Header Image

Ballet Insights: American Ballet: 1900–1983

Take a deeper dive into American ballet history. 

Who’s it for?

Patrons who want to become more knowledgeable about SF Ballet and the art form. 


General Public: $35
Subscribers and Donors ($75+): $30
All Three: $90


August 5, 12, 19 (Sundays)


Chris Hellman Center for Dance
455 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

How did American Ballet get its start? Was SF Ballet really the first ballet company in America? And what was it like to dance for icons like George Balanchine and Lew Christensen? Join us for an interactive three-session seminar to find the answers to these questions and many more. From Anna Pavlova to Lew Christensen to George Balanchine, learn about how ballet became an American art.

Buy tickets to the sessions you’re interested in or to all three!


  • Consider what American ballet is and where it came from
  • Meet members of the San Francisco Ballet Artistic Staff and learn about their lives and careers
  • Hear from scholars and historians about the beginnings of ballet in the United States
  • Learn how SF Ballet grew from its beginnings as the ballet company for the San Francisco Opera into the internationally recognized company it is today


August 5, 1–3 pm: Early Histories

  • Get a quick ballet history overview and explore the question: What is American ballet?
  • Learn about the early history of ballet in the United States, starting with Anna Pavlova’s American tours at the beginning of the 20th century
  • Learn from a panel of current SF Ballet artists about their own artistic lineages: where did they train? Where did their teachers train? Where did their teacher’s teachers train?

Buy Tickets

August 12, 1–3 pm: New York, New York?

  • Was New York always the epicenter of American dance? And Balanchine its founder? Come find out.
  • Hear from a dancer who danced at New York City Ballet under Balanchine and learn what it was like to be creating “American ballet”

Buy Tickets

August 19, 1–3 pm: San Francisco Ballet

  • Learn about San Francisco’s key role in the development of American ballet and in particular the contributions of the Christensen family
  • Meet dancers who worked with the Christensens at SF Ballet and learn about what American ballet looked like on the West Coast

Buy Tickets

Buy All Three


Subscribers and donors of $75 or more must login first to receive special pricing. Please note: we do not offer refunds. All programs are subject to cancellation in the event there is not adequate enrollment. All programs are subject to change. The information, views, and opinions expressed at all audience engagement programs are strictly those of the participants and do not necessarily represent or imply any official position of San Francisco Ballet Association.


If you have a question about a particular program please don't hesitate to contact us.

415 865 6670