Garen was born in Arlington, Virginia and trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Maryland Youth Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, and Boston Ballet School. He was named an apprentice in 2003, joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet a year later, and was promoted to soloist in 2008.
He’ll be saying farewell to SF Ballet after ten incredible years with the company, to join Netherlands Dans Theatre I in August. He says “excited for this incredible opportunity, but will dearly miss his colleagues and the wonderful patrons of SF Ballet.”
When did you realize you were serious about ballet?
“12 years old. I grew up 5 minutes from the Kennedy Center and saw everything that came through. I could spot the dancers as they came out of the theater and observed that they possessed a certain special quality, a lightness of being. They were stylish and worldly. I wanted to be like that.”
Your favorite performance you’ve ever seen onstage?
“Netherlands Dans Theater performing works by Kylian, Lightfoot/Leon and Crystal Pite. Pretty unbelievable pieces and some of the world’s finest dancers.”
Your favorite role to dance?
“The lead in Double Evil, in the middle somewhat elevated, anything by Christopher Wheeldon.”
The one thing you wished more people knew about dancing?
“We’re professional dancers. We’re not in school. Male dancers are not called “ballerinos.” And yes, we are allowed to eat.”
Your guilty pleasure?
“The Real Housewives. Sorry.” [So are we Garen, so are we — SFB]
Your dream job, if you weren’t a dancer?
“A piano man.”
Your favorite place in San Francisco?
“The stage of the War Memorial Opera House, surrounded by my incredible colleagues.”
Your favorite place in the world?
“With my friends and beautiful family.”
The one song you can’t stop listening to right now?
Your favorite movie?
“Best in Show.”
Your favorite book?
Your idea of a perfect day off?
“Run on Crissy Field with my dog and my boyfriend, workout, brunch, movie and a nice dinner. And some anti-inflammatory medication.”
Stay tuned for a personal goodbye from Garen soon on this blog!