Posts tagged with "ballet"

Ballet Hispánico School of Dance photo of teacher teaching child students ballet via Michelle Tabnik PR for use by 360 Magazine

Ballet Hispánico Summer Program

Ballet Hispánico School of Dance announces that registration is now open for a week-long summer professional development program for dance teachers, July 11-15, 2022. The program is $525 for in-person attendees and $435 for virtual attendees, with discounts available for School of Dance partner organizations, including NDEO and NASD members. The registration deadline is Friday, June 10, 2022. For more information and to register, visit HERE.

The Ballet Hispánico professional development program is an opportunity for dance teachers to immerse themselves amongst fellow educators, share teaching practices, and further their teaching artistry. With daily class and student observation, theory is seen in practice and discussed. All educators are welcome, from seasoned faculty to new teachers, community dance practitioners, dance education undergraduates/graduates, dance studio owners, and K-12 teachers.

Course Highlights:

  • Observe in-person and/or virtual class offerings at Ballet Hispánico headquarters, led by seasoned School of Dance faculty addressing varied age groups and dance genres.
  • Discuss and reflect on class observations and presentations with an emphasis on application for each teacher’s individual practice.
  • Examine Early Childhood curricular bridging points and other developmental benchmarks for instruction.
  • Engage with Ballet Hispánico pedagogy and curricular design through the lens of culture and repertory.
  • Interact with tools for social-emotional learning and addressing the diverse student-learner.
  • Challenge narratives of collective dance histories and dance archives
  • Identify cultura and other teaching identities, and their implications for pedagogical practices.
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion.

2022 Guest Faculty and Sessions:

Yebel Gallegos – Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Bard College, multi-faceted dance artist from El Paso, Texas, played an important role in the founding of Cressida Danza Contemporanea also helped in the creation and implementation of the Festival Yucatan Escenica, an international contemporary dance festival, former dancer, company teacher, rehearsal director, and academic coordinator for the Conservatorio de Danza de Yucate, recently concluded a six-year tenure working full time with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, BFA in dance, both from the University of Texas at Austin and from the Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlen, directed by Delfos Dance Company, MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Elisa de la Rosa – daughter of migrant farmworkers, and granddaughter to Mexican immigrant grandparents; a first generation college graduate is originally from a small border town in Texas, Assistant Professor of Dance at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), choreographer, performer, dance educator, and the founding artistic director of De La Rosa Dance Company, Artistic Director of the TWU Dance International Dance Company, was a dance educator for 14 years in middle and high school Texas dance programs, has designed professional development for dance educators in various school districts and presented to Aldine, Denton, Edinburg, and La Joya Independent School Districts, integrated the Dance and Digital Media Communications Curriculum into her instruction and was awarded a $3,500 grant for technology by The Texas Cultural Trust, BA in Dance with Secondary Teacher Certification from Texas Woman’s University, and an MFA in Dance from Montclair State University.

Gregory Youdan – has performed with the NY Baroque Dance Company, Sokolow Theatre/Dance and Heidi Latsky Dance, where he now serves as a board member, Currently, visiting research scholar at Brown University and adjunct lecturer at Lehman College, Westheimer Fellow through Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD program and is a teaching artist in their Dance for PD en Espanola, a 2021 National Association for Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Fellow and 2021 Latin Impact Honoree, serves on the development committee for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), the research committee for the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH), and the advisory council for Dance Data Project, a member of the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance.

Dr. Afdaniels Mabingo – a Ugandan dance researcher, scholar, performer, educator, Afro-optimist and co-founder of AFRIKA SPEAKS, holds Ph.D. in Dance Studies from the University of Auckland, recipient of the prestigious Fulbright scholarship, Mabingo also holds an MA in Dance Education from New York University, and an MA in Performing Arts and a BA in Dance degree, both from Makerere University in Uganda, has taught at Makerere University in Uganda, New York University, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, has also guest lectured at Columbia University and Princeton University, his research sits at the intersection of decolonization, interculturalism, postcolonialism, dance pedagogy and African philosophy, latest book titled Ubuntu as Dance Pedagogy: Individuality, Community, and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning of Indigenous Dances in Uganda, received scholarships and awards that included: Fulbright Junior Staff Development Scholarship, Fulbright Scholar in Residence (deferred), the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship, Makerere University Staff Development Scholarship, George Payne award for outstanding academic leadership and excellence at NYU, and the best overall Humanities student award at the 48thst-49th graduation at Makerere University, has taught dance schools and community settings in the U.S., Australia, South Sudan, Germany, Uganda, and New Zealand, has presented keynotes, delivered paper presentation, and facilitated dance workshops for conference gatherings such as daCi-WDA, NDEO, CORD, WAAE, and WDA,&#a0;has also staged choreographies and performed in New York City, Adelaide in Australia, Rwanda, Auckland in New Zealand, and Uganda;

Testimonials

  • “This is my first Professional Development experience, and I have been blown away!” – Margaret
  • “This week has been a work for the mind.” – Lynette
  • “I can now provide my students with tools that I didn’t have in my own dancing.” – Dandara

About Ballet Hispánico

Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy and is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences.

National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispánico in 1970, at the height of the post-war civil rights movements. From its inception Ballet Hispánico focused on providing a haven for Black and Brown Latinx youth and families seeking artistic place and cultural sanctuary. By providing the space for Latinx dance and dancers to flourish, Ballet Hispánico uplifted marginalized emerging and working artists, which combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory. In 2009, Ballet Hispánico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its Artistic Director, ushering in a new era by inserting fresh energy to the company’s founding values and leading Ballet Hispánico into an artistically vibrant future. Today, Ballet Hispánico’s New York City headquarters house a School of Dance and state-of-the-art dance studios for its programs and the arts community. From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe, for fifty years Ballet Hispánico has stood as a catalyst for social change.

Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latinx dance in the United States. Ballet Hispánico has developed a robust public presence across its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships.

Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement efforts Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies underrepresented voices in the field. For fifty years Ballet Hispánico has provided a place of honor for the omitted, overlooked, and oppressed. As it looks to the next fifty years and beyond, Ballet Hispánico seeks to empower, and give agency to, the Latinx experience and those individuals within it.

