The Black Iris Project, created by award-winning choreographer and former dancer Jeremy McQueen, presents new works about black lives and history. I wasn’t aware of the project until Jeremy reached out to me earlier this year, via Instagram–someone apparently told him about me and needless to say, I was thrilled to hear from him. His introductory email included a New York Times article about the project, and he asked if I’d be available for the upcoming summer performances. I was immediately intrigued and eager to make it work out, without even knowing all the details! Read More
We can’t believe it’s already July! Here at SF Ballet, our Company members are back in the studio and hard at work already preparing for the 2017 Season. With a number of new world premieres and fan favorites, we have a long list of must-see works for the coming season. To find out what ballets our dancers are excited about performing, we went straight to the source and here’s what they had to say.
Davit Karapetyan, Principal Dancer
Frankenstein is high on my list. I love to dance story ballets. I read the Mary Shelley novel, I saw the movie, and I’m curious about how Liam is going to translate it all into movement. I had the opportunity to work with Liam last season in Fearful Symmetries [also returning on Program 5], and it was interesting to work with him. He’s great with us, always making sure everyone is comfortable with their steps. I don’t even know yet if I’m going to be dancing in Frankenstein, but either way it will be fun to see. Read More
Each summer San Francisco Ballet School hosts an intensive summer session designed for serious ballet students from around the world. This year, more than 1500 students auditioned, with ultimately 300 students hailing from as far as Japan, Brazil, China, and New Zealand, attending. The summer session is divided into intermediate and advanced programs and designed to improve skills, build strength, and give students a deeper understanding of ballet as an art form while exploring the demands of a professional career. Students are exposed to SF Ballet School’s renowned faculty, as well as guest artists from around the globe. Over 160 students attended summer program 1 for intermediate students, and we’ll welcome nearly 150 students to the 4-week program 2 for advanced students, starting July 11.
We sat down with Zoe Lucich (14) and Jasper Stanford (14) for a peek inside Summer Program 1 for Intermediate students through their eyes.
When did you start dancing?
Zoe: I got started because my mom (former principal dancer and choreographer Julia Adam) was a professional dancer here at SF Ballet. I grew up in the studio alongside my mom while she was choreographing. I immediately loved it. I danced around at home all the time, but didn’t really start training until I was seven when I was enrolled at Marin Ballet where I was until I joined SF Ballet School year-round.
Jasper: I go to a small studio in my hometown called the San Ramon Valley Dance Academy. I study multiple styles like ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, tap, and even hip hop.
San Francisco Ballet is no stranger to international tours. From 1957-59, we famously embarked on a series of high profile, US State Department-sponsored tours–traveling to Far East Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. In the ensuing years, we’ve danced on stages in Shanghai, Beijing, London, Moscow, and New York City, to name just a few locations and in 2014, we enjoyed a four-week run at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. This May, we traveled to the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland, the homeland of our Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson.
When packing for a tour, we have to include everything we needed for the studio and the stage, plus all the other essentials you might require for a trip abroad (like adaptors!). Because we knew it would be wet and cold in Reykjavik for the majority of our engagement, we packed warm hats, jackets, and boots (in addition to our pointe shoes of course)! Hydration is also key when going on tour and Corps de Ballet dancer Rebecca Rhodes shared, “The long flights are hard on your body, so I try to make sure I pack smartly and bring lots of water and healthy snacks on the plane. The hardest part about going on tour is adjusting to the new time zone while still maintaining the ability to perform at your highest level, so keeping my mind and body strong is key.”