Listen to interviews with dancers, choreographers, musicians, scholars, and more, as they discuss the history of ballet, training, and the creative process.

Pointes of View Lectures

Company artists and visiting scholars provide insight into the creative processes that helped shape our ballets and a historical context in which to appreciate them.

The Stories of Serenade, James Steichen, PhD

February 15, 2018

Was Serenade really Balanchine’s first piece in America? And if not, how did that myth come to be? SF Ballet Visiting Scholar James Steichen presents on Balanchine’s early work and the pieces that preceded Serenade, adding a new dimension to our understanding of one of Balanchine’s most famous ballets.


Season Overview with Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson
Host: Mary Wood

January 29, 2018

Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson comments on the upcoming 85th Repertory Season, starting with an introduction to the Company’s new dancers. He describes what he looks for when hiring dancers and when promoting dancers from within the ranks. He offers an overview of the repertory, looking especially at the Robbins Centennial commemoration and his selection from Robbins' wide variety of works. Finally, he shares his passion for the Unbound: Festival of New Works, as well as a description of some of the challenges experienced in putting it together.


Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets, and Betsy Erickson
Host: Mary Wood

May 3, 2017

Artists and Ballet Masters from the Company in conversation with Dance Educator Mary Wood on the thrill of dancing in Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella

Rubén Martín Cintas
Host: Mary Wood

April 12, 2017

Dance Educator Mary Wood and Ruben Martin Cintas, former Principal Dancer and Ballet School Faculty and pas de deux teacher discuss the art of pas de deux with Artists from the Company.  San Francisco Ballet School Trainees demonstrate the intricacies of partnering.

Jim Steichen & Martin West

March 15, 2017

Contemporary music offers choreographers the chance to explore new sonic worlds and take audiences into new states of artistic consciousness. In conversation, Musicologist Jim Steichen and  Music Director Martin West discuss the strategies that the conductor and musicians use to prepare music that many in the audience—and on stage—are hearing for the first time."

Thomas F. DeFrantz

March 8, 2017

Thomas F. DeFrantz, dance researcher and Chair of African American Studies at Duke University, offers the history of the African American presence in American ballet. Focusing on the historical moments that predicted a growing presence, DeFrantz considers how African American audiences, dancemakers, and performing artists have shifted and revised ballet’s possibilities as an art form.

Ellen Peel

February 22, 2017

Litquake, the Bay Area's literary festival and San Francisco Ballet co-present "Frankenstein at the Ballet: Mary Shelley and Her "Hideous Progeny". Professor Ellen Peel from the Comparative and World Literature Department at SF State reflects on the origin of Frankenstein. Shelley was often asked, "how I, then a young girl, came to think of...so very hideous an idea." Peel will address that question by looking at cultural and scientific forces in her day, and by considering her early life. Peel will comment on how the novel has managed to play so powerfully on our wishes and fears for two centuries, becoming a myth continually reborn in new avatars, now including a ballet.

Anita Paciotti, Christopher Dennis
Host: Mary Wood

February 1, 2017

How do production elements contribute to the overall look and feel of ballets? Dance Educator Mary Wood in conversation with Ballet Master Anita Paciotti, Production Director and Lighting Designer Christopher Dennis discuss Yuri Possokov's world premiere Optimistic Tragedy.

Claudia LaRocca
Host: Cecelia Beam

January 25, 2017

In the five years since Jennifer Homans predicted ballet’s imminent demise in her history "Apollo’s Angels", we have seen the rise of a new crop of choreographers—all of them young, and many of them American. Chief among these artists is Justin Peck, a dancer with New York City Ballet and now its resident choreographer. Dance critic Claudia La Rocco shares her thoughts on Peck and his colleagues.



Meet the Artist Interviews

Our popular pre-performance Meet the Artist Interviews (MTAs) spotlight a work to be performed that afternoon/evening. These informative talks feature artists and choreographers in conversation with a moderator.

