BOURNONVILLE’S LA SYLPHIDE RETURNS AFTER 25 YEARS
SAN FRANCISCO, February 17, 2022—Next month, San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) and Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson will present the west coast premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Seasons and the revival of August Bournonville’s La Sylphide on Program 4. From March 15–20, Program 4 brings together fantasy, myth, and the physical world. Building on SF Ballet’s traditions of innovation and collaboration, Program 4 features contemporary updates of classical ballets, and a co-commission. Casting for both ballets will be posted here at least one week before each performance.
Ratmansky’s The Seasons premiered in New York City in May of 2019 as a co-commission of SF Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Its west coast premiere performances will feature new costumes by Robert Perdziola for principal characters The Spirit of the Corn, Bacchante, and Zephyr, who are among the colorful cast of characters inspired by elemental forces and mythology, including flowers performed by students from SF Ballet School. The Seasons is performed to the original score by Alexander Glazunov, composed for Marius Petipa in 1900, and is one of Ratmansky’s many re-imaginings of Marius Petipa’s ballets from Imperial Russia. The Seasons is the ninth of Ratmansky’s ballets in SF Ballet’s repertory—his first, Le Carnaval des animaux from 2003, also marked his first US commission. An allegorical ballet in one act and four scenes, The Seasons’ score remains an integral part of classical music repertoire and will be performed live by the SF Ballet Orchestra.
August Bournonville’s La Sylphide, noted as the original “ballet blanc” of Romantic-era ballet and a classical masterpiece, returns to SF Ballet for the first time in 25 years. In a two-act production directed by Tomasson and with scenic and costume designs by Jose Varona, La Sylphide epitomizes Danish storytelling and mime, following the narrative of Scottish farmer James and his pursuit of a sylph. For opening night and additional performances, SF Ballet will engage Eva Kloborg, a Bournonville expert and Knight of the 1st Degree of the Danish Dannebrog Order, as Guest Character Artist, performing the witch Madge. Staged by Tomasson with Ballet Masters Anita Paciotti and Katita Waldo, La Sylphide includes additional coaching by SF Ballet Principal Dancer Ulrik Birkkjaer, formerly of Royal Danish Ballet. In his setting which premiered in Honolulu in 1987, Tomasson, who began his professional career at Copenhagen’s Pantomime Theatre in Tivoli Gardens in his youth, celebrates the Danish style of dance, codified by Bournonville, and embodying lightness, clarity, and elegance in movement.
A Ballet in Two Acts
Composer: Herman Løvenskiold
Choreographer: August Bournonville
Production Directed by: Helgi Tomasson
Staged by: Helgi Tomasson with Anita Paciotti and Katita Waldo
Additional Coaching by: Ulrik Birkkjaer
Scenic and Costume Design: Jose Varona
Lighting Design: Sara Linnie Slocum
World Premiere: November 28, 1836—Royal Danish Ballet; Copenhagen, Denmark
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: October 25, 1987—Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall; Honolulu, Hawaii
The Seasons (SF Ballet Premiere)
Composer: Alexander Glazunov
Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky
Staged by: Nancy Raffa
Costume Design: Robert Perdziola
Costume Design Assistant: Caitlin Rain
Lighting Design: Mark Stanley
World Premiere: May 20, 2019—American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera House; New York, New York
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 15, 2022—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California
The Seasons is a co-production with American Ballet Theatre.
Run time: 2 hours and 32 minutes with two intermissions
Casting to be announced soon at https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, March 17, 2022 at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 18, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm
San Francisco Ballet’s Covid-19 Safety Policies
SF Ballet requires all patrons to wear an N95, KN95, or KF94 face mask to enter the venue. SF Ballet will provide patrons upon entry a KN95 mask or equivalent for those who do not have access to the appropriate mask. SF Ballet will also require up-to-date vaccination, including booster shots for those eligible, for all attendees 12 and older. Patrons may view SF Ballet’s up-to-date safety policies on the website.
About San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet is one of the world’s leading ballet companies. As a commissioner, collaborator, and presenter, SF 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 aim 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.
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