Dona Peron via Rachel Nevillebranded for use by 360 Magazine

Dona Peron

Ballet Hispanico, the nation’s renowned Latinx dance organization recognized as one of America’s Cultural Treasures, announces the New York premiere of Doña Peròn at New York City Center, April 1-3, 2022, the concluding performances of Ballet Hispanico’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, on Friday & Saturday at 7:30 PM, Saturday & Sunday at 2 PM. The Company will perform as part of the first City Center Dance Festival which showcases New York companies making their triumphant return to the City Center stage after more than two years away. Tickets can be purchased online HERE, by phone (212-581-1212,) or in-person with New York City Center

Choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa to music by Peter Salem, Doña Peròn is the first full evening-length work commissioned by the Company and reclaims the narrative of the iconic Latina figure by a Latina choreographer. The work is an explosive portrait of Eva “Evita” Peròn, one of the most recognizable, and controversial, women in Argentinian history. The illegitimate daughter of a prosperous farmer, Evita concealed this shameful past as she rose the ranks from dancehall performer to Argentina’s First Lady—all before her untimely death at the age of 33.

Doña Peròn brings to light the extremes of power at the forefront of Evita’s life. Her work as an activist and advocate for Argentina’s women and working-class raised skepticism as she indulged in the opulence of a high-class life. A voice for the people, or a deceitful actress? Ochoa explores these diverging legacies and more in this seminal work, marking Ballet Hispanico’s move beyond their 50th Anniversary and the continuation of centering the voices of Latinx artists.

“She’s not a fairytale character, she’s not a literary character,” said Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. “She’s a real woman, and for me, it’s interesting to put her on stage because she’s difficult to pinpoint. I want to give female dancers real roles, not always the nice roles. Women are complex and it’s nice to show all of these facets. I’m very grateful that I can put this woman, Evita Peròn, on stage as a female choreographer.”

About the Artists

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (Choreographer) has been choreographing since 2003 following a twelve-year dance career in various contemporary dance companies throughout Europe. She has created works for sixty dance companies worldwide including Ballet Hispanico, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza, Dutch National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve, Goteborg Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, BJM-Danse Montreal, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, to name a few. In 2012, her first full-length work, A Streetcar Named Desire, originally created for the Scottish Ballet, received the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for “Best Classical Choreography” and was nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production the following year. Annabelle was the recipient of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2019.

Nancy Meckler (Artistic Collaborator) is a director known for her work in the United Kingdom with Shared Experience, where she was a joint Artistic Director alongside Polly Teale. Meckler has directed a production of I.D. She was a member of London-based collective the Freehold Theatre Company (1969-1973), where she eventually became Director. The group employed devising methodology to create work and was the first company to receive the John Whiting Award for “new and distinctive development in dramatic writing,” traditionally given to playwrights. 

Peter Salem (Music) is very much in demand as a ballet composer and has recently completed his third ballet, Broken Wings, for the English National Ballet, which opened to huge critical and popular success in April 2016. His media work is also internationally renowned, principally his music for Call the Midwife, which won the Best Television Programme Music category at the Music and Sound Awards 2016, as well as other high profile productions. His extensive theater work includes many scores for productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and Shared Experience Theatre.

Mark Eric (Costume Design) is a costume and fashion designer based in New York City, where he trained at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After designing for several New York City fashion houses, he discovered his passion for costuming for the stage. He enjoys bringing his couture fashion sensibility to his design, often employing artisanal techniques when creating his signature costumes. He has designed costumes for Robert Battle, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Rennie Harris, Robbie Fairchild, Stefanie Batten Bland, Andrew McNicol, and Marguerite Donlon to name a few. He has costumed works for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, BalletX, Ballet Hispanico, and Ailey II, among others.

Christopher Ash (Lighting, Set, and Video Design) is a Philadelphia-based Designer and Filmmaker whose work has been seen in 13 countries and has been recognized for 15 awards. He is equally at home designing projections, scenery, or lighting for theater, opera, and dance as well as direction and cinematography for film. Christopher is currently involved in a multi-phase Guggenheim Works and Process commission with artist John Jarboe. He is also co-creator of an ongoing multi-sensory performance piece “Body Language” with Dublin-based dance artist David Bolger and CoisCéim Dance Theatre.

A&A Family Dance Series

A&A Ballet (A&A), under the artistic direction of Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik, announced a new Family Dance Series at the Athenaeum Theater, premiering May 14, 2022, at 3 PM. Fresh from a successful Chicago Youth American Grand Prix competition, the company will debut their take on the internationally acclaimed “Carnival of the Animals” and a world premiere of “The Firebird,” featuring brand-new choreography by Kremnev and sand art animation by Anastasia Antropova. Additional choreography for “The Firebird” will be done by Braeden Barnes. Designed to be enjoyed by the entire family, the selections are recommended for ages three and above. 

“We are very excited to renew the Family Dance Theater Series on a new level,” said Kremnev. “As founding Artistic Directors of the Joffrey Academy and the Joffrey Studio Company, we started the Children’s Ballet Theater program at the Joffrey in 2010 by presenting new innovative family-oriented works that excite a new generation of young audiences. Our demanding XXI Century requires us to experiment with new visual forms and to be creative and daring. A&A has a wonderful record of producing new works, so we are happy to share this program with the Chicago audiences.” 

Described as “equal parts comedic and captivating with a forceful wit and choreography bursting with nuanced athleticism” by The Huffington Post, Carnival of the Animals showcases Kremnev’s talent as an electric storyteller. Breathing new life into a beloved masterpiece, Kremnev’s adaptation serves as a playful reminder to ballet enthusiasts, while introducing new audiences to the art form itself. The costumes, created by Laura Skarich and Ballet Rosa, have been designed specifically for each dancer featuring original art digitally printed onto the fabric.  

The world premiere of “Firebird” is Kremnev’s 21st ballet, and his first to feature sand art designed by artist Anastasia Antropova. Projected onto the stage throughout the performance, the sand art combines art, music, and dance by drawing in the sand to create moving effects, enhancing the storytelling of the performers. Serving as an accessible introduction to the work of Stravinsky, “Firebird” is a celebration of the power of music and ballet.   

Tickets for the Family Dance Series featuring “Carnival of the Animals” and “Firebird” are on sale now and can be purchased HERE

About A&A Ballet

A&A Ballet is one of the fastest-growing performing arts and educational organizations in Chicago and has quickly gained an impressive national and international reputation. A&A Ballet is devoted to training in strong, versatile dance techniques, as well as the development of personality, independence, and artistry. They are led by internationally acclaimed artists and former Founding Artistic Directors of the Joffrey Academy, Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev. A&A offers a wide variety of classes, professional performance opportunities, international tours, private instruction, choreography, and training for dancers ranging from age 3 to adult. Since 2016, A&A students have secured more than 150 full scholarships and a dozen apprentice and studio company positions with powerhouses including American Ballet Theater, Houston Ballet, Princess Grace Academy of Monaco, Bolshoi Ballet, Colorado Ballet, BalletMet, and Sarasota Ballet.

