the globe. Highlights from the exhibition include:

  • A hand-painted dress by Sandra Woodall for Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena (1995), which weaves African rhythms with Bach compositions and classical ballet with African dance movements.
  • Futuristic costumes designed by Marco Morante for Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet (2018), which is set to Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk’s alternative pop music.
  • A black-and-white halter leotard with leather corset and horned headpiece designed by Mark Zappone for Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Guernica (2018).
  • A striking Art Deco sheath dress and coat designed by Emma Kingsbury for Danielle Rowe’s Wooden Dimes, a 1920s Art Deco dance film from 2021.
  • A teal “pancake” tutu in rich shades of blue designed by Holly Hynes for Jorma Elo’s Double Evil (2008).
  • A pink and gray unitard with pink tutu and cap with pom-pom by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung for Christopher Wheeldon’s 2022 Finale Finale, the choreographer’s tribute to departing artistic director Helgi Tomasson.

L to R: Costumes from Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena, Helgi Tomasson’s Haffner Symphony, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa’s Guernica, and Edwaard Liang’s Symphonic Dances are on display in ‘SF Ballet at 90’ // Photographs courtesy SFO Museum

San Francisco Ballet at 90 is located pre-security in the International Terminal of the San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is accessible to ticketed passengers and the general public from February 23, 2023–January 7, 2024.

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 as the first 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 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.

Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1999 and retains the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport.

Today, SFO Museum operates more than twenty-five sites throughout the Airport terminals, including fourteen galleries that exhibit a rotating schedule of art, history, photography, science, and cultural exhibitions. Among the sites is the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, which houses a permanent collection of more than 150,000 objects related to the history of commercial aviation.

Media contacts

Kate McKinney
San Francisco Ballet

Charles Schuler
San Francisco International Airport
(650) 821-5031