Principal Dancer Vitor Luiz

February 8, 2018

Principal Dancer Vitor Luiz talks about his experience as a young dance student in Brazil and the value of parental support. He provides insight into the ballet Sleeping Beauty and describes how he prepares to dance the very classical role of Prince Desiré, versus the more contemporary role of “The Creature” in Frankenstein. Vitor also touches on the upcoming "Unbound" series of new works.

Principal Dancer Carlo Di Lanno

February 7, 2018

Principal Dancer Carlo Di Lanno reviews his early training and performing career at La Scala, Milan, and stresses the importance of classical technique as the basis for performing contemporary as well as classical roles. He describes the challenging and satisfying process of being part of the creation of new works, and discusses three of the works that be part of the Unbound: New Works Festival at the end of the 2018 Repertory Season.

Principal Dancers Ana Sophia Scheller and Angelo Greco

January 30, 2018

Ana and Angelo discuss their beginnings in ballet and their paths to San Francisco Ballet. They describe the challenges, technical and artistic, of dancing their roles of Aurora and Prince Desire in Helga Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty.

The Sleeping Beauty with Sasha de Sola

January 28, 2018

Principal Dancer Sasha De Sola discusses the role of Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. She reminisces about watching the ballet as a child and shares the joys and challenges of performing in this iconic role.

Skyla Schreter

April 30, 2017

Corps de ballet member Skyla Schreter discusses Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella© and some of her favorite moments of SF Ballet’s 2017 Repertory Season.

George Elvin

April 28, 2017

George Elvin, is in his 40th season in the Wardrobe Department of the SF Ballet Company, and has announced his retirement following the 2017 Nutcracker season. He reminisces about highlights in his career, including the celebrations of the Company’s 50th and 75th anniversaries. He illustrates the bonds that are shared among dancers and production, recalling a picnic on the Great Wall of China at the end of the 2009 tour.

Frances Chung

April 7, 2017

Frances Chung, who performs the iconic role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake for the first time this season, discusses the principal parts that have led her to this point in her career. She describes her preparation for this role, including studying portrayals of past ballerinas, the coaching she has received, and even the time she spent in the corps absorbing the essence of the story.

Sofiane Sylve and Carlo Di Lanno

March 19, 2017

Principal Dancers Sofiane Sylve and Carlo Di Lanno discuss their experiences dancing Swan Lake, at San Francisco Ballet and at other companies, and share their thoughts on the nuances and challenges of the roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried in this iconic ballet. They also discuss what it’s like to dance principal roles at young ages, very early in their careers, and their ideas about ballet’s role in educating audiences about the potential of this art form.

Katita Waldo

March 18, 2017

Ballet Master Katita Waldo, a dancer at San Francisco Ballet for 22 years (16 of them as a principal dancer), discusses Arthur Pita’s Salome, including her role as the chilling Herodias, the imaginative concept behind this dance-theater piece, and the work’s movement and staging. She also discusses her role as a ballet master in documenting and teaching ballets, touching on George Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto.

Lauren Strongin

March 17, 2017

Val Caniparoli

March 12, 2017

Renowned for his dramatic portrayals, Val Caniparoli, Principal Character Dancer, discusses the role of the Father in Balanchine’s Prodigal Son. He emphasizes the dramatic importance of “stillness” in conveying deep emotion, and he stresses how vital a part it is, although the Father’s time on stage is very short. He relates memories of his early days as a dancer in the Company, including his pleasure in dancing Melancholic in Balanchine’s Four Temperaments.

Rufus Olivier

March 10, 2017

Rufus Olivier, Principal Bassoon Player in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, reminisces engagingly about his nearly 40 years with the Orchestra. He describes Program 4, the “Must-See Balanchine” works, as a “dream” for the bassoon, with featured parts in Stravinsky Violin Concerto, the Prokofiev accompanying Prodigal Son, as well as the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29, which accompanies Diamonds.

