In Program 5 of the San Francisco Ballet’s 2017-18 season, the National Ballet of Canada will make a guest appearance to perform “Nijinsky” by John Neumeier. (© Cylla von Tiedemann/National Ballet of Canada)
San Francisco Ballet’s just-announced 2017-18 repertory season — the troupe’s 85th — will feature 12 world premieres by 12 choreographers as part of the company’s inaugural Unbound Festival; three evening-length productions, including a guest appearance by the National Ballet of Canada performing John Neumeier’s “Nijinsky”; an evening devoted to ballet and Broadway works by Jerome Robbins (in his centenary year); plus revivals of many favorites.
The company premiere of “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes,” by Justin Peck (set to music by Aaron Copland), is described as quite different from Agnes de Mille’s “Rodeo” (1942), which was set to the same music. Also new is an expanded version of Benjamin Millepied’s “The Chairman Dances” to music by John Adams. Both those works are part of Program 2 (Feb. 13-24, 2018).
The other evening-length works are “The Sleeping Beauty” by company artistic director and principal choreographer Helgi Tomasson (Program 1, Jan. 23-28, 2018); “Frankenstein” by Liam Scarlett, first performed here during the current season (repeating in Program 4, March 6-11, 2018); and “Nijinsky,” given its world premiere in 2000 by Hamburg Ballet (and performed here by the Canadian National Ballet in Program 6, April 3-8, 2018).
Jerome Robbins’ “Fancy Free,” set to music by Leonard Bernstein, will be featured in Program 5 of the San Francisco Ballet’s 2017-18 season. (Erik Tomasson)
The choreographers presenting world premieres in the Unbound Festival are: David Dawson of the Dutch National Ballet; Alonzo King of Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco; Edwaard Liang, formerly of New York City Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater; Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, who trained at Belgium’s Royal Ballet and has created works for more than 40 companies worldwide; Cathy Marston, who trained in Cambridge, England, and at London’s Royal Ballet School before launching an international career; Trey McIntyre, a filmmaker, writer and photographer who has worked as a freelance choreographer for more than 25 years; Justin Peck, resident choreographer and solo dancer at New York City Ballet; Arthur Pita, a London-based, South Africa-born artist, who often collaborates on theater, film and opera productions; Dwight Rhoden, founding artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City; Stanton Welch, the Australia-born choreographer who is artistic director of Houston Ballet; Christopher Wheeldon, associate artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London and a former dancer with the Royal Ballet and New York City Ballet; and Atlanta-born Myles Thatcher, who went through the San Francisco Ballet School, became a company apprentice in 2009 and a member of the corps in 2010; SFB premiered his “Ghost in the Machine” April 5.
This festival, which replaces traditional Programs 7 and 8 on the schedule, consists of four programs: A (April 20-May 6, 2018), B (April 21-May 4), C (April 24-May 5) and D (April 26-May 5). Each features three debut works, still to be announced.
San Francisco Ballet will present 30 performances of “Nutcracker,” Dec. 13-30, 2017; tickets go on sale Aug. 30, starting at $25. The opening-night gala for the repertory season will take place Jan. 18, 2018; gala and after-party tickets go on sale Nov. 16, prices to be announced. The repertory season itself will run Jan. 23-May 6.
Tickets for the Unbound Festival only and/or three- five- and eight-program subscription packages for the 2018 repertory season go on sale to the public June 27, with prices ranging from $85 to $2,592. Single tickets for repertory-season programs go on sale Nov. 15, starting at $28.
To purchase tickets, call 415-865-2000 (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) or visit sfballet.org.