Zara Biggs, Nike Communications, for use by 360 Magazine

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE HOLIDAY DISPLAYS LIGHT UP NYC

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE hosted its inaugural holiday window display to honor and rejuvenate imagination and creativity in New York City. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE holiday windows gain inspiration from the traditional 5th Avenue holiday window displays while serving a greater purpose. The intention of the displays is to revive the creativity that has been deprived of downtown Manhattan since the beginning of the pandemic.

The storefront series was held in SoHo through December 19, in partnership with artist Shavanté Royster, fashion designer Romeo Hunte and NYC dancer Nicole von Arx.

Shavanté Royster

The Brooklyn-based Shavanté Royster is a graphic designer and illustrator, working in the creative industry since 2009. Growing up in a military family, often having to travel during her life motivated Shavanté’s innovation. Through her art, Shavanté often takes inspiration from travel, expressing this through shapes and rich colors. Shavanté’s work is comprised of digital illustration, painting and mixed media.

Romeo Hunte

Romeo Hunte New York is a lifestyle apparel brand designed in NYC for consumers who appreciate sophisticated details. The edgy aesthetic that the collection radiates mixes both feminine and masculine characteristics. Romeo Hunte pieces blend lavish outerwear with contemporary apparel. The Romeo Hunte woman and man can be described as a “dynamic duo” that appreciates the arts and pop culture with a modern flare.

Nicole von Arx

Nicole von Arx (NVA) studied Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop in Geneva, Switzerland at Dance Area, shortly after traveling to New York in 2008 to attend school at the Alvin Ailey School, graduating in 2011. Currently based among NYC and Geneva, NVA is a dancer and choreographer in both dance scenes. NVA has collaborated with the most notable choreographers in New York as a creator, dancer and teacher. Continuing her career, NVA has also worked independently as a choreographer with musicians, film directors and photographers.

The visionaries that were created through the course of the display aimed to fill the empty storefronts with avant-garde ‘windows of art.’ The pandemic has transformed the lives of creatives, small businesses and retail in New York and all over the world. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE worked to ensure that the artistic society would be celebrated and uplifted this holiday season with their holiday displays.

Each window highlighted a winter dreamscape created by artist Shavanté Royster. Both Shavanté and Romeo Hunte’s creative point-of-views joined forces to emulate the holiday magic of 5th avenue. Live models were seen wearing Romeo’s winter apparel upon Shavanté’s backdrops, with performances by NYC dancers.

Romeo’s devoted window showcased people draped in his designs that were created personally for the display. Romeo set the scene of a holiday celebration before a show over cocktails. The garments were designed with inspiration from Shavanté, with the backdrop and fashion coinciding throughout the display.

Romeo spoke on the experience of designing for the holiday displays, stating, “It’s been a joy to work on BOMBAY SAPPHIRE’s Holiday Storefront Series which pays homage to exciting young creative talents everywhere and the tenacity of New York City coming back after the pandemic. It was refreshing to collaborate with artist Shavanté Royster and the dancers as mixed media has always been an important part of my work, so it was cool to build and see the narrative of the holiday windows come to life with them through different facets, such as the dancers wearing some of my designs. I hope everyone can leave the windows feeling a burst of creativity and inspiration for the holidays, and hope for the year ahead!”

Espresso Nutcracker Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

DBD Academy’s Espresso Nutcracker

Dallas Black Dance Academy (DBD Academy) presents its fourth annual Espresso Nutcracker, with a new twist on a holiday tradition. The performance is jazz-influenced by the music of Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. Co-Sponsors for the Espresso Nutcracker are Macy’s and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture.

The single performance is scheduled for Saturday, December 11 at 7 pm in the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, TX. The performance is also available via live streaming and on-demand. Through their sponsorship, Macy’s is sharing virtual viewing access with up to 30 social service agencies and children’s hospitals nationwide. Last year’s initiative allowed over 1,500 youth and families the opportunity to virtually share the holiday experience.

“We are honored to provide support to such an incredible organization, whose impactful work plays a vital role in strengthening and enriching our community,” said Emma Conniff, corporate giving associate at Macy’s. “The holidays are when Macy’s shines the brightest, and we are excited to partner with Dallas Black Dance Academy to spread holiday magic to viewers of all ages.”

DBD Academy Director Katricia Eaglin choreographed Espresso Nutcracker with assistance from the academy ballet instructors of the Pre-Professional Division levels 1-4 students who will perform in the production. Eaglin was inspired to use the traditional Tchaikovsky music along with tracks from Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, selecting Ellington tracks that were still recognizable to the original work. She added narration to the performance as well as an African dance to the Land of Sweets Act that includes Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, and Russian dances in the original.

“I was inspired to create and produce the Espresso Nutcracker for Dallas Black Dance Academy so our academy students could be involved in the Nutcracker tradition,” said Eaglin. “We’re excited to have our students re-enter the theatre and share how they have grown while training virtually during the 2020-2021 season!”

DBD Academy is the official school of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT), and allows students to learn virtually and in-person. The original Nutcracker Ballet, choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is one of the most famous ballets in the world and tells the story of young Clara’s magical journey on Christmas Eve.

Many dance academies bring in professionals to dance key Nutcracker roles, but Dallas Black Dance Academy students will dance all the key parts, such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen. DBDT professional dancers will dance the adult characters of the Mother, Father, and Drosselmeyer.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre is limiting seating capacity to allow for social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines and because of limited ticket availability, DBDT will not be able to give discounts on groups or subscriptions this year. You can watch the live stream broadcast in real-time beginning at 7:00 pm CDT on Saturday, December 11, while the on-demand option will be available starting at 9:00 pm CDT Saturday through Monday, December 13, 11:59 pm CST.

Ballerina by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Bombazo Caribbean Skirts Featured at New York Fashion Week

By: Javier Pedroza 

Milteri Tucker Concepción is a busy and multi-talented Afro Boricua who holds degrees in Biology, Chemistry and a master’s in Dance Education. She is an author, a mother and was casted in Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights the movie. As we approach #NYFW2021, Milteri puts on another hat, as designer.

Milteri is the founder of BOMBAZO and the artistic director of Bombazo Dance Co. The Puerto Rican-Bronx based non-profit dance organization’s focus is to educate, advocate, preserve and perform Bomba Puertorriqueña. As an author, educator and master Bomba dancer, she lectures across the United States and the world. I sat with Milteri and we spoke about Bomba, fashion and Puerto Rico.

Milteri, tell our readers, who is Milteri Tucker Concepción? 

