San Francisco Ballet Announces its 2012 Season…

…to the CIA (Company of International Artists), otherwise known as the Artists of San Francisco Ballet. I guess we have to allow them that, since they’re the ones who will be honored with the pleasure of performing their hearts out in it. But ‘mum’s the word’, peeps…

…till the official Press Release in/around May.  

(Note: This post was written prior to SFB’s 2012 season announcement, in order to play a guessing game with my readers; go here to see the actual 2012 season and some photos.)

Okay, I confess. That was a little mean.

But I thought I’d take this opportunity to play a game with my readers, since I am as ‘in the dark’ about it as you are. This can tie in with my upcoming ‘Fan-tasy Casting’ series, but let’s call it:

 ‘Fan-tasy Artistic Director for a Day’ (‘FADFAD’)

What would you schedule/like to see in SFB’s 2012 Programming?

Please post your comments; everyone can play…except, obviously, the Dancers in this case. And please don’t ask them about next season; they are threatened ‘on pain of death’ (in true Romeo & Juliet Veronian style with swords…and knives…and people thumbing their noses at each other and such) to not divulge this highly secret information. 

I’ll begin:

1. I have been pining for Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering (and its accompanying Chopin) for a few years now. The Company is absolutely ripe with talent for it. Many of SFB’s original cast members are still with us-Joan Boada (‘Brown’ or ‘Purple’ I think?), Lorena Feijoo, (Jaime Garcia Castilla?), Kristin Long (‘Yellow’), Ruben Martin Cintas (‘Green’), Pascal Molat (‘Brown’), Damian Smith (‘Purple’), Yuan Yuan Tan (‘Pink’ and ‘Mauve’), Pierre-Francois Vilanoba, Hansuke Yamamoto (‘Brick’ I think it’s called), and Vanessa Zahorian (‘Mauve’). Gennadi Nedevigin, did you do it too? With the fresh talent and strength of the current Company, there isn’t the lowliest ‘2nd Peasant from the Left’ (SFB Corps member) I wouldn’t be pleased to offer an opportunity to shine in, in this gorgeous masterpiece.

2. I’m ready for Helgi Tomasson’s Sleeping Beauty again! Yes I want to see Lorena Feijoo, Maria Kochetkova, Yuan Yuan Tan, Sarah Van Patten, and Vanessa Zahorian as Princess Aurora. But I am DYING to see Frances Chung make her Beauty debut as well, and would throw in Nicole Ciapponi for a surprise! My Prince Desiré line-up: Joan Boada (with Maria or Nicole), Taras Domitro (with Frances or Vanessa), Tiit Helimets (with Sarah), Davit Karapetyan (with Frances or Vanessa), Vitor Luiz (with Lorena), Gennadi Nedvigin (with Maria or Nicole), and Vito Mazzeo (with YY).

My Lilac Fairies: Sofiane Sylve, Alana Altman, Courtney Elizabeth, & Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun.

Again, there’s lots of opportunities for many Dancers to thrill us in ‘Sleeping Beauty’: There’s the Little Lilacs, all the other soloist/demi Fairies, the Bluebirds (Lonnie Weeks!), Puss ‘n Boots (trust me, when Julie Diana did it, before she did Princess Aurora, she almost stole the entire show!), and lots of opportunities for the Fans to see their favorites in this Ballet.

3. Too long have we been without Val Caniparoli’s masterpiece and audience favorite, Lambarena and its beautiful music. I know I’m not alone. ’nuff said.

4. Yuri Possokhov’s alternately witty, heartbreaking, and rhapsodic Ballet (arguably his best) Magrittomania with its wonderful adapted Beethoven score. It’s time. I’d also be happy with his Reflections.

5. Lar Lubovitch’s Othello. I love this Ballet and think Sarah Van Patten, as Desdemona, would thrill us and maybe Anthony Spaulding, as either Othello or Iago, would ‘chill’ us. Not to mention all the other Casting possibilities. Anyone have a ‘Fan-tasy’ Cast for this Ballet?

6. I expect Yuri Possokhov’s recent megahit RAkU to encore

7, 8, & 9. I expect Helgi Tomasson’s Trio to encore, as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s Number Nine and Wayne McGregor’s Chroma. When there is a Premiere one season, it usually ‘encores’ the following season-if it’s deemed a ‘hit’, that is. With any Wheeldon or McGregor (brilliant choreographers who also happen to be audience favorites), I expect an encore the following season.

