The Black Iris Project


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 »

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Anticipating the 2017 Repertory Season


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 »

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SF Ballet School Faculty Spotlight: Rubén Martín Cintas


Rubén Martín Cintas was born in Reus, Spain and trained at the Escuela Municipal de Danza and Estudio de Danza de María de Avila. After dancing with English National Ballet, he joined SF Ballet as a corps de ballet member in 2000. He was promoted to soloist in 2003 and named a principal dancer three years later. After retiring from the Company in 2014, Rubén became a principal character dancer, in addition to joining the SF Ballet School faculty. 

Rubén Martín Cintas with a student from SF Ballet School's 2015 Summer Session. (© Chris Hardy)

Rubén Martín Cintas with a student from SF Ballet School’s 2015 Summer Session.
(© Chris Hardy)

Why did you decide to teach after retiring?
I knew it made sense to stay in ballet after retiring because I had put so many years into it. I wanted to test out teaching and see how I felt, so I started about three years before I retired. At first it was hard to build up my confidence, but I knew in my last year and a half of dancing that it was what I wanted to do.

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SF Ballet School Alumni Spotlight: Alan Takata-Villareal


SF Ballet School alumnus and Bay Area native Alan Takata-Villareal has been working with SF Ballet for over 20 years, as the logistics manager in the artistic department. He is responsible for scheduling the Company’s busy rehearsal schedule and making sure the ballets make it to stage on time. We caught up with him to learn about his transition from being a student at SF Ballet School to a staff member with the organization.


Alan Takata-Villareal and students at SF Ballet School.

How did you come to SF Ballet School?
SF Ballet School was my first ballet school. When I was a kid I was very interested in musical theater, so throughout grammar school and into the beginning of high school, I performed in many musical productions. I always wanted to have formal dance training and SF Ballet School seemed like the right place. I started when I was 13 years old, taking classes in the adult ballet program which were taught by Mary Wood. Later on, I auditioned–and was accepted–into the professional division of the School. I also had a Christensen family connection when I was growing up. My father and Lee Christensen, Harold’s son, were very good friends. I grew up with Lee Christensen’s children.

Where did you go after attending the School?
I was in SF Ballet School for six years and then danced with Oakland Ballet for two and a half years. Betsy Erickson was my ballet master at that time. Unfortunately, I injured by knee while on tour, so my performing career came to an end; ACL replacements weren’t very common at the time.

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