Meet the Artist Interview Audio

Meet the Artist Interviews (MTAs) spotlight the specific San Francisco Ballet repertory program to be performed that afternoon/evening. These informative talks feature Company dancers, guest artists, choreographers, and conductors in conversation with a moderator.

The information, views and opinions expressed in podcasts are strictly those of the participants and do not represent directly or imply any official position of San Francisco Ballet Association.

Join Us In-Person for Meet the Artist Interviews

See the pre-performance Meet the Artist Interview schedule for upcoming discussion dates.


2015 Season

Patrick ArmandPatrick Armand (© Chris Hardy)

May 10, 2015

Host: Cheryl Ossola
Guest: Patrick Armand

San Francisco Ballet School Associate Director Patrick Armand discusses growing up in his mother’s ballet school, his transition from student to professional dancer, his work with Rudolf Nureyev, and dancers and teachers who made an impact on him. Also touched on are his teaching philosophy and approach and why dancing Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Soirées musicales is such a good opportunity for advanced-level students in the 2015 Student Showcase.

Running time: 32 minutes
Debra BernardDebra Bernard (© Chris Hardy)

May 8, 2015

Host: Cheryl Ossola
Guest: Debra Bernard

Debra Bernard discusses her role as San Francisco Ballet’s general manager and how her various roles in the ballet and opera worlds helped prepare her for it. She talks about the logistical challenges of such Company endeavors as co-productions and touring, her memories of the months when Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet was in development, the importance of the arts, and how seeing the Company perform inspires her to do her best behind the scenes.

Running time: 32 minutes
Norika MatsuyamaNorika Matsuyama (© Chris Hardy)

May 3, 2015

Host: Andrea Yannone
Guest: Norika Matsuyama

Director of Education and Training Andrea Yannone interviews Corps de Ballet Dancer Norika Matsuyama.

Running time: 25 minutes
Julia RoweJulia Rowe (© Chris Hardy)

May 1, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Julia Rowe

Dancer Julia Rowe, in her second season as a member of the corps de ballet, speaks about her solid training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She credits that for her success in performing a number of particularly challenging featured roles, including the Sugar Plum Fairy in the recent Nutcracker season. She highlights the wide ranging opportunities in a large company such as SFB, in contrast to her five years with the smaller, more intimate Oregon Ballet Theatre.

Running time: 28 minutes

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Host: Cheryl Ossola
Guest: David LaMarche

Guest conductor David LaMarche discusses his experiences in working with Alexei Ratmansky to bring Shostakovich Trilogy to the stage at ABT and the particulars about conducting this score. In addition, LaMarche talks about his unconventional path to conducting, his first exposure to Shostakovich’s music, and some interesting compositional aspects of Symphony No. 9, Chamber Symphony, and Piano Concerto No. 1—the three pieces of music in Shostakovich Trilogy.

Running time: 28 minutes
Martin WestMartin West

Friday, April 17, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Martin West

Martin West, Music Director and Principal Conductor speaks with eloquence and enthusiasm about the composer Shostakovich, his training and his formation in Soviet Russia. He discusses the complexity of the 3 works on this program, highlighting how different each is from the others. He points to numerous instances of “inside” jokes woven into the compositions. He begins by locating the SFB Orchestra as one of the rare and nearly the oldest permanent ballet orchestras.

Running time: 27 minutes

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Host: Cheryl Ossola
Guest: Kate Duhamel

Writer for San Francisco Ballet and Dance Studio Life Editor in Chief Cheryl Ossola interviews Kate Duhamel Film Maker and Video Designer for Swimmer.

Running time: 31 minutes
Sarah Van PattenSarah Van Patten (© David Allen)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Sarah Van Patten

Dance Educator Mary Wood interviews Principal Dancer Sarah Van Patten.

Running time: 29 minutes
Betsy EricksonBetsy Erickson

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Host: Claire Sheridan
Guest: Betsy Erickson

Founder of St. Mary's College of California LEAP Program Claire Sheridan interviews Ballet Master Betsy Erickson.

Running time: 24 minutes
Anita PaciottiAnita Paciotti

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Host: Jennifer Kovacevich
Guest: Anita Paciotti

Lean Ops Project Manager Jennifer Kovacevich interviews Ballet Master and Principal Character Dancer Anita Paciotti.

