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'PHENOMENAL' – Opening Gala of San Francisco Ballet – Wednesday, January 22

Lorena Feijóo and Vitor Luiz in Possokhov’s "Talk To Her"
Lorena Feijóo and Vitor Luiz in Possokhov’s "Talk To Her"
Erik Tomasson

San Francisco Ballet’s 2014 season begins with its Opening Night Gala – PHENOMENAL – this coming Wednesday, January 22. One glance at the Program and Cast List and “Phenomenal” says it all.

The full evening Gala Ticket includes a cocktail reception and dinner at City Hall beginning at 5:00, followed at 7:00 with complimentary Prosecco in the Lobby of the War Memorial Opera House. At 8:00 the curtain rises on an outstanding array of performances by the members of San Francisco Ballet, and at 10:00 (hold on to your ticket!) the evening concludes with a sensational after party of dancing to live music, libations, and fabulous foods and desserts.
Click here to view the various ticket options including performance-only.

The Gala Program is truly phenomenal, opening with the Act 1 pas de cinq from Adolphe Adam’s GISELLE. Martin West, easily described as one of the most phenomenal conductors of ballet in the world, will lead the equally phenomenal SF Ballet Orchestra throughout the evening. The featured dancers include Clara Blanco, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, Sasha De Sola, Julia Rowe, and Hansuke Yamamoto. Choreographed by Helgi Tomasson, the Company opens its full-length production of Giselle on Saturday, January 25.

The program continues with choreographer Yuri Possokhov’s TALK TO HER (Hable Con Ella). With music by Alberto Iglesias, the ballet will feature Vitor Luiz and one of the world’s most phenomenal ballerinas, Lorena Feijóo. Next is a solo by Frances Chung from LAMBARENA. Val Caniparoli choreographed this ballet which utilizes music of Johann Sebastian Bach incorporated with traditional African themes arranged by Pierre Akendengue and Hughes de Courson. In delightful contrast is The Man I Love from George Balanchine’s WHO CARES? featuring Simone Messmer and Ruben Martin Cintas.

Next on the bill is the U.S. premiere of Hans van Manen’s VARIATIONS FOR TWO COUPLES. The work combines compositions by Benjamin Britten, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Stefan Kovács Tickmayer, and Aster Piazzolla. The featured dancers are Luke Ingham, Sarah Van Patten, Anthony Spaulding, and Sofiane Sylve. The first half concludes with the Company’s premiere of the DIANA AND ACTEON Pas de Deux. The choreography is after Agrippina Vaganova, the music by Cesare Pugni as arranged by John Lanchbery. The dance will feature Taras Domitro and Vanessa Zahorian.

Following intermission is a series of premieres, beginning with the Company’s first showing of the Bedroom pas de deux from Act 1 of MANON. The music if from Jules Massenet’s beloved opera as arranged by Leighton Lucas with the assistance of Hilda Gaunt. Sir Kenneth MacMillan choreographed this complex romantic scene which will showcase Maria Kochetkova and Guest Artist Johan Kobborg. The U.S. premiere of Johan Kobborg’s LES LUTINS will be danced by Dores Andre, Joan Boada, and Gennadi Nedvigin. The work utilizes the music of Antonio Bazzini and Henri Wieniawski. Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Pas de deux from CONCERTO marks its SF Ballet Premiere. The music is by Dmitry Shostakovich and will feature pianist Roy Bogas. The ballet will feature Tiit Helimets and Sarah Van Patten.

GRAND PAS CLASSIQUE, choreographed by the illustrious Russian ballet dancer Victor Gsovsky in 1949, utilizes the music of French composer Daniel-François-Esprit Auber. The dance will pair Mathilde Froustey and Davit Karapetyan. Another popular pair, Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith will dance the U.S. premiere of Edwaard Liang’s FINDING LIGHT, music by Antonio Vivaldi. The program concludes with George Balanchine’s 4th Movement from BRAHMS-SCHOENBERG QUARTET, featuring Sofiane Sylve and Luke Ingham.

Click here to view the 2014 Season at SFBallet.