Myles Thatcher

March 9, 2017

Rising-star choreographer Myles Thatcher, a member of SF Ballet’s corps de ballet, discusses his 2017 world premiere, Ghost in the Machine and what it takes to juggle a dual career. In discussing Ghost in the Machine, he talks about his inspiration, creative approach, working relationship with his dancers, and music choices. He also touches on his early desire to create dances and his mentor and other choreographers he admires.

Max Cauthorn

February 19, 2017

Corps de Ballet member Max Cauthorn discusses his debut as Victor Frankenstein in Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein—a coup for such a young dancer. He touches on his feelings after performing the role for the first time, the nuances of characterization, and the four very different—and demanding—pas de deux he dances (three with Soloist Lauren Strongin, as Elizabeth, and one with Principal Dancer Taras Domitro, as the Creature). Also discussed: the stage “business” of creating life and Max’s transition from Trainee to Company dancer.

Luke Ingham
Host: Cheryl A. Ossola

February 5, 2017

Principal Dancer Luke Ingham discusses his role in Yuri Possokhov’s 2017 world premiere, Optimistic Tragedy, and the process of bringing this ballet to the stage; the demands of rehearsing multiple ballets simultaneously; the makeup and costuming for the Creature, his role as in Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein; and balancing his dance career with a new role: fatherhood.

Julia Rowe
Host: Mary Wood

February 3, 2017

Soloist Julia Rowe begins by describing the responsibilities and challenges of her new status as a Soloist. She is enthusiastic about participating in the creation of new works, joining in the creative process with the choreographer. She is eloquent about working with William Forsythe, whom she calls a “genius”, as he re-created Pas/Parts 2016 on the company during the 2016 season.

Sasha De Sola
Host: Claire Sheridan

January 29, 2017

In this interview, Principal Dancer Sasha de Sola talks about the pure joy of dance. She describes how it feels to perform the lead female role in Haffner Symphony and how wearing a tutu affects her dancing. Sasha also addresses some common misconceptions about ballet and discusses what she does to achieve balance in her life. 

Jennifer Stahl
Host: Mary Wood

January 27, 2017

Soloist Jennifer Stahl discusses her range of roles as a soloist, including the anecdote about receiving her promotion at the cast party following the premier of Yuri Possokhov’s Rite of Spring in 2013. She describes the process of creating the world premiere, Fragile Vessels, with choreographer Jiri Bubenicek, as well as working on last year’s world premiere of In the Countenance of Kings with choreographer, Justin Peck.  

Patti Fitzpatrick
Host: Mary Wood

May 8, 2016

Patti Fitzpatrick, Interim Head of Women’s Wardrobe, describes the inner workings of the Wardrobe department. In her engaging manner, she reviews her early career as an ice skater and building her own costumes as preparation for this work. She uses a selection of costumes to illustrate some of the challenges faced by her staff, including the adaptation of costumes in the warehouse inventory for a variety of functions.

Ricardo Bustamante
Host: Jasmine Yep Huynh

May 6, 2016

Ricardo Bustamante, Ballet Master and Assistant to the Artistic Director, discusses his role as one of the Ballet Masters for John Cranko’s Onegin.  Bustamante shares with the audience what to listen to in the music, what to look for in the choreography during Tatiana’s Bedroom scene in Act I, and what to watch for as different relationships develop in Act II. He also talks about the Company’s touring and rehearsal schedule during the summer when the Company is not performing in the War Memorial Opera House.

SFB Orchestra
Host: Martin West

May 1, 2016

Meet the Orchestra - Music Director and Principal Conductor Martin West discusses the music of Cranko's Onegin with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra providing commentary and musical accompaniment.

Mathilde Froustey
Host: Cheryl A. Ossola

April 17, 2016

Cheryl A. Ossola, SF Ballet writer and Dance Studio Life magazine editor in chief, interviews Principal Dancer Mathilde Froustey. Principal Dancer Mathilde Froustey, in her third season with the Company, discusses learning and dancing George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and the challenges of Balanchine in general; her role in Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas and what she has learned from working with him; and her upcoming debut as Tatiana in John Cranko’s Onegin. Audience questions touch on her training and the differences in dancing story ballets versus abstract works. 