Well, I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and grew up with a passion for dance since I was 5 years old. I  recall dancing in “la Sala”(the living room) with three of the most influential women in my life: my grandmother, mother and aunt. As part of my upbringing I remember dancing, planting and assisting my elders in the kitchen. I also vividly recall shopping for fabrics with my aunt and watching my grandmother Abuela Teresa, warmly referred to as “Mama” sewing. My aunt “Titi” Maria Concepción was a designer who attended FIT and designed clothes for top actors in Puerto Rico. I was blessed to have been raised in a household full of  love, and love for my culture!

As a teenager, I studied dance in La Escuela de Bellas Artes in Ponce, PR. At 17, [I] moved to NYC to pursue careers in dance and science. In 2006, I graduated with a dual major of Dance and Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Hunter College. I currently hold a masters degree in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt. Today I am a renowned Bomba master dancer, choreographer, scholar, dance educator and author. [I wrote] the first bilingual Bomba children’s book, titled “Bomba Puertorriqueña” and illustrated by Boricua artist, Mia Roman.

I’ve had the privilege to perform in multiple venues across NYC and the world – from the prestigious Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, City Center, Summerstage, Pregones Theater, BAAD, The Latin Billboards Awards, dancing for Don Omar with choreography by Maria Torres O’Connor, to amazing community centers.

I am a cultural warrior (guerrera cultural) who safeguards our traditions of Bomba Puertorriquenas, via [my] 501c3 non-profit dance organization: Bombazo Dance Co, Inc and international brand of Caribbean dance skirts: Bombazo Wear-Bomba & Caribbean Dance Skirts®. I was recently  featured in Lin Manuel Miranda’s movie, In The Heights, as the Bomba representation.

How was your experience filming ‘In the Heights’?

Being invited to dance Bomba for In the Heights was a surreal experience and a dream come true! It was an honor to represent our African heritage through our traditional dances. However, one of my favorite memories came after the movie premiered…. I had the opportunity to open the 2021 Virtual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC, where Lin and I danced Bomba together.

What is the history of Bomba?

Bomba is Puerto Rico’s oldest musical genre, dating back to the 17th century and created by the African enslaved and free people of color from the Caribbean. This was one of the ways they communicated in our coastal sugarcane and coffee plantations.  It is a secular practice, where the community gathers to sing, dance and drum.

Why did you create Bombazo Dance Company?

I founded Bombazo Dance Company to show the world that Puerto Rico has rich African ancestry, and that our traditions are very much alive. As a Bomba dance company, we communicate through dance and drumming. [This is] reflected in our traditional folk art dancers. It is also important to create a safe space to fuse Bomba with other forms of dance – such as ballet, contemporary, social dances and dances of the African and Caribbean diaspora.

What inspired you to create Bombazo dance wear? 

At the same time I started Bombazo Dance Company, I was teaching Bomba classes to the community and needed skirts. Believe it or not, it was hard to find a seamstress who could make Caribbean skirts or a location to purchase them. I wanted to create skirts that fit all Caribbean dance styles, because I am that dancer. And voilà – Bombazo Wear Bomba Caribbean Skirts was born! My mother, Dr. Margarita Concepción, and I are the CEOs and we sew the [skirts] too. Our skirts are handmade, custom[ized] and tailored to each client. A part of the funds go to aid families affected by the earthquakes in Southern Puerto Rico.

How does it feel to be invited to NYFW 2021 / Harlem Fashion Week?

It is an honor to have been invited to showcase for a second time in HFM! The organizers are truly showcasing diversity within their shows and providing  opportunities for designers of color to present their designs to the world. It’s important to me – as a woman of color, a Latina and AfroBoricua – [that] they understand my vision of dance as fashion. And my skirts have fashion written all over them!

Tell us about your upcoming collection “Resistencia y Libertá!” (Resistance and Freedom)

I am the creator of the Puerto Rican Bomba Flag Skirt®. A flag; its colors, represents a collective orgullo – pride for its people. Our flag was conceived and designed here in NYC. It was prohibited to fly The Puerto Rican flag in both Puerto Rico and New York at one time. Its pride is back after Hurricane Maria, [now] you see our colors in every town’s building and rinconcito (corner) in both Puerto Rico and the diaspora! Therefore, my new collection for 2021 is titled: “Resistencia y Libertá!” Where each skirt in the collection represents a social cause affecting Puerto Rico – such as the cultural resistencia by the people, No al Feminicidio, Boricua hasta en la Luna, Afroboricuaness, LGBTQ+ representation and support in the Bomba Community, ect. It is important to note that this is a brand and line designed and sewn by a Bomba dancer, a person from the community. These are skirts [are designed] with a mission. Part of the funds go to help families affected by the earthquakes in the South of Puerto Rico and organizations/community ensembles continuing the labor of safeguarding Bomba traditions in the island.

Any advice for the youth who want to connect and immerse themselves with their African roots and Culture?

Learn about all parts of you! That makes you unique and special. Speak to your elders: abuelas, abuelos, tias, tios and elders from your community. They have a lot of wisdom and years of experience you can learn from. Always connect to your culture, to your African roots! There is an African proverb I love : “Sankofa– in order to move forward you must know your past!” Know who you are, where you come from, so that you can pass the knowledge to your next generation! Ubuntu! (an African Proverb [that] means “I am because we ALL are!”)

For more information and to view images, please visit HERE.

Ballet illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

SF Ballet Performs GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS 

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS SPARKLES ON SCREEN AT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET, APRIL 1–21 

The 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream is dedicated
to the memory of Elyse Borne

Newly filmed Emeralds, captured at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco in January 2021, tops Balanchine’s dazzling, abstract triptych

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) streams George Balanchine’s Jewels on Program 04, April 1–21 of the 2021 Digital Season, featuring a newly-captured Emeralds to accompany archival recordings of Rubies and Diamonds. Filmed on stage at the War Memorial Opera House in January of 2021, Emeralds was captured under strict safety protocols in compliance with the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines which protect artists, production crews, and the greater public. Tickets to the digital stream of Jewels begin at $29. Casting is available at this link.

SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson dedicates the 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream to the memory of Elyse Borne, a leading Balanchine répétiteur who staged dozens of ballets for the Company, beginning in 1996 with Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. Borne passed away in December of 2019, shortly after rehearsing Jewels with SF Ballet to prepare for live performance in the 2020 Season. “While recording Emeralds on stage this year we all thought fondly of Elyse,” says Tomasson. “She and I met while dancing for New York City Ballet in the 1970s and 80s. We were both aware of how fortunate we were to be a part of that last generation of dancers who worked directly with Balanchine. She joined us as ballet master in 1997 after working with companies all over the world, and over the following six years, she guided and supported the dancers here with expertise, grace, and humor. She will always be a long-remembered colleague and dear friend.” Alongside Borne and the George Balanchine Trust, Tomasson has remained committed to documenting and preserving the choreographer’s work for future generations, programming at least one Balanchine ballet each year of his leadership of SF Ballet.

