San Francisco Ballet's 75th Anniversary Season to Offer Ten World Premieres, Including One by Mark Morris and John Adams

Classic Arts News   San Francisco Ballet's 75th Anniversary Season to Offer Ten World Premieres, Including One by Mark Morris and John Adams
San Francisco Ballet will celebrate its 75th anniversary season, which runs January 29 to May 6, 2008, with a New Works Festival featuring 10 world premieres (including a Mark Morris-John Adams collaboration), a tribute to Jerome Robbins and visits by the New York City Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

"For the 75th anniversary of America's oldest professional ballet company, we celebrate this important milestone by looking forward," said artistic director Helgi Tomasson.

The New Works Festival runs in late April and comprises 10 world premieres by 10 noted choreographers: Julia Adam, Val Caniparoli, Jorma Elo, Margaret Jenkins (commissioned music by Paul Dresher), James Kudelka (commissioned music by Rodney Sharman), Mark Morris (commissioned music by John Adams), Yuri Possokhov, Paul Taylor, Stanton Welch and Christopher Wheeldon. The festival will feature three programs on three successive evenings. James F. Ingalls will design lighting for all 10 works; the design teams to date include Isaac Mizrahi for the Morris premiere.

The anniversary season will also include the revival of former San Francisco Ballet director Lew Christensen's Filling Station, one of the oldest American folk ballets, and an all-Robbins program commemorating the 10th anniversary of the master choreographer's death and including the company premiere of his West Side Story Suite.

Other highlights include a world premiere by Tomasson and the return of his full-length production of the classic Giselle.

During "An International Salute to San Francisco Ballet" the National Ballet of Canada will perform the San Francisco premiere of Matjash Mrozewski's A Delicate Battle, New York City Ballet will perform George Balanchine's Duo Concertant and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, making its San Francisco debut, will perform the American premiere of Jean-Christophe Maillot's Altro Canto.

The company will expand to 74 dancers (13 new) in order to perform all the new works, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Tomasson has reportedly hired Bolshoi-trained Maria Kochetkova of the English National Ballet as a principal and Julianne Kepley of the Joffrey Ballet and Mateo Klemmayer of the Birmingham Royal Ballet as soloists. Longtime corps member James Sofranko has also been promoted to that rank, adds the paper.

The anniversary will also be highlighted by a new book, "San Francisco Ballet at Seventy-Five" written by dance scholar and historian Janice Ross, and photography exhibitions at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum and the San Francisco International Airport.

The San Francisco Ballet School, which is also celebrating its 75th anniversary, will perform the American premiere of John Neumeier's Yondering, a work created in 1996 and set to music by Stephen C. Foster.

San Francisco Ballet will wrap up its anniversary festivities with a four-city national tour in September, including engagements at New York's City Center and Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center.

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