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SF Ballet Announces 89th Repertory Season Opening Night Gala: La Grande Fête

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Programming will include the world premieres of ballets by luminaries such as Alexei Ratmansky, Yuri Possokhov, and Myles Thatcher, and more.

SF Ballet Announces 89th Repertory Season Opening Night Gala: La Grande Fête

San Francisco Ballet, the first professional ballet company in the U.S., is kicking off its 89th repertory season with the opening night gala La Grande Fête, marking the return of one of the Bay Area's most anticipated social events after a two-year hiatus.

Programming will include the world premieres of ballets by luminaries such as Alexei Ratmansky, Yuri Possokhov, and Myles Thatcher, the SF Ballet premiere of Justin Peck's Bloom, an excerpt from Swan Lake celebrating principal Yuan Yuan Tan, and more.

This one-night-only program is curated by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, who is entering his final season leading the trailblazing company with this celebration of the longstanding relationships he and the company have forged across his tenure. Proceeds from La Grande Fête will benefit a range of signature SF Ballet initiatives, including new works, scholarships and financial aid programs for San Francisco Ballet School students, and community education programs.

After more than two years, one of the Bay Area's most-anticipated annual social events of the year returns in person on Thursday, January 27, 2022. San Francisco Ballet today announced details for La Grande Fête, the opening night gala of its 89th season, including the world premieres of ballets by Alexei Ratmansky, Yuri Possokhov, and Myles Thatcher, plus the stage premiere of a pas de deux from Danielle Rowe's Wooden Dimes, one of the ballet films created during the pandemic. The celebratory evening, sponsored in part by Presenting Sponsor Osterweis Capital Management, will support the nonprofit San Francisco Ballet's renowned artistic, educational, and training programs as it raises the curtain on its new repertory season. The one-night-only program, curated by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson in his final season leading the company, will celebrate the longstanding relationships the company has held with choreographers and dancers at the pinnacle of their careers. The Gala is chaired this year by René Rodman Diamond; watch the Opening Night Gala trailer here, and access press photos here.

La Grande Fête's performance includes three world premieres by longtime San Francisco Ballet collaborators Alexei Ratmansky (working with SF Ballet since 2003), Yuri Possokhov (working with SF Ballet since 1992), and Myles Thatcher, also an SF Ballet Soloist, whose premiere is his eighth ballet created on the Company and is sponsored by Isaac Hall. The program also includes the first live performance of the pas de deux from Danielle Rowe's Wooden Dimes following its virtual premiere earlier this year, the SF Ballet premiere of Justin Peck's Bloom from 2021, and Tomasson's White Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake, highlighting beloved SF Ballet principal dancer Yuan Yuan Tan. "For my final opening night gala, I am thrilled to bring together choreographers that have been integral to our work at San Francisco Ballet in a true celebration of this company and its accomplishments," said Tomasson. "From Ratmansky, who we've worked with for nearly 20 years, to celebrating Yuan Yuan Tan in an excerpt from Swan Lake, the Gala will bring together new choreography and long-time collaborators in classic SF Ballet fashion."

"For nearly 90 years, San Francisco Ballet has contributed to the cultural richness of the Bay Area and has served as an ambassador for the city around the world and as a dedicated community member at home," added Interim Executive Director Danielle St. Germain-Gordon. "For 37 of those years, Helgi Tomasson has been an exemplary leader for our company and community. We are thrilled to be coming back to live performances and celebrating the joy of ballet in person, gathering our community in support of our mission, and expressing our eternal gratitude to Helgi for his historic leadership and our excitement to celebrate his legacy for the entire 2022 season."

La Grande Fête begins at the War Memorial Opera House at 5 pm with a red carpet arrival, sponsored by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP. All guests will enjoy the Sparkling Stroll, sponsored by William Blair with complimentary sparkling wine by Gala Wine Sponsor JCB Collection. Grand Benefactors will enjoy the Grand Benefactor Box Lobby Reception, sponsored by Cast. The 90-minute Gala performance, curated by Tomasson, begins at 6 pm.

After the performance, full evening and ENCORE! guests will cross the street to a transformed San Francisco City Hall with décor by J. Riccardo Benavides for continued festivities featuring catering by McCalls Catering & Events and wines by JCB Collection. Guests will enjoy the Grand Benefactor dinner in the Rotunda with Helgi Tomasson, the Benefactor Dinner sponsored by KPMG in the North Light Court, the Patron Dinner sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the North Light Court, and the ENCORE! Gala reception sponsored by First Republic Bank in the South Light Court.

Proceeds from La Grande Fête will benefit a wide range of SF Ballet artistic initiatives, including new works, accessible digital content, scholarships and financial aid programs for San Francisco Ballet School students, and community education programs for youth, families, and seniors.

San Francisco Ballet's acclaimed Company has consistently collaborated with and commissioned works from choreographers such as William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, Trey McIntyre, Cathy Marston, Mark Morris, and Dwight Rhoden, among many others. Under Helgi Tomasson's leadership, San Francisco Ballet has also supported and mentored the growth of emerging choreographers, including Ratmansky early in his career.

La Grande Fête performance-only tickets are on sale now. To purchase performance-only tickets, go to sfballet.org/gala or contact Ticket Services at 415-865-2000 or tickets@sfballet.org. Full evening and ENCORE! Gala tickets are also available to the general public. To reserve full evening or ENCORE! Gala tickets, go to sfballet.org/gala or contact Emma Lundberg at 415-865-6629 or elundberg@sfballet.org.

Single tickets to the Company's 2022 repertory season, opening February 1, are also on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at sfballet.org or by calling 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm Pacific.


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