Widely considered to be one of the top three ballet companies in America, San Francisco Ballet invites you to attend three performances from its 2016 season in the opulent War Memorial Opera House. Your SF Ballet experience begins with a program featuring Jerome Robbins' celebratory Dances at a Gathering and Yuri Possokhov's Swimmer, inspired by 1960s Americana. The second program features choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's Continuum, Justin Peck's In The Countenance of Kings, and Balanchine's Theme and Variations. In the final show, enjoy a performance of John Cranko's Onegin, a story of unrequited love set against the backdrop of Imperial Russia.
Program 5: The SF Chronicle dubbed Dances at a Gathering an “unambiguous, take no prisoners triumph” when it returned to the SF Ballet repertory last season. A glorious celebration of community and humanity, Dances at a Gathering, set to Frédéric Chopin, is the quintessential piano ballet. Yuri Possokhov’s Swimmer is a multi-media meditation on 1960s Americana; “a stunning video dance that’s youthful, quirky and visually arresting” according to the San Jose Mercury News. With a score by SF Ballet orchestra member Shinji Eshima that incorporates music by Tom Waits, Swimmer was the must-see ballet of the 2015 Season.
Program 7: Set to a mysterious score by György Ligeti, Continuum© is, according to choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, an exercise in “using the movement to break the code” of the music. Next up is SF Ballet’s first new work, In the Countenance of Kings, by celebrated young choreographer Justin Peck. The subject of the new documentary film, Ballet 422, Peck is New York City Ballet’s resident choreographer. Closing the evening is Balanchine’s glittering Theme and Variations which, in the choreographer’s own words, was meant “to evoke that great period in classical dancing when Russian ballet flourished with the aid of Tchaikovsky’s music.”
Onegin: When SF Ballet premiered Onegin in 2012, the SF Chronicle proclaimed, “Now, that is a ballet…” and went on to note, “Cranko’s masterpiece still has the power to transport and astonish the audience.” Based on Pushkin’s classic novel of unrequited love, Onegin is both thrillingly theatrical and astonishingly human. Though cynical, citified Onegin is the title character, it is the naïve Tatiana who steals our hearts, blossoming into a woman of intelligence, strength, and depth. Cranko’s gorgeous choreography and masterful storytelling, along with sets and costumes by Tony® Award-winner Santo Loquasto and lighting by James F. Ingalls, bring us all the color and drama of Imperial Russia in a story that feels remarkably fresh even today.