Called “a perfect introduction to ballet” (The New York Times) and inspired by the designs of jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, Jewels was last seen in full at SF Ballet in 2009. Jewels premiered in full in 1967 at New York City Ballet and consists of three one-act ballets that span the musical and balletic traditions of France (Emeralds), the United States (Rubies), and Russia (Diamonds), with costumes designed by Barbara Karinska to fit each act. Emeralds alludes to the 19th-century dances of French romantics and is set to excerpts from Gabriel Faure’s Pelléas et Mélisande (1898) and Shylock (1889). Rubies is a feat of athleticism, set to the irregular, modernist, jazz-inspired Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra by Igor Stravinsky. Diamonds invokes memories of Imperial Russia in a grand and formal display of classical ballet and is set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D major. SF Ballet Orchestra performs in each ballet, with newly recorded music for Emeralds captured using approved safety protocols at Skywalker Studios and the SF Conservatory of Music, produced and engineered by Leslie Ann Jones.

Tickets to Jewels are available now as single stream tickets for $29, or within the Premium Plus Digital Package, which offers unlimited viewing of the remaining programs in the 2021 Digital Season, in addition to exclusive bonus content, for $289. Tickets and packages may be purchased online. For more information, call Ticket Services at 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

Celebrating Jewels

SF Ballet hosts Celebrating Jewels on April 20 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., online via Zoom. The event unites former New York City Ballet principal dancers Kay Mazzo, Mimi Paul, and Edward Villella, alongside Helgi Tomasson, to discuss their memories and insight into Balanchine’s iconic ballet. General admission tickets to Celebrating Jewels are $20, donors and subscribers receive access to the program for a reduced rate or for free.

San Francisco Ballet Pop-Up Shop

San Francisco Ballet hosts a pop-up shop open to the public on April 2 and 3 from 10 to 3 p.m., observing COVID-19 regulations as suggested by the City of San Francisco. In celebration of Jewels, the pop-up is offering a 25% discount on all jewelry. The pop-up shop is held at 2400 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco, 94124. Parking is free. Donors and subscribers can access the sale early on Thursday, April 1 from 10 to 3 p.m. Contact their website with questions.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Jewels
A Ballet in Three Parts  

Composers: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne, Judith Fugate, Sandra Jennings
Additional Coaching by: Helgi Tomasson

World Premiere: April 13, 1967—New York City Ballet, New York State Theater; New York, New York

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 12, 2002—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

© The George Balanchine Trust

Emeralds
Captured on January 28, 2021 

Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne and Sandra Jennings
Additional Décor for Emeralds: Susan Touhy
Costume Design: Karinska, Recreated by Haydee Morales
Rehearsal Assistants: Ricardo Bustamante, Tina LeBlanc

Rubies
Captured on February 2, 2016  

Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne
Costume Design: Karinska
Original “Rubies” Lighting Design: Ronald Bates
Rehearsal Assistant: Tina LeBlanc

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: January 30, 1987—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

Diamonds
Captured on March 12, 2017  

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Judith Fugate
Costume Design: Karinska
Rehearsal Assistants: Felipe Diaz, Betsy Erickson

ABOUT 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.

Ballet by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

CATHY MARSTON – SNOWBLIND

CATHY MARSTON’S SNOWBLIND REPLACES MRS. ROBINSON ON PROGRAM 05, APRIL 22–MAY 12, 2021

 

 Marston’s Mrs. Robinson will premiere in the 2022 Season

 

 Program 05 also features Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight and David Dawson’s Anima Animus

 

 San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) announces the postponement of Mrs. Robinson, Cathy Marston’s world premiere which was scheduled to debut on Program 05, April 22–May 12, until the 2022 Season. Mrs. Robinson was choreographed for the stage in the 2020 Season and was reimagined for film in the 2021 Digital Season. As COVID-19 related obstacles created unforeseen delays with the film capture at the War Memorial Opera House this month, Helgi Tomasson and SF Ballet made the joint decision with the American Guild of Musical Artists to postpone filming to put the health and safety of staff, crew, and artists at the forefront. An archival capture of Marston’s Snowblind, created for the 2018 Unbound Festival, will replace Mrs. Robinson for Program 05, which also includes archival captures of Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight and David Dawson’s Anima Animus. Members of the public can still see a short film “prelude” to Marston’s Mrs. Robinson, captured at the Fairmont San Francisco in November of 2020, beginning today through February 25 in a digital program featuring excerpts from SF Ballet’s January 14 Virtual Benefit. It will be available via YouTubeIGTVFacebook, and SF Ballet’s website.

 

San Francisco Ballet’s complete 2022 Season will be announced later this spring. Images of Program 05 are available at this link, and casting is available here.

 

ABOUT PROGRAM 05:

Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight from 2004 is an “exceptionally musical Bach essay” (San Francisco Chronicle) highlighting a series of solo and ensemble numbers for eight dancers, set to portions of keyboard concertos by J.S. Bach. The 2021 Digital Season capture of 7 for Eight is from 2016, the last time the work was seen at SF Ballet, and features principal dancers Yuan Yuan Tan and Tiit Helimets, and former principal dancers Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin, and Taras Domitro throughout. 7 for Eight is Tomasson’s second ballet set to Bach (his first, Aurora Polaris, premiered in 1991), and includes black-on-black costume designs by Sandra Woodall and lighting designs by David Finn. Martin West leads the SF Ballet Orchestra in 7 for Eight and throughout each ballet in Program 05.

 

Cathy Marston’s Snowblind “gripped from first moment to last” (San Francisco Chronicle) at its world premiere during the 2018 Unbound: A Festival of New Works. Based on Edith Wharton’s novella Ethan Frome (1911), Snowblind narrates a heart-rending love triangle between central characters Ethan Frome; his hypochondriac wife, Zeena; and Mattie, kin to Zeena, who captivates Frome after she’s hired to provide domestic support. The 2021 Digital Season stream was captured on April 25, 2018 at the War Memorial Opera House and includes principal dancers Sarah Van Patten as Zeena, Mathilde Froustey as Mattie, and Ulrik Birkkjaer as Ethan Frome. Philip Feeney arranged Snowblind’s music, which includes pieces by Wharton’s contemporaries Amy Beach and Arthur Foote, as well as Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Snowblind includes scenic and costume designs by Patrick Kinmonth and lighting designs by James F. Ingalls.

