San Francisco Ballet Announces 2018-19 Season

San Francisco Ballet Announces 2018-19 Season

San Francisco Ballet has announced its 2018-19 Season program and schedule. This summer, SF Ballet will return to Festival Napa Valley for one performance only on Friday, July 27, 2018, accompanied by members of the SF Ballet Orchestra. In addition, the company will also return to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., from October 23-28, 2018, where they will perform two mixed-bill programs of selected works from Unbound: A Festival of New Works.

The 2018-19 Season will continue with Nutcracker, which runs December 12-29, 2018 for a total of 31 performances. Following the Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, the Repertory Season will consist of eight programs, from January 25 to May 12.

"This season, I'm thrilled to bring back some of the wonderful new works from this year's unprecedented Unbound Festival," said SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson. "I'm also pleased to present two world premieres by frequent collaborators Liam Scarlett and Yuri Possokhov, as well as the company premiere of Benjamin Millepied'sAppassionata-which received rave reviews when it premiered in Paris. I'm also delighted to bring back audience favorites like Justin Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes and Alexei Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy."

Program 1 opens Friday, January 25 with the return of Tomasson/Possokhov's Don Quixote(with original choreography by Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa). Last performed during the 2015 Repertory Season, the full-length production is set to music by Ludwig Minkus. Called "charming and exhilarating" by the HuffPost, Don Quixote features scenic and costume design by Martin Pakledinaz and lighting design by James F. Ingalls. First performed by SF Ballet during the 2003 Repertory Season (with new production designs in 2012), the ballet is based on the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes.

Program 2 opens Tuesday, February 12 with George Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15, the company premiere of Millepied's Appassionata, and an encore work to be announced. Balanchine's classic Divertimento No. 15, set to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was premiered by New York City Ballet in 1956 and first performed by SF Ballet in 1979. The neoclassical work for 16 dancers was last performed by the company in 2012. Millepied'sAppassionata, set to Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, is a ballet for six dancers. Originally premiered in 2016 by Paris Opera Ballet under the title La Nuit s'achève ("The Night Ends"), the work features scenic design by Camille Dugas, costume design by Alessandro Sartori, and lighting design by Madjid Hakimi. Upon its premiere, The Guardian(UK) noted that the work was, "the kind of fluent neoclassicism at which Millepied excels." The updated title, Appassionata, means "passionate" in Italian.

Program 3 opens Thursday, February 14 with Tomasson's The Fifth Season, another encore work to be announced, and Harald Lander's Etudes. Last performed by the company in 2016, Tomasson's The Fifth Season was premiered by SF Ballet during the 2006 Repertory Season. Set to the music of Karl Jenkins, the work features scenic and costume design by Sandra Woodall, with lighting design by Michael Mazzola. The Orange County Register called The Fifth Season, "often mesmerizing and breathtakingly beautiful...." Harald Lander's Etudes, which was premiered by the Royal Danish Ballet in 1948, is set to a piano series by Carl Czerny (arranged by Knudage Riisager). The ballet is an homage to dance and includes a series of short takes illustrating ballet technique. The New York Times noted, "Etudes works its way up through classroom and concert ballet to a display of pyrotechnics that is heart-stopping in its speed and drive."

Program 4 opens on Saturday, March 9 with the encore presentation of Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty. This production, which was premiered by the company during the 1990 Repertory Season and called "dazzling" by The New York Times, is set to a score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tomasson's version in three acts, featuring some new costumes and sets from the Royal Danish Ballet, was most recently performed during the 2018 Repertory Season. The work includes scenic and costume design by Jens-Jacob Worsaae, with lighting design by Craig Miller. First choreographed by Marius Petipa, the original production premiered in 1890, at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. Tomasson's production shows the evolution in style of the Russian court over 100 years, before and after the reign of Peter the Great, as Western culture grew increasingly influential. The dramatic shift in costume style is especially evident from the prologue and Act I, to Acts II and III.

Program 5 opens Wednesday, March 27 with two encore works to be announced, and a new ballet by Possokhov. A former SF Ballet principal dancer and current choreographer in residence, Possokhov will create his seventeenth work for the company. Since retiring from SF Ballet in 2006, he has choreographed works for companies including the Bolshoi Ballet, the Georgia State Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet. His most recent projects include Nureyev, which will premiere at the Bolshoi Ballet in June 2018, as well as a new production of Anna Karenina, a co-commission of The Joffrey Ballet and The Australian Ballet, for The Joffrey Ballet's 2018-19 season.