Please note: We are aware that a portion of the audio recording is corrupted, but we feel it is still a wonderful interview worth sharing. Please excuse the disruption.

James Sofranko
Host: Cheryl A. Ossola

April 15, 2016

Cheryl A. Ossola, SF Ballet writer and Dance Studio Life magazine editor in chief, interviews Soloist James Sofranko. Soloist James Sofranko discusses his roles in Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings (and the injury that kept him from performing it) and Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum, whose creative process he was part of in 2001. An emerging choreographer himself, Sofranko talks about how Peck and Wheeldon have influenced him; his upcoming work for the San Francisco Ballet School Showcase (his second), set on the Trainees; and his new role as founder and artistic director of a small troupe, SFDanceworks.

Joan Boada
Host: Caroline Giese

April 10, 2016

Artistic Administrator Caroline Giese interviews Principal Dancer Joan Boada.

Henry Sidford
Host: Jasmine Yep Huynh

April 8, 2016

Henry Sidford discusses his training in the SF Ballet School, his experience at Prix de Lausanne when he was a SF Ballet School Trainee, and his journey as a dancer in the Company. He also talks about the process of learning and performing works in Program 6 and Program 7 during the 2016 Season.

Pascal Molat
Host: Cheryl A. Ossola

March 20, 2016

Cheryl A. Ossola, SF Ballet writer and Dance Studio Life magazine editor in chief, interviews Principal Dancer Pascal Molat. Principal Dancer Pascal Molat, who is retiring this season, discusses his role in Yuri Possokhov’s Swimmer and his years of working with the choreographer; his philosophy about work and being an artist; his role as a teacher at the San Francisco Ballet School and other community dance schools; and his career transition plans.

Lauren Strongin
Host: Mary Wood

March 18, 2016

The audience is given the opportunity to “Meet” the artist, soloist Lauren Strongin, who is enjoying her first season with the Company. Lauren describes her training and early career, emphasizing the value of receiving a firm classical background at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC, before completing her studies at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, where she was exposed to a more contemporary style. She explains her move to San Francisco Ballet in order to join her husband, Principal Dancer Joseph Walsh, and how she has enjoyed the roles she has performed here beginning with Nutcracker.

Frances Chung
Host: Andrea Yannone

March 13, 2016

Director of Education and Training Andrea Yannone in conversation with Principal Dancer Frances Chung. Frances is reprising the role of Swanilda in these performances of Coppélia, and the conversation centers around her early training, career at SF Ballet, and of course her portrayal of Swanilda.

Dores André
Host: Mary Wood

March 11, 2016

Principal Dancer, Dores André, begins by describing her classically based training and her years spent in the corps de ballet, which she declares “harder than being a principal dancer”. She points to dancing Juliet in Tomasson’s full-length production of Romeo & Juliet, which was her first full-length principal role, as a career highlight; then compares that role to that of Swanhilda in Coppélia and its completely different challenges.

Chris Dennis
Host: Jennifer Kovacevich

February 28, 2016

Jennifer and Christopher discuss the role of the production director in the day-to-day as well as in the process of remounting a large-scale ballet such as Swan Lake. They discuss how changes may be made to a production for artistic reasons or due to advances in technology.

Luke Ingham
Host: Cheryl Ossola

February 26, 2016

Principal Dancer Luke Ingham discusses his professional path from his native Australia to the San Francisco Ballet stage; making his debut as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake; the personal rewards of dancing full-length classical ballets; how he got started in ballet; and his early training and the particulars of partnering.