 

Program 05 closes with David Dawson’s Anima Animus, the choreographer’s first commission for SF Ballet, also created for the Unbound festival in 2018. Set to Ezio Bosso’s “Esoconcerto,” Anima Animus is, as Dawson puts it, “physically emotional virtuosity combined to make something human,” playing on Jungian concepts to reveal the rich contrasts between male and female psyches. Anima Animus toured with SF Ballet to Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 2019 and was “easily one of the highlights” (Seeing Dance) of the Company’s four-program London performances. The 2021 Digital Season stream of Anima Animus was captured on April 25, 2018 and includes former principal dancers Maria Kochetkova, Sofiane Sylve, and Carlo Di Lanno, and current principal dancers Luke Ingham and Wei Wang among its cast of ten.

 

Tickets to Program 05 are available now as single stream tickets for $29, or within the Premium Plus Digital Package, which offers unlimited viewing of the remaining programs in the 2021 Digital Season, in addition to exclusive bonus content, for $289. Tickets and packages may be purchased online at www.sfballet.org. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

 

PRODUCTION CREDITS

I. 7 for Eight
Captured on Saturday, January 30, 2016

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Costume Design: Sandra Woodall
Lighting Design: David Finn
Rehearsal Assistant: Anita Paciotti

World Premiere: February 26, 2004—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

 

II. Snowblind
Captured on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Composers: Amy Beach, Philip Feeney, Arthur Foote, and Arvo Pärt
Music arranged by: Philip Feeney
Choreographer: Cathy Marston
Scenic and Costume Design: Patrick Kinmonth
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Assistant to the Choreographer: Jenny Tattersall
Rehearsal Assistant: Anita Paciotti

Adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome by Cathy Marston and Patrick Kinmonth

World Premiere: April 21, 2018—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

 

III. Anima Animus
Captured on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Composer: Ezio Bosso
Choreographer: David Dawson
Scenic Design: John Otto
Costume Design: Yumiko Takeshima
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Assistant to the Choreographer: Rebecca Gladstone
Rehearsal Assistant: Felipe Diaz

World Premiere: April 21, 2018—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

 

ABOUT 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.

SF Ballet Announces Digital Season in 2021

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) announces details for two world premieres of its groundbreaking 2021 Digital Season: a new ballet by Myles Thatcher and Wooden Dimes by Danielle Rowe, opening February 11 and March 4, respectively, during Programs 02 and 03. Each premiere has been filmed under strict safety protocols in compliance with the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines, which protect artists, production crews, and the greater public. Single program stream access and the Premium Plus Digital Package are on sale now. Full ticketing and calendar information is listed below, and casting can be found on SF Ballet’s website.

Streaming during Program 02 (February 11– March 3) of the 2021 Digital Season, Myles Thatcher’s new ballet is set in San Francisco locations including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Heroes Grove at Golden Gate Park, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the stage of the War Memorial Opera House, SF Ballet’s performance home. Thatcher’s work emphasizes saturated colors in its design and explores parallels between consuming art—as one might at an art museum—and creating it. “First and foremost, I want this piece to embody the joy that art of all kinds has afforded me in my life,” says Thatcher. “Yes, it has brought much needed beauty through this especially challenging year. But more importantly, art allows me to get a glimpse of someone else’s perspective. It allows me to see through another person’s eyes and walk in another person’s shoes. Art has a unique way of showing us that through all our beautiful differences, we still may share common truths. And ultimately, it teaches us empathy, one of the greatest gifts we can share.” Thatcher’s world premiere ballet is his fourth repertory season creation for the company. Thatcher is also a soloist with SF Ballet. His new ballet is set to Steve Reich’s Variations for Vibes, Pianos, and Strings and is directed for film by Ezra Hurwitz, with costume designs by Susan Roemer, and lighting design by Jim French. Click here to watch the first episode of a video series following Thatcher’s creative process.

Thatcher’s new ballet will stream on Program 02 (February 11—March 4) alongside archival captures of Dwight Rhoden’s LET’S BEGIN AT THE END and Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet. Created for Unbound: A Festival of New Works in 2018, Rhoden’s LET’S BEGIN AT THE END is set to music by J. S. Bach, Philip Glass, and Michael Nyman and was noted for its “off-kilter moves, spinning promenades in arabesque and consistent drive” (Bachtrack) at its premiere. LET’S BEGIN AT THE END was the first work created for SF Ballet by Rhoden, who is co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet, created in 1999 with costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, is a rare work in the repertory that sets neoclassical ballet to “funny” music—in this case, nostalgic pop-orchestral tunes by Leroy Anderson: “Sleigh Ride,” “Fiddle-Faddle,” “The Typewriter,” and more. “I didn’t trust ballet orchestras,” the choreographer writes in Out Loud, his memoir written in collaboration with Wesley Stace. “It turned out that the San Francisco Ballet orchestra was very good.” It was then Morris’ “apology and joke” to set the ballet, his second work for the Company, to Anderson’s novelty tunes. Sandpaper Ballet is one of seven ballets that Morris has created for SF Ballet.

Danielle Rowe’s Wooden Dimes premieres on Program 03 (March 4–24). Filmed at the War Memorial Opera House, Wooden Dimes is Rowe’s first ballet created for SF Ballet’s repertory season. “My appreciation for the art of filmmaking has developed tremendously throughout the creation of Wooden Dimes,” says Rowe, who also directs the film. “I adore the necessity and value given to details, the ability to transform a moment and play in post-production, and the attention and forward thinking required to piece a story together cohesively.” The ballet’s rehearsal process involved Director of Photography Heath Orchardworking both in person and remotely over Zoom, and remote collaboration with costume designer Emma Kingsbury, lighting designers Jim French and Matthew Stouppe, and composer James M. Stephenson, who has created an original score for the ballet. The ballet’s title alludes to the American idiom, “don’t take wooden nickels,” a warning to protect oneself from swindling and manipulation. Set in the roaring ‘20s with art deco stylings, Wooden Dimes follows two characters, Betty and Robert Fine, whose love becomes jeopardized as Betty soars to stardom. Click here to see an interview with Rowe about her creative process.

Wooden Dimes will stream alongside archival captures of Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphony #9and Yuri Possokhov’s Swimmer on Program 03 (March 4—24). Ratmansky’s Symphony #9from Shostakovich Trilogy, co-commissioned by SF Ballet, premiered in 2012 at American Ballet Theatre and is set to Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, opus 70. Drawing on ideas and themes from Shostakovich’s life, Symphony #9 features two leading couples and a soloist man who suggests the character of the Soviet composer. The ballet includes scenic designs by George Tsypin and costume designs by Keso Dekker. Program 03 closes with SF Ballet’s Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov’s Swimmer, a smash hit at its premiere in 2015. Swimmer is set to music by SF Ballet Orchestra double bassist Shinji Eshima, who incorporates recorded songs by Tom Waits and others into his score. Inspired by John Cheever’s short story of the same name from 1964, Swimmer includes animated projections by Kate Duhamel, costumes by Mark Zappone, and scenic design by Alexander V. Nichols.

