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California Literary Review

San Francisco Ballet Announces 2012 Season


San Francisco Ballet Announces 2012 Season

As each ballet season draws to an end, the speculation about the next year’s offerings begins. Well, San Francisco Ballet fans don’t have to wait any longer. This week, SFB released the upcoming season, and it looks to be amazing!

Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin in Wheeldon's Number Nine

Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin in Wheeldon’s Number Nine.
© Erik Tomasson

As each ballet season draws to an end, the speculation about the next year’s offerings begins. Well, San Francisco Ballet fans don’t have to wait any longer. This week, SFB released the upcoming season, and it looks to be amazing!

Included in the lineup are works by some of the world’s most influential choreographers, including four world premieres. The 2012 season also features spectacular full-length story ballets, including the SFB premiere of John Cranko’s dramatic masterpiece Onegin and a newly designed production of the delightful classic Don Quixote.


Three-Act Story Ballet
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Choreographer: John Cranko

Joining SFB’s repertoire for the first time, John Cranko’s intensely dramatic work Onegin is a masterful ballet adaptation of the early19th-century novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, by Alexander Pushkin. The passionate story of Russian aristocrat Eugene and his lost chance for love with the beautiful Tatiana, unleashes heartbreaking themes of unrequited love, anguish, and tragic irony. Set to a powerful score by Tchaikovsky, this production features lavish scenery and costumes by award-winning designer Santo Loquasto and lighting by James F. Ingalls.


Music: Joby Talbot, Jack White III; Choreographer: Wayne McGregor

This critically acclaimed, award-winning contemporary work by Wayne McGregor appears again in 2012 after wowing audiences in the 2011 season.

Morris World Premiere
Mark Morris returns to create his eighth work for San Francisco Ballet.

Number Nine
Composer: Michael Torke; Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon
Wheeldon’s ballet for 24 dancers returns for an encore season.


San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Trio

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Trio.
© Erik Tomasson

Le Carnaval des Animaux (Carnival of the Animals)
Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns; Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky

Not performed here since 2004, Alexei Ratmansky’s delightful ballet set to the famous Saint-Saëns score by the same name, brings a whimsical menagerie of animals to life.

Yuri Possokhov World Premiere
A new work from San Francisco Ballet’s Choreographer-in-Residence.

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

Tomasson’s grand ballet in three movements set to Tchaikovsky’s emotionally diverse music, Souvenir de Florence, returns for a second season.


Romeo & Juliet
Three-Act Story Ballet
Composer: Sergei Prokofiev; Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

“For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” — William Shakespeare

Helgi Tomasson’s critically acclaimed ballet adaptation of this timeless Shakespearean masterpiece returns. Two innocent youths meet by chance, relishing the discovery and passion of first love, only to be shattered by tragic twists of fate and the destructive hatred of their own families. Set to one of Prokofiev’s most evocative scores, this production is filled with beautiful dance, riveting battles, and compelling drama, all amidst stunning production designs by Jens-Jacob Worsaae and lighting by Thomas R. Skelton.


The Fifth Season
Composer: Karl Jenkins Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

One of Tomasson’s contemporary neoclassical works, The Fifth Season ranges in mood and movement from the more intimate and passionate, to crisp and vibrant.

Edwaard Liang World Premiere

Former New York City Ballet dancer and internationally renowned choreographer Edwaard Liang creates his first work for San Francisco Ballet.

Glass Pieces
Composer: Philip Glass; Choreographer: Jerome Robbins

Set to music by one of the 20th century’s most well-known contemporary composers, Glass Pieces remains among the most visually engaging ensemble ballets in the Robbins repertoire.


San Francisco Ballet in Possokhov's RAkU

San Francisco Ballet in Possokhov’s RAkU.
© Erik Tomasson

Raymonda — Act III
Composer: Alexander Glazunov; Choreographer: Rudolf Nureyev

Not performed by SFB in over ten years, Nureyev’s Raymonda — Act III is an elegant, refined, and challenging ballet in the classical Russian tradition.

Composer: Shinji Eshima; Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Set to an original score by SFB Orchestra member Shinji Eshima, Possokhov’s dramatic tour de force makes a triumphant return after bringing audiences to their feet at every performance this past season.

Ashley Page World Premiere

Ashley Page, currently artistic director for Scottish Ballet, creates his first work for SFB.


Divertimento No. 15
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Choreographer: George Balanchine

Scotch Symphony
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn; Choreographer: George Balanchine

The Four Temperaments
Composer: Paul Hindemith; Choreographer: George Balanchine

This program pays homage to SFB’s 60th year of performing the works of 20th-century choreographic legend George Balanchine, one of the most admired luminaries of American dance. Featuring a diverse array of Balanchine styles, the program begins with the technically pristine classicism of Divertimento No. 15, set to music by Mozart. It is followed by Scotch Symphony set to music by the same name composed by Felix Mendelssohn — a work inspired by images and lore of Scotland, and not performed by SFB in over 40 years. The program closes in grand style with one of Balanchine’s signature neoclassical masterpieces, The Four Temperaments.


Don Quixote
Three-Act Story Ballet
Composer: Léon Minkus; Production and Staging: Helgi Tomasson & Yuri Possokhov


Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov’s staging of Don Quixote returns, now with new scenery and costumes by Tony Award-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz and lighting by James F. Ingalls. Miguel de Cervantes’ romantic and witty story, placed in the colorful streets of Spain, comes to life with a lively cast of characters, along with the bravado and excitement of some of classical ballet’s most technically demanding dances.

Former dancer, Geri Jeter, has been editing and writing for over fifteen years, writing on dance, food, music, NASCAR, technical theater, and Italian-American culture. For the past five years, she was the dance critic for the Las Vegas Weekly; in 2007 Nevada Ballet Theatre presented her with the Above and Beyond award. Now living in San Francisco, Geri is excited about covering the entire scope of West Coast dance. You can read more of her dance writing at her blog Dance Blitz ( and follow her Las Vegas and San Francisco restaurant reviews at DishKebab (

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