SF Ballet School students in Future Paper

Press Release

Press Release

SF Ballet Announces Thirteen Promotions of SF Ballet School Students and Alumni to the 2023 Season Roster

SF Ballet School’s Spring Festival returns in person May 25–27 for the first time in three years

Annual fundraising dinner on May 26 benefits scholarships and financial aid offered to SF Ballet School, totaling over $1.5 million annually

Top, left to right: Juliana Bellissimo, Andris Kundzins, Nicole Moyer, Pemberley Ann Olson, Jamie Adele Stephens, Alexis Valdes
Bottom, left to right: João Da Silva, Jihyun Choi, Seojeong Yun, Benjamin Davidoff, Parker Garrison, Angela Watson, Jasper True Stanford // © Chris Hardy

SAN FRANCISCO, May 11, 2022—San Francisco Ballet School (SF Ballet School), under the direction of Patrick Armand and in collaboration with San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, announces today details of the live return of the SF Ballet School Spring Festival, showcasing the next generation of ballet stars May 25–27 at the Blue Shield of California Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). In celebration, SF Ballet announces the promotion of seven students from SF Ballet School to the Company for the 2023 Season, effective July 1: João Da Silva (Brazil) will join SF Ballet’s Corps de Ballet, and Jihyun Choi (South Korea), Seojeong Yun (South Korea), Benjamin Davidoff (Belgium), Parker Garrison (North Carolina), and Bay Area natives Angela Watson and Jasper True Stanford will join as Apprentices. Additionally, another six SF Ballet School alumni are promoted to the corps de ballet after having served as Apprentices: Juliana Bellissimo, Andris Kundzins, Nicole Moyer, Pemberley Ann Olson, Jamie Adele Stephens, and Alexis Valdes. All thirteen dancers saw their training interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, making this a particularly remarkable achievement. With the addition of these thirteen dancers, more than 75% of SF Ballet’s company members will have trained at SF Ballet School, which is considered one of the finest ballet academies in the world.

Additionally, this year marks the 10th anniversary of School Director Patrick Armand’s appointment to the head of the School. He was named Associate Director in 2012 and Director in 2017. In that time, 59 students from the School have joined the Company and five of those students have risen to the rank of Principal Dancer.

Returning in-person for the first time in three years, and complemented with a fundraising dinner on Thursday, May 26, SF Ballet School’s annual Spring Festival will present three different programs over three evenings at YBCA. Programming highlights include a new ballet by SF Ballet dancer Davide Occhipinti and Helgi Tomasson’s Haffner Symphony—created in 1991 for SF Ballet and performed this spring in tribute to Tomasson, the Company and School’s outgoing Artistic Director—on Thursday, May 26. The Wednesday, May 25 performance will include Dana Genshaft’s Future Paper, two student pieces created as part of the Helgi Tomasson Choreographic Workshop, and Marius Petipa’s showpiece Diana and Acteon Pas de Deux, and the Friday, May 27 performance will feature Viktor Plotnikov’s Graces, SF Ballet dancer Pemberley Ann Olson’s Her Gambit, and a world premiere by Jason Ambrose. Each performance opens with a demonstration of the dancers in levels 2 through 8 choreographed by faculty member Karen Gabay. Performance tickets start at $29; full repertory is listed below.

Following the Thursday, May 26 performance, the SF Ballet Auxiliary and Event Chair Carrie Kaufman and Honorary Chair John Palmer will host the 2022 Spring Festival Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. The dinner benefits scholarship and financial aid programs for the School, which award more than $1.5 million to students each year. Individual tickets to the dinner, which include admission to Thursday’s Spring Festival performance, are $500 for Patron tickets, $1,000 for Benefactor tickets, and $2,500 for Grand Benefactor tickets. Tickets for children ages 12 and under are $200 each. Spring Festival sponsors include KPMG and Dodge & Cox, and the Wine Sponsor is Ernest Vineyards.

45 minutes before each program’s start, SF Ballet School will present free, interactive activities and demonstrations made by students. More details of SF Ballet’s 2023 Company Roster will be announced this summer. Press images are available via the online press photo page. Please contact Kate McKinney, SF Ballet’s PR & Communications Manager, at kmckinney@sfballet.org with questions.

Calendar information:

San Francisco Ballet School
2022 Spring Festival
May 25, 2022, 7:30pm
Demonstration of Pre-Ballet students, 6:45–7:15pm

May 26, 2022, 6pm
Demonstration from Class for People with Parkinson’s Disease, 5:15–5:45pm

May 27, 2022, 7:30pm
Demonstration from Dance in Schools and Community (DISC) students, 6:45–7:15pm

Blue Shield of California Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
700 Howard Street
Individual performance tickets start at $29.
To order, visit SF Ballet’s website or call Ticket Services at 415.865.2000.

2022 Spring Festival Dinner
Fundraiser benefiting San Francisco Ballet School, hosted by the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary
Thursday, May 26, 6pm performance, followed by dinner
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
757 Market Street
Tickets are $500-2500, including performance admission.
Tickets for children ages 12 and under are $200 each.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Student Demonstration (Karen Gabay)
Future Paper (Dana Genshaft)
Reciprocity (Angela Watson)
Moment in the Mind (Sophia Hatton & Chase Rogers)
Diana and Acteon Pas de Deux (Marius Petipa)
Haffner Symphony (Helgi Tomasson)

Thursday, May 26, 2022
Student Demonstration (Karen Gabay)
Sunhead (Davide Occhipinti)
Haffner Symphony (Helgi Tomasson)

Friday, May 27, 2022
Student Demonstration (Karen Gabay)
Graces (Viktor Plotnikov)
Diana and Acteon Pas de Deux (Marius Petipa)
The Most Peaceful Place (Jason Ambrose)
Her Gambit (Pemberley Ann Olson)
Haffner Symphony (Helgi Tomasson)

Covid Safety Information
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID required. All individuals ages 5+ will be required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter YBCA. Each person ages 18+ must also provide a photo ID. Masks are required for everyone ages 2+. Visit ybca.org/health-and-safety for details and COVID-19 policies at YBCA.

About SF Ballet School
SF Ballet School, led by renowned dancer and dance pedagogue Patrick Armand with oversight by SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, was founded alongside the Company in 1933. More than 75% of San Francisco Ballet dancers trained at SF Ballet School, which is considered one of the finest ballet academies in the world. The School boasts an international roster of prominent instructors, a Trainee Program curriculum for pre-professional students, and a robust scholarship program. SF Ballet School attracts students from around the world, training approximately 700 annually. In addition to filling the ranks of SF Ballet, alumni have gone on to join prestigious ballet companies throughout the world. For those who wish to pursue a career in ballet, SF Ballet School offers a distinguished training program of unqualified excellence.