San Francisco Ballet is America’s oldest professional ballet company with an illustrious history of “firsts,” including the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker.
And so it was befitting the high standards of the Ballet that the 2011 opening gala performance featured two world premieres!
The first world premier of the evening was Val Caniparoli’s Double Stop, set to the music of Philip Glass. The pas de deux was performed by Sarah Van Patten and Tiit Helimets.
Lorena Feijoo and Vitor Luiz performed the world premiere of Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov’s Talk to Her (hable con ella).
Created for the 2011 Opening Night Gala, the work was set to Alberto Iglesias‘ Hable con ella, and marks Possokhov’s 13th work for the Company.
The program also included the United States premier of John Neumeier’s New Pizzicato Polka. Created for the 2006 New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic and set to the music of Johann Strauss Jr., the work was originally danced by members of the Hamburg Ballet, where Neumeier serves as director and chief choreographer. It was performed by Vanessa Zahorian, Jaime Garcia Castilla, and Taras Domitro.
Prior to the Gala performance, five black-tie fundraising dinners were held in City Hall, with all proceeds from the dinners benefiting San Francisco Ballet’s annual fund.
All five dinners were catered by Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, with wine provided by William Hill Estate Winery, and water by Crystal Geyser and CG Roxane. Sparkling wine was courtesy of La Marca Prosecco and cocktails courtesy of GREY GOOSE Vodka.
Dinner decor for the evening was created by J. Riccardo Benavides of Ideas.