Running time: 26 minutes
Christopher StowellChristopher Stowell (© Chris Hardy)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Christopher Stowell

Christopher Stowell, Assistant to the Artistic Director and Ballet Master, brings the audience up to date on his career since retiring from SFB in 2001 after 16 years as a dancer. He places himself in the company’s heritage as the son of a former SFB dancer, Kent Stowell, then reflects on the excitement of joining the company during Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Thomasson’s first season and being part of the company’s growth during that era. He describes how the experience of being the Artistic Director of the Oregon Ballet Theater helped to prepare him for his current duties as Assistant the the Artistic Director, particularly in areas of administration.

Running time: 28 minutes
Pascal MolatPascal Molat (© David Allen)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Host: Caroline Giese
Guest: Pascal Molat

Artistic Administrator Caroline Giese interviews Principal Dancer Pascal Molat.

Running time: 27 minutes
James SofrankoJames Sofranko (© David Allen)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: James Sofranko

Soloist James Sofranko reflects on the trajectory of his career, which includes a degree from the Juilliard Conservatory, and significant training in dance disciplines outside of ballet. He cites this broad background while reviewing the range of roles in his repertoire, including time away from SFB performing the role of Eddie in the national tour of Movin’ Out, with choreography by Twyla Tharp. He currently enjoys time spent in the “front of the room”, as he is assuming the role of ballet master for select pieces entering the repertory.

Running time: 30 minutes
Mathilde FrousteyMathilde Froustey (© Chris Hardy)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Host: Claire Sheridan
Guest: Mathilde Froustey

In 2013, Ms. Froustey left the Paris Opera Ballet to join SFB. In this interview, she discusses what she has learned since then—about dance and about herself. She describes the can-do spirit of this diverse American company and reflects on her sources of inspiration. She also provides insight into the ballet La Bayadere.

Running time: 27 minutes
Myles ThatcherMyles Thatcher (© David Allen)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Myles Thatcher

As he reflects on Manifesto, his first commission for the San Francisco Ballet, Myles Thatcher speaks about being a choreographer, as he reviews his career to date. He views his continuing roll as a dancer in the corps de ballet as important to his formation as a maker of dances, and he cites his relationships with his colleagues as particularly valuable to his work.

Running time: 28 minutes
Lauren ParrottDores André (© Chris Hardy)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Host: Jasmine Yep Huynh
Guest: Dores André

Soloist Dores André discusses her debut as Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, and dancing other roles in Tomasson’s Giselle (Solo Wili, pas de cinq, flying wili). She also talks about her early training in Spain with Lola de Avila (Assistant to Mr. Tomasson for Giselle), her approach to different roles throughout the repertory season, and her interest in sewing and swimming.

Running time: 31 minutes
Lauren ParrottLauren Parrott (© Chris Hardy)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Lauren Parrott

Dance Educator Mary Wood interviews Corps de Ballet Member and Flying Wili Lauren Parrott.

Running time: 28 minutes
Tiit HelimetsTiit Helimets (© Chris Hardy)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Host: Cheryl A. Ossola, SF Ballet writer and Dance Studio Life magazine editor in chief
Guest: Tiit Helimets Principal Dancer

Tiit discusses dancing both male principal roles in Balanchine’s Serenade; some of the differences between Serenade and another Balanchine ballet in this season’s repertory, The Four Temperaments; and how his approach to the role of Albrecht in Giselle has changed as he has matured. The conversation includes what earning a bachelor’s degree has meant to him as an artist, his recent teaching experience and what he gains from it in his own classroom work, and how he balances the demands of work and family.

Running time: 29 minutes
Joseph WalshJoseph Walsh (© Chris Hardy)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Host: Mary Wood
Guest: Joseph Walsh

Joseph Walsh, promoted from Soloist to Principal Artist within his first year with the Company, introduces himself to the San Francisco audience. He recounts his early training, and the successful beginnings of his career with the Houston Ballet. He describes with enthusiasm his response to the challenge of a faster pace at SFB, starting with the excitement of the 2014 residency at Les Été de la danse in Paris.

Running time: 29 minutes