Who Is Yuri Possokhov?

Known for his rich and diverse choreography, beautiful dancing, and great partnering skills, Ukranian-born Yuri Possokhov holds the position of choreographer in residence for SF Ballet. After training at the Moscow Ballet School, he danced for ten years with the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet, before moving to the US and joining the Company as a principal dancer in 1994.

In addition to a powerful stage presence, Yuri was well-known for his strong technique and an ability to perform both classical and contemporary works with ease. He danced numerous leading roles including Helgi Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, and Giselle, as well as Lar Lubovich’s Othello; in addition to many works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Val Caniparoli, David Bintley, and Mark Morris, among many others.

Lucia Lacarra and Yuri Possokhov in Tomasson's Giselle. Photographer unknown.

Yuri began to experiment with choreography while he was still dancing and following his retirement from performing in 2006, he was named SF Ballet choreographer in residence. As a choreographer, his pieces have been exceedingly diverse—from contemporary and classical abstract works, to  intensely dramatic narrative works. Over the years, Yuri’s works have been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike and more recently, he has used projections as a major component of his scenic elements, notably in RAkU (2011) and Swimmer (2015). Additionally, Yuri has created ballets for a number of other companies including the Bolshoi Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and The Georgia State Ballet.

In July 2015, his full-length ballet A Hero of our Time, based on the Lermontov novel and set to music by Ilya Demutsky, debuted at the Bolshoi Ballet. This ballet won him a 2016 Benois de la Danse award for best choreographer. His newest work, slated to premiere in the 2017 Repertory Season, features an original composition by Ilya Demutsky.