TICKETS

The Premium Plus Digital Package, which offers access to all seven programs in the 2021 Digital Season in addition to bonus content, is priced at $289 and is on sale until April. Single program streams are on sale now and priced at $29 for 72-hour access. Tickets and packages may be purchased online at sfballet.org. For more information, call Ticket Services at 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 8 pm. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

CALENDAR AND CREDIT INFORMATION 

LET’S BEGIN AT THE END

Archival capture from Saturday, May 5, 2018

Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Philip Glass, and Michael Nyman
Choreographer: Dwight Rhoden
Scenic Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Costume Design: Christine Darch
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Assistant to the Choreographer: Clifford Williams
Rehearsal Assistant: Ricardo Bustamante

World Premiere: April 26, 2018—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Myles Thatcher World Premiere

Composer: Steve Reich
Choreographer: Myles Thatcher
Director: Ezra Hurwitz
Costume Design: Susan Roemer
Lighting Design: Jim French
Director of Photography: Ricardo Campos
Editor: Ezra Hurwitz
Executive Producer: Christopher Dennis
Producers: Lauren Finerman and Lindsay Gauthier
Rehearsal Assistant: Katita Waldo

World Premiere: February 11, 2021—San Francisco Ballet

The 2021 world premiere by Myles Thatcher is made possible by Lead Sponsor Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich; Major Sponsors Brenda and Alexander Leff, and Mrs. Joyce L. Stupski; and Sponsor Kacie and Michael Renc, with additional support from the TeRoller Fund for New Productions of the SF Ballet Endowment Foundation.

Sandpaper Ballet

Archival capture from Sunday, February 16, 2020

Composer: Leroy Anderson
Choreographer: Mark Morris
Staged by: Tina Fehlandt
Costume Design: Isaac Mizrahi
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Rehearsal Assistants: Betsy Erickson and Tina LeBlanc

World Premiere: April 27, 1999—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Symphony #9

Archival capture from Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky
Staged by: Nancy Raffa
Scenic Design: George Tsypin
Costume Design: Keso Dekker
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Rehearsal Assistants: Ricardo Bustamante, Katita Waldo

Shostakovich Trilogy was co-commissioned by San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

World Premiere: October 18, 2012—American Ballet Theatre, New York City Center; New York, New York

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: April 2, 2014—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

Wooden Dimes (World Premiere)

Composer: James M. Stephenson
Director and Choreographer: Danielle Rowe
Costume Design: Emma Kingsbury
Scenic Properties Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Lighting Design: Jim French and Matthew Stouppe
Director of Photography: Heath Orchard
Editor: Lindsay Gauthier
Executive Producer: Christopher Dennis
Producers: Lauren Finerman and Lindsay Gauthier
Rehearsal Assistant: Felipe Diaz

World Premiere: March 4, 2021—San Francisco Ballet

The 2021 world premiere of Wooden Dimes is made possible by Grand Benefactor Sponsor Margaret and Will Hearst; Lead Sponsors Beth and Brian Grossman, Kelsey and David Lamond, and Catherine and Mark Slavonia; and Sponsors Karen S. Bergman, Brian and Rene Hollins, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Smelick, with additional support from the Osher New Work Fund of the SF Ballet Endowment Foundation. 

Swimmer

Archival capture from Sunday, March 20, 2016

Composers: Shinji Eshima, Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan, and Gavin Bryars
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Scenic Design: Alexander V. Nichols
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: David Finn
Video Design: Kate Duhamel
Rehearsal Assistant: Anita Paciotti

World Premiere: April 10, 2015—San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

ABOUT MYLES THATCHER

Myles Thatcher is a dancer with San Francisco Ballet and a choreographer. After training at The Harid Conservatory, Ellison Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet School, he joined SF Ballet in 2010. As a dancer, he has performed principal or featured roles in many classical and contemporary ballets, including Lensky in Onegin, and Paris in the 2015 film of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet for Lincoln Center at the Movies’ Great American Dance. Thatcher began choreographing while a Trainee at SF Ballet School and has created five works for the School. His In the Passerine’s Clutch premiered at SF Ballet’s 2013 Repertory Season Gala; followed by Manifesto, which premiered as part of the 2015 Repertory Season; Ghost in the Machine, which premiered as part of the 2017 Repertory Season; and Otherness, which premiered during 2018 Unbound: A Festival of New Works. In 2015, Thatcher also created Passengers for The Joffrey Ballet, Polaris for New York City Ballet, and Body of Your Dreams for the Rolex Arts Weekend in Mexico City. In 2018, Thatcher’sRedbird premiered at Charlotte Ballet, and in 2020, his dance film Frontiers debuted at My Light Shines On: An Evening with Scottish Ballet. He has also choreographed for Cincinnati Ballet and Kansas City Ballet. Thatcher was selected by Alexei Ratmansky to participate in the 2014–15 Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative. He has been nominated for Isadora Duncan Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for Manifesto and Ghost in the Machine.

ABOUT DANIELLE ROWE

Choreographer Danielle Rowe danced with Australian Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Nederlands Dans Theater. She originated roles in creations by Lightfoot/Leon, Wheeldon, McGregor, Ekman, Pite, and Goecke, and performed the title roles in Giselle, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Rowe has created works for San Francisco Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater’s SWITCH program, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Co.Lab Dance, Ballet Idaho, Grand Rapids Ballet, SFDanceworks, Diablo Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and Berkeley Ballet Theater. She also choreographed for the award-winning dance film Sirens Tango(featuring SF Ballet Principal Dancers Sasha de Sola and Luke Ingham), and the cross-disciplinary immersive theater productions of FURY (a collaboration between SF Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and indie-pop band YASSOU) and Before You Had A Name (a collaboration between Barak Ballet, SF Ballet Principal Dancer Sarah Van Patten, violinist Heather Powell, and multi-media artist Alisa Lapidus). During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rowe has pivoted to filmmaking, creating Shelter with Garen Scribner and Alexander Reneff-Olson; Wilis in Corps-en-tine and I Am Spartacus with Scribner (The Australian Ballet); and The Animals (Ballet Idaho). The films garnered positive attention from Vogue, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and Dance Magazine.

ABOUT 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.