10. I’d love a new John Neumeier Ballet. Some of our more ‘international’ set have seen other Neumeier Ballets and proclaim that The Little Mermaid isn’t his best. Well, if it’s not, I want to see what IS! 

11. Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces, pretty much thanks to Former SFB Ballerina Muriel Maffre, who incorporated quite a lengthy segment of it into her recent performance of The Complete Works, in which she danced many of her most memorable roles. I can see that Ballet repeatedly and never tire of it.  

12. Which Balanchine should we have next season? I vote for Square Dance, simply because I missed it when SFB did it before. I heard it was a wonderful Ballet. What would you like to see?

13. La Bayadere. And I want Natalia Makarova to come and set it. This is probably a pipe dream, with the current economy, but we could borrow Paris Opera Ballet’s sets, couldn’t we? There’s SO much dancing and the gorgeous Kingdom of the Shades act. We should at least do Shades again.  

So that’s Odette’s ‘FADFAD’ suggestions for programming. Please do comment and give your suggestions. Let’s see how we do when it’s all announced. And, with any luck, maybe Helgi Tomasson will take a peek at what the Fans most want to see and accommodate us in 2013!

See You at the Ballet,




About Odette's Ordeal

'Ballet's Head Cheerleader'
This entry was posted in Fan-tasy Casting, Fantasy Casting, Odette's Ordeal, San Francisco Ballet Casting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to San Francisco Ballet Announces its 2012 Season…

  1. Geri says:

    My favorite Neumeier ballet is “Lady of the Camellias.” Very complicated structure, but the narrative hangs together. A ballet within a ballet within a flashback. Saw it in London years ago with the Stuttgart. Marcia Haydee was the lead; Christopher Boatwright was the lead in the ballet inserted within the ballet.

    And the company can’t do “Jewels” too often for me.

    • Odette says:

      Re: Neumeier’s ‘Lady of the Camellias’:
      I’m alot envious! (Note to Fans: Christopher Boatwright was also a much loved Former Principal Dancer with SFB.) I found this wonderful video clip of Stéphane Bullion & Agnès Letestu of Paris Opera Ballet in this Ballet:
      For those wishing to see the entire ballet on YouTube (clips from the DVD), begin here: and in the right column, you’ll find the rest of the 17 clips, numbered 1/17, 2/17, 3/17, etc.
      If you’re interested in what my Dance Blogging Sister, Tonya Plank on the Right Coast, had to say about ABT’s recent 2010 performances of this ballet, follow this link: and near the bottom of the post, you’ll find a link to some gorgeous slides as well.
      I was yearning for Chopin and this Ballet would fit the bill nicely, not that I’d want to trade ‘Dances at a Gathering’.
      But let’s not overlook SFB’s own; SFB Principal Character Dancer, Former Principal Dancer, and choreographer Val Caniparoli also created a ‘Lady of the Camellias’ 1 act Ballet (also to Chopin!), performed here by Former SFB Principal Dancers Lucia Lacarra & Cyril Pierre-if you haven’t seen this, it’s a ‘must-see’:

  2. Carolyn Hutton says:

    Oh, what a fun exercise to indulge in! What immediately comes to mind is “The End”, was it James Kudelka? Set to that wonderful Brahms symphony….I can still see Ashley Wheater and Sabina Allemann in the pas de deux, and Eric Hoisington in the solo…..”New Sleep” would be a feast, it’s been so long…..”yes” to Sleeping Beauty….and I have a secret desire to for SOMEONE to stage Michael Smuin’s “Cinderella”, what a beautiful production that is….but alas, politics will never allow that. I would welcome all of your choices above. Selfishly, I’d love to see a revival of Lew Christensen’s “Beauty and the Beast”, the last ballet I was ever in as an advanced student before I stopped dancing! And finally, anything by Robbins and Balanchine. Ah, to dream……

    • Odette says:

