The future of ballet is coming next. We’ve celebrated maker culture here in the Bay Area for decades, so to celebrate San Francisco Ballet’s 90th anniversary, we’re looking forward. The next@90 festival presents 9 world premiere ballets by 9 international choreographers, creating a hub of dance innovation in San Francisco. Featuring new works by Nicolas Blanc, Bridget Breiner, Robert Garland, Benjamin Millepied, Yuka Oishi, Yuri Possokhov, Jamar Roberts, Danielle Rowe, and Claudia Schreier.
“What a thrilling opportunity to craft a work on such a talented group of artists! It is a true honor to reconnect with my San Francisco Ballet family and contribute to the creative future of the company with next@90 Festival.”
Nicolas Blanc started his dance training in Montauban, France, continuing at the Academie de Danse Classique Princess Grace in Monte-Carlo. After winning a scholarship in the 1994 Prix de Lausanne, he completed his education at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
He went on to dance for Nice Opera Ballet, Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf, Zurich Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, where he was made Principal Dancer in 2004.
He joined Scottish Ballet as Ballet Master in 2009 and is a rehearsal director and principal coach for the Joffrey Ballet since 2011.
Blanc has created several works for the Joffrey Ballet, most notably Under the Tree’s Voices, Evenfall, Beyond The Shore (commissioned and supported by the New York Choreographic Institute and Cal Performances Berkeley.
Blanc participated in the 2015 National Choreographers Initiative (NCI). He was chosen to participate in NYCI where he created Mothership, which premiered in New York City Ballet’s 2016 gala. Blanc created for Barak Ballet and Grand Rapids Ballet. His latest work From Afar opened at the Rome Opera Ballet in February 2022.
“I am of course thrilled to be invited to next@90, to share the festival with such esteemed colleagues, and to be able work with the wonderful dancers of the San Francisco Ballet. I left the United States at an early age many years ago, so the chance to return to create a ballet in my own country, after so many years of being part of the European dance scene, is really an honour and a joy.”
Bridget Breiner joined the Bavarian State Ballet in 1992 under the direction of Konstanze Vernon. In 1996 she joined the Stuttgart Ballet under the direction of Reid Anderson and was promoted to Principal in 2001. From 2006 to 2008 she danced with the Semperoper Ballet in Dresden under the Direction of Aaron Watkin, and was a regular guest artist with the Stuttgart Ballet until 2011.
In 2005 Breiner made her choreographic debut in the “Young Choreographers” evening of the Stuttgart-based Noverre Society. In 2007 she choreographed Zeitsprünge, an evening that merged dance and art in the exhibition spaces of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, created for students of the John Cranko School. She has since created works for the Stuttgart Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Latvian National Ballet, Kevin O’Day-Ballet Mannheim, Ballet Augsburg, and the Salzburg State Theatre.
In 2011 Breiner was invited to choreograph and direct Großstadt-Triptychon, a collaboration between the opera and dance companies of the Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen. One year later she was appointed artistic director of that theater’s newly formed ballet company Ballett im Revier, a company of 14 international dancers. Her first full-length story ballet for the company – Ruß – Eine Geschichte von Aschenputtel (Soot, a retelling of the Cinderella tale) – received Germany’s most prestigious theatre award “Der FAUST” for “Best Choreography” in 2013. She followed this success with new choreography for On the Town, Swan Lake, and The Tragedies of Othello. Another dance-opera collaboration, Charlotte Salomon: Der Tod und die Malerin (Death and the Painter) with commissioned score by composer Michelle DiBucci, received wide critical acclaim and again brought her the “FAUST” award in 2015.
In 2016 Breiner was invited to the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, one of Europe’s oldest theatre festivals. Her creation there – Prosperos Insel (Prospero’s Island) – a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, was immediately taken into the company’s repertoire. In 2017, she created her first full-length symphonic ballet, The Vital Unrest, including Camille Saint-Saëns’ Third Symphony and a commissioned work by Latvian composer Georgs Pelēcis. In 2018 she created The Firebird for Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens, and Romeo and Juliet which was staged with her own company, Ballet im Revier Gelsenkirchen.
“I look forward to creating a work for the San Francisco Ballet next@90 festival. It is even a greater honor to create work for a time-honored institution that found so much success under the leadership of Helgi Tomasson. He is a Mozart in world of Salieris! To that end, I plan to create a work to the music of that same composer, the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.”
Robert Garland was a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, joining as a corps de ballet member and achieving the rank of Principal Dancer. After creating a work for the DTH School Ensemble, Arthur Mitchell invited Garland to create a work for The Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, and soon afterwards was appointed as the organization's first Resident Choreographer. At this same time, Arthur Mitchell also appointed Garland as Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School.
In addition to choreographing ballets for the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, Garland has also created work for the New York City Ballet, Britain's Royal Ballet (as the first black choreographer for the company), Oakland Ballet and many other institutions, both artistic and academic.
Commercial work has included music videos, commercials and short films, including the children's television show Sesame Street, Nike commercials, (most notably one featuring Baseball Hall of Fame member and New York Yankee Derek Jeter), the NAACP Image Awards, a short film for renowned fashion designer Donna Karan, and a commission by Proctor and Gamble for the creation of the “Charmin Cha-Cha”. In 2020, Garland's work was featured on the popular
STARZ television show, "Run The World."