CONNECT WITH SAN FRANCISCO BALLET

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

*Photo: Sarah Van Patten in Danielle Rowe’s “Wooden Dimes”. By Lindsay Gauthier*

Illustration for 360 Magazine by Rita Azar

San Francisco Ballet Virtual Benefit

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) announces details for its first-ever virtual benefit, Leap Into the New Year, to be held online via Socio on Thursday, January 14, 2021 to mark the opening of SF Ballet’s historic 88th Digital Season.

With a performance curated by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, the event includes delivered items, such as a meal, caviar, and gifts provided by McCalls Catering & Events; and wine provided by Rodney Strong Vineyards. The evening’s programming includes the SF Ballet performance debut of two of the Company’s new Principal Dancers, Nikisha Fogo and Julian MacKay, in the Act III pas de deux from Don Quixote, and an excerpt from a new work by Helgi Tomasson created on members of SF Ballet’s corps de ballet—click here to see a video about this work.

Leap Into the New Year also includes a newly produced prelude to Mrs. Robinson by Cathy Marston, featuring Principal Dancers Sarah Van Patten and Joseph Walsh, and excerpts from the Digital Season’s additional world premieres, Wooden Dimes by Danielle Rowe and a new work by Myles Thatcher. Complete programming and casting are included at the bottom of this release.

Proceeds from Leap Into the New Year 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. The event begins at 6 pm with access to private virtual tables; a wine education session with the event’s wine sponsor, Rodney Strong Vineyards; and behind-the-scenes content from rehearsals, followed by a 7 pm performance.

Ticket holders at the Artistic Director, Principal, Producer, and Soloist levels will enjoy VIP programming, including the pas de deux from William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, rehearsed by Forsythe on Soloist Sasha Mukhamedov and Principal Dancer Aaron Robison, and the White Swan Pas De Deux from Helgi Tomasson’s Swan Lake performed by Fogo and MacKay.

Under the direction of Music Director Martin West, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra recorded music for the event using approved safety protocols at Skywalker Studios, 25th Street Recording, and the SF Conservatory of Music, which was produced, engineered and mastered by Leslie Ann Jones.

The evening is hosted by SF Ballet Soloist Madison Keesler, who will be styled by Neiman Marcus. All table guests will enjoy a private, virtual meet-and-greet with a Company dancer during the event and will have access to a virtual social wall where they can share photography and messages with other benefit-goers. Artistic Director and Principal level table guests will also have the option to request an on-site, socially-distanced photo-op with Drew Altizer Photography.

Tickets to the event start at $3,000 for a pair of guests or $1,600 for a virtual table of four for ENCORE! members. Guests who wish to receive a meal, wine, and gifts delivered to their home day-of must RSVP by December 31, 2020. Reservations may be made online or by contacting Emma Lundberg, SF Ballet’s Special Events Manager, at elundberg@sfballet.org or 415.865.6629.

LEAP INTO THE NEW YEAR’S PERFORMANCE PROGRAM 

Premier Presenting Producer

Osterweis Capital Management 

Presenting Producers

Frederick and Shelby Gans

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Linnea and George Roberts

Denise Littlefield Sobel

Excerpt from new work by Helgi Tomasson 

Composer: Jean Phillippe Rameau

Artistic Director Sponsor: Dr. Sunnie Evers

Featuring: JULIA ROWE, LEILI RACKOW, BIANCA TEIXERIA, NATASHA SHEEHAN

DIEGO CRUZ, LUCAS ERNI, LUCA FERRÒ, LLEYTON HO

Dedicated To… by Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Victor Osadchev

Artistic Director Sponsor: Jennifer and Steven Walske

Featuring: YUAN YUAN TAN 

Excerpt from Wooden Dimes, Danielle Rowe’s world premiere

Composer: James M. Stephenson

Artistic Director Sponsor: Alison and Michael Mauzé

Featuring: LUKE INGHAM, DORES ANDRÉ, MAX CAUTHORN 

Pas de Deux from Coppélia by Arthur Saint-Léon

Composer: Léo Delibes

Artistic Director Sponsors: Richard C. Barker; Yurie and Carl Pascarella

Featuring: MISA KURANAGA, ANGELO GRECO 

Excerpt from Myles Thatcher’s world premiere

Composer: Steve Reich

Artistic Director Sponsor: Christine Russell and Mark Schlesinger

CASTING TO BE ANNOUNCED 

Short film of Mrs. Robinson world premiere by Cathy Marston

Composer: Terry Davies

Artistic Director Sponsor: Fang and Gary Bridge

Featuring: SARAH VAN PATTEN, JOSEPH WALSH, LUKE INGHAM 

Act III Pas de Deux from Don Quixote by Alexander Gorsky and Marius Petipa

Staging and Additional Choreography by Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Ludwig Minkus

Artistic Director Sponsor: Diane B. Wilsey

Featuring: NIKISHA FOGO, JULIAN MACKAY

Pas de Deux from In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated by William Forsythe (VIP ONLY)

Composer: Thom Willems

Artistic Director Sponsor: James C. Hormel and Michael P. N. Hormel

Featuring: SASHA MUKHAMEDOV, AARON ROBISON

White Swan Pas De Deux from Swan Lake by Helgi Tomasson (VIP ONLY)

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Featuring: NIKISHA FOGO, JULIAN MACKAY

ABOUT HELGI TOMASSON

Helgi Tomasson, one of the most venerated classical dancers of his generation, embarks on his 36th season with San Francisco Ballet in 2021. Born in Iceland, he danced with Harkness Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and New York City Ballet, where he distinguished himself as a dancer of technical purity, musicality, and intelligence. Tomasson assumed leadership of SF Ballet in 1985. Under his direction, SF Ballet has become a company widely recognized as one of the finest in the world.

Tomasson has balanced devotion to the classics with an emphasis on new works, cultivating frequent collaborations and commissions with choreographers such as William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Trey McIntyre, Cathy Marston, and Mark Morris, among many others. He has choreographed more than 50 works for the Company, including full-length productions of Swan LakeThe Sleeping BeautyRomeo & Juliet (taped for Lincoln Center at the Movies’ Great American Dance), Giselle, and Nutcracker (taped for PBS’s Great Performances).

He conceptualized the 1995 UNited We Dance festival, in which SF Ballet hosted 12 international companies; the 2008 New Works Festival, which included 10 world premieres by 10 acclaimed choreographers; and 2018 Unbound: A Festival of New Works. Tomasson has also connected SF Ballet to the world, through co-commissions with companies including American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet; and major tours to Paris, London, New York City, China, and his native Iceland. In 2020, Tomasson received the San Francisco Arts Medallion, created by the Museum of Performance + Design to recognize those individuals whose leadership, action, and generosity have benefited the cultural life of the San Francisco Bay Area.   

ABOUT THE 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.