San Francisco Ballet Announces 2021 Repertory Season
Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson announces programming for the 2021 Repertory Season, scheduled to open January 19 and run through June 27.
The theme of the season is "Leap of Faith," an invitation to the community amidst the uncertainty of the months ahead, and a commitment by the Company to present a complete season, whether it is offered in the War Memorial Opera House, online, or a combination of both. The seven-program season features four world premieres and one West Coast premiere over the first three programs between January 19 and February 22, followed by Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream March 5-14 and Jewels March 25-31, and closing with Helgi Tomasson's Swan Lake May 28-June 6 and Romeo & Juliet June 18-27.
A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo & Juliet return after being curtailed last season due to the health pandemic. Commissions include new works by Bay Area choreographer Danielle Rowe, San Francisco Ballet Soloist Myles Thatcher, and Mark Morris, as well as two new works previously scheduled for the 2020 Season: Mrs. Robinson by Cathy Marston and American Ballet Theatre co-commission The Seasons by Alexei Ratmansky. The season also features the return of Dwight Rhoden's LET'S BEGIN AT THE END, originally created for the Unbound festival in 2018, as well as Yuri Possokhov's Swimmer, Tomasson's 7 for Eight, and David Dawson's Anima Animus, among others.
"We connect, we partner, and we embrace; that is what ballet is all about," says Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson. "As we launch the 2021 Season during a tumultuous yet critical moment in our history, I am reminded that now more than ever, we need the beauty and healing power of art in our lives. The upcoming season features five premieres: newly commissioned works by Bay Area choreographers Danielle Rowe and our own soloist Myles Thatcher, Mark Morris, Mrs. Robinson by Cathy Marston, and the SF Ballet premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's The Seasons. I'm also bringing back Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Jewels, in addition to my own productions of Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet. While it is a season requiring resiliency as we navigate our path forward, it is also a season of innovation and tradition that showcases the continued diversity, artistry, and excellence of our Company. I look forward to reconnecting with our audiences and community as we enter a new era."
Executive Director Kelly Tweeddale stated: "With the immediate future of live performance and large gatherings still unclear, we want to be realistic and prudent. We are committed to moving forward with creating the 2021 Repertory Season for our dancers and audiences in the safest and most sensitive way possible. This means not only strict adherence to state and local health protocols, but also remaining flexible and responsive to the ongoing needs and concerns of our public. With scheduling considerations and knowing our return to the stage will be complex, we have planned seven programs January through June 2021 to allow agility in our evolving environment. Helgi and I are calling this our "Leap of Faith" season as we invite patrons to join us as we keep ballet viable in our community. Even though we don't know today what the future holds, we ask our community to join us as we say 'yes' to supporting the arts, 'yes' to the future of the Ballet, and 'yes' to change and innovation."
San Francisco Ballet has begun artistic planning for a new works festival in 2023 during its 90th anniversary season. The festival will further the spirit of innovation set in motion during the 2018 Unbound festival and will represent diverse voices in ballet. "SF Ballet's 90th anniversary will be a fitting year to continue the momentum of celebrating diversity and innovation we saw during Unbound," says Helgi Tomasson. "The Unbound festival showed us what is possible when choreographers are given full autonomy to push boundaries. Now, when our artform desperately needs hope and diverse voices, a festival like this is more crucial than ever. To me it is both important to work with choreographers who have a good understanding of the classical ballet vocabulary, and also thrilling to see how they can stretch and challenge those traditions in ways that we've never thought of before. What audiences can look forward to in 2023 is both discovering emerging choreographers and seeing works by those who are new to SF Ballet."
San Francisco Ballet is awaiting further clarity from the City of San Francisco regarding health and safety guidelines for public performance venues, currently scheduled to be released later this summer. SF Ballet's Nutcracker, annual Opening Night Gala, and other special events will be determined and announced to the public as more information becomes available.
Principal series subscribers in the 2020 Season can renew their subscription packages now. Three, five, and seven program subscription packages to SF Ballet's 2021 Repertory Season range in price from $69 to $2,275 and go on sale to the public in early fall. Individual tickets for SF Ballet's 2021 Repertory Season, starting at $29, will be available at a later date in fall 2020. Visit sfballet.org or call Ticket Services, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm at 415-865-2000.