Cordula Merks
Host: Andrea Yannone

February 21, 2016

German violinist Cordula Merks is the new concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and she started her tenure with the Orchestra with the December 2015 Nutcracker performances. Andi and Cordula discussed her path to the SFB Orchestra and her role as concertmaster. We explored the music of the 2016 repertory season, focusing on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Debra Sowell
Host: Mary Wood

February 19, 2016

Visiting Scholar, Debra H. Sowell, PhD, offers a lively description of America’s first full-length Swan Lake, produced by the San Francisco Ballet in 1940, and choreographed by Artistic Director, Willam Christensen. She begins by describing the role of a dance historian, and references the interviews she conducted in preparing her book, The Christensen Brothers, An American Dance Epic, the definitive biography of the three brothers, Willam, Harold, and Lew.

Jennifer Stahl
Host: Cheryl Ossola

February 5, 2016

Soloist Jennifer Stahl discusses working with choreographer William Forsythe during rehearsals for Pas/Parts 2016—an unusual process of learning and relearning and working beyond perceived limits—and how the experience influenced her as a dancer. She also talks about her roles in Yuri Possokhov’s Magrittomania and Liam Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries, plus dancing a diverse repertory that encompasses story ballets, abstract works, and themed, non-narrative works that suggest a story.

Tina LeBlanc
Host: Claire Sheridan, Founder of the LEAP Program at Saint Mary's College

January 31, 2016

In her current role as as a member of the faculty at the San Francisco Ballet School, former SF Ballet principal dancer Tina LeBlanc talks about what’s important to her as a teacher. She discusses the benefits of ballet training, how to motivate young dancers, the use of imagery, and how a “good” dancer becomes “great.”  Tina also reflects on her own retirement from the stage and comments on her work as a ballet mistress for Balanchine’s "Rubies."

Liam Scarlett
Host: Mary Wood

January 29, 2016

Choreographer Liam Scarlett is a vivid spokesperson for the art form, and he describes the choreographic process with eloquence. He reviews his evolution as a choreographer and talks about how greatly he values the relationship of trust he develops with his dancers. He speaks about taking his inspiration from music in general and how the score by John Adams supports this work, also titled “Fearful Symmetries”.

To the Pointe

Need something to listen to on your way to the theater? Join Jennie Scholick, PhD as she hosts To the Pointe, for an in-depth but light-hearted exploration of an upcoming performance. Learn what to look for, what’s important, and what you need to know to get the most out of your experience, all with a dash of humor.

Episode 3: Distinctly SF Ballet

February 1, 2018

Join Jennie Scholick, PhD as she walks you through Program 3: Distinctly SF Ballet. Hear from choreographers Val Caniparoli and Myles Thatcher and learn about Helgi Tomasson's On a Theme of Paganini, Caniparoli's Ibsen's House, and Thatcher's Ghost in the Machine.

Episode 2: Bright Fast Cool Blue

January 18, 2018

Join Jennie Scholick, PhD as she walks you through Program 2: Bright Fast Cool Blue. Hear from Benjamin Millepied and learn about George Balachine’s Serenade, Millepied’s The Chairman Dances, and Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.

Episode 1: The Sleeping Beauty

January 4, 2018

Join Jennie Scholick, PhD as she walks you through the history and story of The Sleeping Beauty. Learn what to look for, why the ballet is so hard, and what makes SF Ballet's version special.

Demi Pointe

San Francisco Ballet's Demi-Pointe Podcast is a bite-sized taste of our upcoming programs, hosted by Associate Director of Audience Engagement, Jennie Scholick, PhD. Get a quick overview of what you're about to see and learn what to look for, what's important, and what you most need to know.

Demi-Pointe: Distinctly SF Ballet

February 1, 2018

Join Jennie Scholick of SF Ballet to learn everything you need to know about Program 3: Distinctly SF Ballet. In under five minutes.


Bright Fast Cool Blue

January 18, 2018

Join Jennie Scholick of SF Ballet to learn everything you need to know about Bright Fast Cool Blue. In 5 minutes or less.


The Sleeping Beauty

January 4, 2018

Join Jennie Scholick of SF Ballet to learn everything you need to know about The Sleeping Beauty. In 5 minutes or less.