Garland holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Juilliard School in New York City, and is a recipient of the Martha Hill Award, named after the Founder of the school’s Dance Department.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to choreograph my third dance for San Francisco Ballet. It is a privilege to create a new work in collaboration with Nico Muhly, my longtime collaborator, for a company that has always inspired me, and whose professionalism, dedication, and versatility always speak volumes in the creative process.”
Benjamin Millepied is a choreographer, filmmaker, and former Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet. Born in Bordeaux, France, he performed with NYCB from 1995 to 2011, where he originated roles by choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, Alexei Ratmansky, Mauro Bigonzetti, Angelin Preljoçaj, and Peter Martins. As a choreographer, Millepied’s own works are part of major dance companies’ repertories around the world, such as American Ballet Theatre, The Mariinsky Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Berlin Staastsoper, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet. Millepied acted as the choreographer-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in 2006, where he choreographed the solo Years Later for Mikhail Baryshnikov. His many collaborators include composers Nico Muhly, Nicholas Britell, David Lang, and Bryce Dessner; artists Christopher Wool, Barbara Kruger, Mark Bradford, Daniel Buren, Liam Gillick, and United Visual Artists; and designers Rodarte, Iris Van Herpen, and Alessandro Sartori. In 2010, Millepied choreographed and starred in the award-winning film Black Swan. In 2012, Millepied co-founded L.A. Dance Project. He was appointed Director of Dance at Paris Opera in 2014, where he commissioned new works by William Forsythe, Justin Peck, Jérôme Bel, Wayne McGregor, Crystal Pite, Tino Seghal, Nico Muhly, and James Blake. In addition, he created the Paris Opera’s first dance medicine program and launched a digital stage. Directors Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlari chronicled Millepied’s tenure at Paris Opera in their critically-acclaimed documentary Reset. In 2016, Millepied resigned from his position in order to focus on his own choreography and filmmaking, as well as the artistic direction of L.A. Dance Project. In 2022, he will make his directorial feature debut with the film musical Carmen. Millepied is a recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise, a recipient of the Bourse Lavoisier Scholarship, a winner of the Prix de Lausanne, a United States Artists Wynn Fellow in Dance, and a recipient of the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.
“I am very honored to share this moment with dancers and the audience,
as we listen to the sound of the soul overflowing from each dancer's body and
thus join us in the process of creation.”
Yuka Oishi is a Japanese artist with projects spanning the world. She trained at The Hamburg Ballet School and joined The Hamburg Ballet in the 2002–03 Season and was promoted to Soloist in 2010. She choreographed RENKU with Orkan Dann for The Hamburg Ballet in 2012 and received the “Rolf Mares Prize” for the best production of the year.
Since 2015 Oishi has been working as a freelance choreographer and dancer. She has been active not only in the field of ballet but also in musicals and music videos. She has choreographed for Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Bundes Jugend Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Origen Festival Cultural, Sadamatsu-Hamada Ballet, The Tokyo Ballet, Takarazuka Revue, Shoko Nakamura, Natalia Osipova, Sergei Polunin, and Gil Roman.
Known for his thoughtful, wide-ranging choreography, beautiful dancing, and strong partnering skills, Yuri Possokhov is choreographer in residence for SF Ballet. After training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, he danced for ten years with the Bolshoi Ballet and two years with the Royal Danish Ballet before joining SF Ballet as a principal dancer in 1994.
Over the next 12 years, he performed leading roles while also beginning to choreograph. When Possokhov retired from the stage, he was named choreographer in residence. He has created over 14 ballets for SF Ballet, including Magrittomania (Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Choreography), RAkU, and Swimmer. Some of Possokhov’s other choreographic credits include Nutcracker for Atlanta Ballet (2018) and Anna Karenina, a co-commission between the Joffrey Ballet and The Australian Ballet (2019). Possokhov is a frequent guest with the Bolshoi Ballet, where he has choreographed multiple full-lengths, including A Hero of Our Time, Nureyev, and, most recently, The Seagull, which premiered in July 2021.
“It is a great thrill to be commissioned alongside an all-embracing assemblage of dance makers for San Francisco Ballet's next@90 Festival. To be considered part of the innovative and creative tapestry of SFB is incredibly inspiring and I look forward to learning from and making with the multiplicity of artists in the company's harbor.”
Australian choreographer Dani Rowe was a Principal Dancer with the Australian Ballet and Houston Ballet, and also danced with the prestigious Nederlands Dans Theater 1. Rowe has choreographed numerous works across the USA and abroad, for companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Co.Lab Dance (featuring dancers from American Ballet Theater) and has written, choreographed and directed celebrated dance films, namely Wooden Dimes for San Francisco Ballet and Wilis in Corps-en-tine for The Australian Ballet which was voted “one of the best things to come out of quarantine” by Vogue.
“As a lifelong admirer of San Francisco Ballet, I am honored to have the opportunity to create a new work for the next@90 festival. SF Ballet embodies excellence in every facet of the organization, and I am honored to engage with its world-class artists to bring a new ballet to life.”
Claudia Schreier has choreographed, directed, and produced for dance, opera, and film across the U.S. and internationally. She is the Choreographer in Residence at Atlanta Ballet and has been commissioned by Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Vail Dance Festival, and Juilliard Opera. She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Choreography, Lotos Foundation Prize, and Suzanne Farrell Dance Prize, and she was a Virginia B. Toulmin Fellow at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. She has contributed to programs at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the White House.
2023 next@90 festival Sponsors
Jim and Cecilia Herbert
With Major Support by Anonymous
Yurie and Carl Pascarella
John and Amy Palmer
David H. Spencer