San Francisco Ballet Opening and Season 2020

San Francisco Ballet Opening Gala and Season 2020

Carol Benet

One of our most treasured arts’ organization in the Bay Area is the San Francisco Ballet. It has world-wide fame.   On January 16 they presented the specular Opening Gala with twelve selections from its upcoming season plus other company classics.  The season continues with eight programs  through May 10, 2020.  

The Gala is one of the most popular events in the City.  It has special dinners before, the program of stunning excerpts from ballets and an Afterparty where the well-clad beautiful people eat, drink and dance to multiple bands.  The Gala  brings out the young people who are part of the City’s growing balletomania.  Just watching the be-gowned (several with trains), bejeweled, fur wearing young women and the tuxedo wearing men, some in various outrage only in San Francisco, is it itself worth the ticket.

And then there is the program with two world premiers, one Val Caniparoli’s “Foreshadow” to the music of Ludovico Einaudi and the other “0:49” by Myles Thatcher, a pas de deux performed by Sasha de Sola and Benjamin Freemantle that lasts only five minutes and forty-nine seconds to the dot.

Other selections included Prokofiev’s “Romeo & Juliet”,  Petipa’s “Le Corsaire”, Balanchine’s “Diamonds” and favorites from “Swan Lake”, and others, some of which will be repeated during the season.

Two programs start ini February.  The first, Program I,  is a repeat of the popular “Cinderella” to the choreography of Christopher Wheeldon with Prokofiev’s music is a pleaser for all ages.  This version of the classic fairy tale is all humor with the gangly stepdaughters trying on the glass slipper with hilarious results.  January 21- February 2.

Program II, “Classical (Re)Vision,” features Mark Morris’s “Sandpaper Ballet” to the unforgettable music of Leroy Anderson,  Stanton Welch’s “Bespoke” to Bach, and Liam Scarlett’s “Hummingbird”  to Philip Glass’s mesmerizing score. February 11-22.

Program III  features three dances.  Here is the World Premiere of Trey McIntyre’s “The Big Hunger” to Prokofiev’s “Piano Concerto #2”,  Edwaard Liang’s  “The Infinite Ocean” and Harald Lander’s “Etudes”. February 13-23.

Program IV includes a full story ballet of Shakespeare’s  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” choreographed by George Balanchine to the music of Mendelssohn. March 5-15,

Program V, “Ballet Accelerator”, presents another World Premiere with Cathy Marston’s “The Graduate” inspired by the famous movie.  Helgi Tomasson’s “7 for Eight” to Bach and David Dawson’s “”Anima Animus” complete the program. March 24 to April 4.  

Program VI, ”Present Perspectives” presents a new co-commission with the American Ballet Theatre in New York by the very famous Alexei Ratmansky in “The Seasons” to Glazunov’s music, Yuri Possokhov’s “Classical Symphony” and Benjamin’s Millepied’s “Appassionata” to Beethoven. March 26-April 5.

Program VII revives Balanchine’s standard “Jewels”, three dances to Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.  April 15-21.

Program VIII brings Tomasson’s beautiful “Romeo and Juliet” to Prokofiev with the ballet’s star Mathlde Froustey dancing Juliet.  May 1-10.

Tickets for the ballet 415 865 2000 or

About the Author

Carol BenetCarol Benet received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, where she won an Outstanding Teaching Award. She also received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. Her teaching assignments have been at UC Berkeley, UC Berkeley Extension, Dominican University and Washington State University. Currently she holds literature discussion groups in Marin County and San Francisco and is a critic of the arts for The Ark Newspaper and a contributor to and all posts by Carol Benet →