Your Ultimate Guide to Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet

What am I seeing? Inspired by the music of Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk, choreographer Arthur Pita created a ballet full of quirky characters, snippets of narrative, and a stunning full-cast “ballet rave.” The extreme movement ranges from frenetic to impossibly slow and sustained.

What am I hearing? A selection of songs by avant-garde pop star Björk. Pita had been wanting to work with Björk’s music for years and thought that since she, like SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, is Icelandic, SF Ballet would be the perfect place to create it. 

What should I look for? Keep an eye out for the fisherman, whose narrative arc opens and closes the piece; the pixie-like creature who weaves her way through the ballet; and a couple who seem in the midst of a tumultuous, passionate love affair. Oh, and a heart-stopping moment set to Hyperballad.

San Francisco Ballet rehearsing Arthur Pita's Björk Ballet // © Erik Tomasson