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

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2016 Podcast Archive

Pointes of View Lectures

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

May 3, 2017

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: SF Ballet Masters & Artists

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

Running time: 41 minutes

April 12, 2017

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Ruben Martin Cintas

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.

Running time: 28 minutes

March 15, 2017

Guests: Jim Steichen & Martin West

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."

Running time: 47 minutes

March 8, 2017

Guest: Thomas F. DeFrantz

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.

Running time: 45 minutes

February 22, 2017

Guest: Ellen Peel

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.

Running time: 36 minutes

Feb 1, 2017

Host: Mary Wood
Guests: Anita Paciotti, Christopher Dennis

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.

Running time: 46 minutes

Jan 25, 2017

Host: Cecelia Beam
Guest: Claudia LaRocca

In the five years since Jennifer Homans predicted ballet’s eminent 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.

Running time: 41 minutes

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.

APR 30, 2017

Guest: Skyla Schreter

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

Running time: 29 minutes

APR 28, 2017

Guest: George Elvin

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.

Running time: 30 minutes

APR 7, 2017

Guest: Frances Chung

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.

Running time: 29 minutes

MAR 19, 2017

Guests: Sofiane Sylve and Carlo Di Lanno

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.

Running time: 30 minutes

MAR 19, 2017

Guest: Katita Waldo

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.

Running time: 32 minutes

MAR 12, 2017

Guest: Val Caniparoli

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.

Running time: 30 minutes

MAR 10, 2017

Guest: Rufus Olivier

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.

Running time: 36 minutes

Mar 9, 2017

Guest: Myles Thatcher

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.

Running time: 33 minutes

Feb 19, 2017

Guest: Max Cauthorn

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.

Running time: 30 minutes

Feb 5, 2017

Host: Cheryl A. Ossola
Guest: Luke Ingham

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.

Running time: 29 minutes

Feb 3, 2017

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Julia Rowe

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.

Running time: 30 minutes

Jan 29, 2017

Host: Claire Sheridan
Guest: Sasha De Sola

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. 

Running time: 29 minutes

Jan 27, 2017

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Jennifer Stahl

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.  

Running time: 30 minutes