Boundless: A Symposium on Ballet's Future

April 27–29, 2018

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Who is this for?

Anyone who wants to know how new work, technology, and diversity and inclusion are changing ballet.


General Public: $35/session
Subscribers/Donors: $30/session
Package: $90


April 27-29, 2018


The War Memorial Opera House and the Education Studio at the Wilsey Center 

Bringing together noted artists, scholars, and critics, this symposium provides an opportunity for discussion, debate, and collaboration about ballet in the 21st century.

Based in a rapidly changing, innovative, and diverse city, we believe that a focus on emergent technology, the inclusion of new and diverse voices, and the production of new choreographic works is necessary for ballet to remain relevant for 21st-century audiences.

Where has ballet been? Where is it going? And what needs to happen next? Join San Francisco Ballet for a discussion on where ballet goes from here.

Unbound: A Conversation on the Future of Ballet

War Memorial Opera House
Friday, April 27 6 pm–7:30 pm

Helgi Tomasson
Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer at SF Ballet

Virginia Johnson
Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem
Marina Harss
Dance Writer and Critic

FREE and open to the public


Ballet Unbound?: The Aesthetics and Politics of Ballet in a Globalized World

Education Studio at the Wilsey Center
Saturday, April 28 11:30 am–1 pm

From fake news to music video gifs, the rate at which information and images circle the globe has never been faster. What does it mean to make ballet in a time of instantaneous transmission and political uncertainty? How is ballet absorbing influences from other cultures and dance techniques? What kinds of new voices are contributing to ballet? How are the aesthetics of ballet changing? And what kinds of things are today’s choreographers trying to say?

Marina Harss
Dance Writer and Critic

Jill Nunes Jensen, Ph.D. 
Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, Loyola Marymount University

Ariel Osterweis, Ph.D. 
The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, California Institute of the Arts

Dwight Rhoden 
Founding Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer at Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Jennie Scholick, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Audience Engagement at SF Ballet

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“Silicon Ballet:” Bringing Ballet and Technology Together On Stage, On Film, and Online

Education Studio at the Wilsey Center
Saturday, April 28 5:30 pm–7 pm

Hear from artists, choreographers, and scholars about how they have experimented with, experienced, or envisioned the collaboration between ballet and technology. From motion capture to live streams to dancing robots, how is technology changing ballet? How is technology changing audiences? And how might dance influence emerging technology?

Judy Flannery 
Executive Director of SF Dance Film Festival

Arthur Pita

Sydney Skybetter
Choreographer and Professor at Brown University

Rachel Sibley 
Futurist and Immersive Technologist

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Boundless: Fostering New Voices in Ballet Choreography, Leadership, and Audiences

Education Studio
Sunday, April 29 11 am–12:45 pm

As the resident classical ballet company of a minority-majority city, San Francisco Ballet recognizes that if ballet is going to remain crucial and relevant to audiences, it needs a diversity of voices and bodies included on stage, in the studio, and in the executive offices. Join us for a discussion of how directors and company leaders are thinking about including new voices and perspectives in the dancers they hire, the choreographers they commission, the audiences they reach, and the stories they tell.

Helgi Tomasson 
Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer at SF Ballet

Patrick Armand
SF Ballet School Director

 Celia Fushille 
Artistic Director of Smuin Contemporary Ballet

 Dwight Rhoden 
Founding Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer at Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Andrea Yannone
Director of Education & Training at SF Ballet

Virginia Johnson 
Artistic Director of Dance Theater of Harlem
SF Ballet's Diversity & Inclusion programs are supported in part by Bank of America and Visa.

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Want to join the full symposium?

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Ever wonder how a ballet is made? Take a look at our series of live broadcasts of Unbound rehearsals. You'll meet the choreographers, watch them work, and get a sneak peek at their new ballets.

Learn More

unbound on Screen

We’re matching four Unbound choreographers with film directors to create four short dance films inspired by their new ballets.

Learn More