Program 6 opens Friday, March 29 with an encore work to be announced, a new ballet by Scarlett, and the encore presentation of Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. Scarlett, The Royal Ballet's artist in residence, will create his third work for the company. Previously, Scarlett choreographed Hummingbird (2014) and Fearful Symmetries (2016) on SF Ballet and the company co-commissioned Scarlett's full-length production of Frankenstein, which was an SF Ballet premiere during the 2017 Repertory Season. Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes was premiered by New York City Ballet in 2015 and had its Company premiere during the 2018 Repertory Season. Set to the music of Aaron Copland, this non-narrative work is a departure from the eponymous 1942 work (choreographed by Agnes De Mille) and was called a "delectable romp" by the San Francisco Chronicle. The work features costume design by Reid Bartelme, Harriet Jung, and Justin Peck and lighting design by Brandon Stirling Baker.

Program 7 opens Friday, April 19 with the return of John Neumeier's The Little Mermaid. Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet director and chief choreographer, set the work to the commissioned music of Lera Auerbach. The full-length production was originally commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth, in 2005. This production is a modern and mature interpretation of the classic Christian Anderson fairy tale and SF Ballet presented the U.S. premiere during the 2010 Repertory Season (the work was presented most recently by SF Ballet the following season.) The Little Mermaid also features scenic, costume, and lighting design by Neumeier.

Program 8 opens Tuesday, May 7 with the return of Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy. The plotless ballet in three acts is a tribute to his favorite composer and fellow Russian, Dmitri Shostakovich. Each act, named after a piece of Shostakovich's music (Symphony #9,Chamber Symphony, and Piano Concerto No. 1) provides a sketch of Shostakovich's life under the oppressive Soviet regime, from which he fell out of favor. The work, featuring scenic design by George Tsypin and costume design by Keso Dekker, was described by KQED as "a contemporary masterpiece, an astonishing and quite possibly perfect whole." The work, a co-commission between SF Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (ABT), was premiered by ABT in 2013 and had its SF Ballet premiere during the 2014 Repertory Season.

During the 2019 Repertory Season, the company will perform a total of 58 performances.Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdayevening performances are at 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2pm. The SF Ballet Orchestra will accompany all programs.

Connecting with SF Ballet's Online Communities

Follow us @sfballet-there's a channel for everyone. SF Ballet has an expansive digital presence offering numerous ways to connect with the artists of the company. Join our Facebook community and connect with the largest group of SF Ballet fans online ( Chat with Aurora, SF Ballet's Facebook chatbot to learn more about upcoming performances ( Follow us on Twitter to join a global conversation about ballet ( Experience a backstage photographic journey from the perspective of the company members on Instagram ( For unique behind-the-scenes perspectives and to learn more about the art form, browse Explore Ballet ( Listen to our "Demi-Pointe" and "To the Pointe" podcasts to learn what to look for in our programs ( Visit our YouTube page to see SF Ballet in motion (

"Meet the Artist" Interviews and "Pointes of View" Lecture Series
SF Ballet will continue to present the entertaining and informative "Meet the Artist" series at Opening nights, Friday evening and Sunday Matinee performances. The 30-minute interviews with Company artists, management, and guests of SF Ballet begin one hour prior to performance; all ticket holders are invited to attend free of charge. In addition, SF Ballet will present "Pointes of View" lectures, panels, and discussions on Wednesdays during the season, which are free and open to the public. Both Meet the Artist and Pointes of View events are also recorded and released as podcasts, available at and on all major podcast players. For more information about these and other education programs, visit

Subscription Tickets

Three, five, and eight program subscription packages to SF Ballet's 2019 Repertory Season range in price from $82-4,980 and go on sale to the public on June 28, 2018. For information, please call Ticket Services at 415 865 200o or visit Phone hours areMonday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.

Single Tickets

Individual tickets for SF Ballet's 2019 Repertory Season, starting at $29, will be available online at or by calling 415 865 2000, beginning October 2, 2018.

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic "firsts" since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience-in its community and worldwide-and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. For more information, visit

Photo: Yuan Yuan Tan in Neuemer's The Little Mermaid © Erik Tomasson

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