Learn from Artists and Experts about Ballet

December 8: SF Ballet Scholar-in-Residence Presentation

Brynn Shiovitz, SF Ballet’s 2020 Scholar-in-Residence, gives a first glimpse of her research on SF Ballet’s Nutcracker.

Dr. Shiovitz will present an excerpt of the research she conducted during her time as SF Ballet’s 2020 Scholar-in-Residence. This study looks at the Russian trepak dance, one of seven character dances in the second act of Nutcracker. She notes that, despite certain constants (e.g. Tchaikovsky’s musical score, the basic narrative, and particular players), choreographers have often taken liberties with Nutcracker’s staging, especially in Act Two’s divertissements. However, in two important productions, Willam Christensen’s 1944 version for SF Ballet and George Balanchine’s 1954 version for New York City Ballet, the “Russian Dance” remains largely unchanged from Alexandre Shiryaev’s original 1890 choreography. Dr. Shiovitz looks at how this dance, both in its connection to 19th century Russian aesthetics and in its relationship to the other divertissements, articulates the varied sociopolitical moments of its performance.  In particular, Dr. Shiovitz explores the ways in which televised versions of these  performances offer a heightened reading of its corresponding zeitgeist.

December 17: Growing Up Nutcracker

For many dancers – young and old, professional and amateur—Nutcracker is their first exposure to ballet and to performance. In this panel, dancers, former dancers, musicians, and production personnel, who have been a part of San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, discuss their personal Nutcracker histories and memories, as well as share their thoughts on where ballet goes from here.

Panelists include Principal Dancer Sarah Van Patten, Principal Dancer Sasha De Sola, Soloist Elizabeth Powell, former Principal Dancer and Washington Ballet Artistic Team Member Rubén Martin Cintas, former Head of Women’s Wardrobe Patti Fitzpatrick, former Principal Dancer and Ballet Master Tina Le Blanc, former Principal Dancer and Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal SF Ballet Orchestra Bassoonist Rufus Olivier, and former SF Ballet School student and current Associate Director of School Administration Christina Gray Rutter.

Date: September 16, December 8, and December 17

Time: 6:00–7:30 PM

Location: Online via Zoom

Cost: General Admission: $15 per class
Donors and subscribers get these programs for a reduced rate or for free!


Classes go off sale at 10am the morning of the event and Zoom links will be sent shortly thereafter.