Pierre-François Vilanoba to Retire



Pierre-Francois Vilanoba in Balanchine's Apollo. (copyright Erik Tomasson)

Principal Dancer Pierre-François Vilanoba to Retire from SF Ballet

San Francisco Ballet recently announced that Principal Dancer Pierre-François Vilanoba will retire at the conclusion of the 2013 Repertory Season. His final performances with the Company will be during Programs 6 and 7, which run April 9–21 at the War Memorial Opera House.

Born in Lille, France, Pierre trained at the Lille Conservatory and Paris Opéra Ballet School beginning at age seven. After dancing with Paris Opéra Ballet for eight years, he joined San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 1998 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1999. His lead roles in SF Ballet’s full-length productions include the Prince in John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, Onegin in John Cranko’s Onegin, Othello in Lar  Lubovitch’s Othello, Orion in Mark Morris’ Sylvia, Albrecht in Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle, Romeo in Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, Prince Desiré in Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Tomasson’s Swan Lake, the Nutcracker Prince and Snow King in Tomasson’s Nutcracker. While in Paris and San Francisco he participated in the creation of principal roles in works by Neumeier, James Kudelka, Jorma Elo, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Val Caniparoli, Tomasson, Yuri Possokhov, Matjash Mrozewski, and others. Vilanoba’s broad repertory includes ballet’s by Rudolf Nureyev, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Marius Petipa, Serge Lifar, Vaslav Nijinsky, Leonide Massine, Serge Diaghilev, Victor Gsovsky, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen, Angelin Preljocaj, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, David Bintley, Harald Lander, Anthony Tudor,  Jacques Garnier, Lila York, Caroline Carlson, and Mats Ek. He has performed at galas around the world and in several ballet films with the Paris Opéra Ballet, including Nureyev’s Romeo and Juliet. In December 2008, Vilanoba was featured as the Snow King in the PBS Great Performances broadcast of Tomasson’s Nutcracker.

Patrons are encouraged to check www.sfballet.org/casting for up-to-date casting information.



Pierre Francois Vilanoba dancing Forsythe's in the middle, somewhat elevated (copyright Chris Hardy)

Pierre-Francois Vilanoba in Tomasson's The Fifth Season (copyright Erik Tomasson)

Vanessa Zahorian and Pierre Francois Vilanoba in Neumeier's The Little Mermaid. (copyright Erik Tomasson).

Pierre Francois Vilanoba in Tomasson/Possokhov's Don Quixote (copyright Erik Tomasson)

Lorena Feijoo and Pierre-Francois Villanoba rehearsing Tomasson's Blue Rose. (© Erik Tomasson)

Lorena Feijoo and Pierre-Francois Vilanoba rehearses Tomasson's Swan Lake.(© Erik Tomasson)

Pierre-Francois Vilanoba in Tomasson's Swan Lake. (© Erik Tomasson)

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  1. avatar Kasey Hansen
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    It breaks my heart to see Pierre-Francois Vilanoba retire. I have enjoyed
    watching him for years, he is quite simply wonderful!

  2. avatar Cleo Postle
    Posted April 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Ever the gentleman and a prince, both, back stage and on stage. You can also be the most handsome aging cad, as in Onegin, that I have ever seen. Your presence will be sorely missed by the S.B. Ballet audience.

    (A retired Bravo member & season subscriber many years.)

  3. avatar Marlene Prendergast
    Posted April 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed your inspiring performance today April 21st in Symphony in Three Movements and the marvelous feelings for you expressed by others in the Company. Happy retirement. We will miss watching you dance.

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