Your Ultimate Guide to UNBOUND C

What is it? Your chance to see ballet in all its facets, from classical to popular to contemporary. And an opportunity to see the works of three very different choreographers—Stanton Welch, Trey McIntyre, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.

Who’s it for? Lovers of Cubist art, Bach, and quirky movement.



San Francisco Ballet rehearsing Stanton Welch's Bespoke // © Erik Tomasson

What am I seeing? Australian choreographer Stanton Welch’s piece for Unbound, a neoclassical ode to the form. Inspired by the brevity of a dancer’s career with ballet—most dancers retire by their 40s—Welch created Bespoke, a piece that he hopes shows off the dancers and their love for and commitment to ballet.

What am I hearing? J.S. Bach’s Violin Concerto in E major and Violin Concerto in A minor. The only two surviving violin concertos that Bach wrote, these pieces have all the intricacy of form that Bach was known for.

What should I look for? The way Welch moves his dancers’ arms like the hands of a clock to suggest the passage of time. And the way each dancer gets a moment to shine—Welch says the piece is a reflection of the dancers.


San Francisco Ballet rehearsing McIntyre's Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem // © Erik Tomasson

What am I seeing? Standing six feet six inches tall, choreographer Trey McIntyre has a rare perspective on the world—but one he may have shared with his tall grandfather. In his new work for SF Ballet, McIntyre imagines what it might be like to see through his grandfather’s eyes, choreographing a piece that creates a kind of portal into his grandfather’s life. Bookended by two solos, this dance merges quirky, playful gestures with moments of stillness and introspection.

What am I hearing? Tracks from singer-songwriter Chris Garneau’s album El Radio. This is the first time that McIntyre has worked with Garneau’s music, but he has created ballets to pop music in the past, including The Shins; Amy Winehouse; and Peter, Paul, and Mary.

What should I look for? Look for the piece’s episodic structure—what might these individual encounters represent?


Jahna Frantziskonis and Solomon Golding rehearsing Lopez Ochoa's Guernica // © Erik Tomasson

What am I seeing? Guernica is Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s first piece for SF Ballet. Inspired both by Picasso’s Cubism and by the international politics of 2017, Lopez Ochoa has created a dance full of tension, drama, and sensuality. Drawing from flamenco, contemporary dance, and classical ballet, Guernica contrasts moments of rage with moments of despair.

What am I hearing? A selection of works by Joe Andrews, Michel Banabila, Tom Halstead, and Charles Valentin-Alkan. Lopez Ochoa often works with a variety of composers, creating a soundscape for her ballets.

What should I look for? The two couples wearing horns: they form the center of the piece. And look for the way that gestures transition from violent, to loving, to despairing all in an instant.

Listen to the Unbound C Spotify Playlist

Ranging from Bach to singer-songwriter Chris Garneau to a medly inspired by the work of Picasso, the three choreographers on Unbound C have something for you.