      Funny-I remember Eric Hoisington fondly too…in Val Caniparoli’s ‘Lambarena’. Did you get a chance to see Val’s ‘Tosca Project’ at ACT with Sabina Alleman (and Lorena Feijoo, Pascal Molat, and later Julianne Kepley?) Sabina always had such an incredible back and wingspan. I’ll be updating us on Ashley Wheater’s new Joffrey programming soon. Just for the record, a dance writer friend, who did not wish to publicly comment in this forum, also wants Forsythe’s ‘New Sleep’! How many others want “New Sleep”?
      (I think next year, I’ll have an official poll of what the Fans want. I am told that Helgi Tomasson, busy man though he is, reads all letters, so maybe he’d enjoy knowing what the Fans are aching for! I doubt we’ll see Smuin’s works though…)

  3. toni miles says:

    enjoy your posts. will we ever see prodigal son again? or the amusing ballet of three divas in competition with each other (cannot remember name). toni

    • Odette says:

      Hi Toni,
      Those are both wonderful suggestions. I believe you’re speaking of ‘Gala Performance’ and it would be a terrific vehicle to cast with some of our favorites in those famously catty roles! Balanchine’s ‘Prodigal Son’ would also be fun to cast with the Company’s current crop of male Artists. Yuan Yuan Tan could reprise her Siren role, and I can imagine Sofiane Sylve in that cool ‘tall girl’ role, as well as Elana Altman. Lily Rogers might be a nice fit, as well. And Gennadi could reprise his title role. Who else would you want to see dance the Prodigal Son role?

  4. Em says:

    Helgi’s Fifth Season, Act 2 of Giselle (I’d be happy never to sit through Act 1 again), Lambarena, The Ruins Proclaim the Building was Beautiful, Aunis, Rubies, Within the Golden Hour and Don Q. I think SFB should do Don Q EVERY season.

    • Odette says:

      Re: Giselle (Act 2 only!)
      What? And miss the daisy scene? And the mad scene? And the dogs? And Pascal Molat’s Act 1 Hilarion?????
      I see you are in the ‘loving it’ camp for James Kudelka’s ‘The Ruins Proclaim the Building Was Beautiful” from SFB’s 2008 75th Anniversary New Works Festival. That Ballet had people loving it or hating it. (Clever title, but I was in the other camp…)
      (Nah, I’m not really being harsh with this reader, who is a friend and loves to annoy me, but is, in fact, being sincere about programming preferences…)
      I’m with you regarding your other suggestions. It’s probably too soon to see Christopher Wheeldon’s ‘Within the Golden Hour’ (from that same New Works Festival) again, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see it on the program. That Ballet has pretty much one camp: Lovers!

  5. Michael Williams says:

    What a wonderful exercise! I was hopeful when I saw that two of your choices, “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Othello” are two I’ve been hoping to see included for the 2012 season. So, the fact that they are on someone else’s list gives me hope that they may indeed make an appearance.

  6. Herm says:

    Odette – Just found your website and it’s wonderful!!! I agree with you about Sleeping Beauty, Glass Pieces & Dances at a Gathering. In fact, I’m surprised there wasn’t a Robbins ballet this year…. So hopefully we’ll see something (In the Night, Fanfare, or something else the company hasn’t done yet?) For Balanchine, how about Prodigal Son (which I missed the first time around), Apollo (which I wasn’t a fan of initially, but willing to give it another chance), or Agon (have they ever done this one?). After seeing Vanessa & Taras at the gala this year, I would like to see Dox Quixote again. I would love a new piece by either Mark Morris or Jorma Elo. For a choreographer that hasn’t created a piece for SFB before, how about Edwaard Liang (the gala performances by Yuan Yuan & Damian the past 2 years were fabulous), Benjamin Millipied, or Paul Lightfoot & Sol Leon (this is based on seeing Nederlands Dans Theatre in Silent Screen).

    • Hi Herm,
      Looks like we got our ‘Glass Pieces’ and you got your Don Q, with all new sets (SFB had used those from The Royal Danes, which were too small for our stage, or so I’ve been informed), a new Mark Morris, and a World Premiere by Edward Liang! I wonder if the Liang will be a pdd with Damian and YY, since they have been the ‘chosen ones’ for two of his ballets already.
      I, too, enjoyed ‘Silent Screen’ on NDT and wouldn’t mind a Leon piece at all.
      Cranko’s ‘Onegin’ is a huge coup and should be a terrific vehicle for some of SFB’s talented dance dramatists, though I’ve only seen clips and am told it is NOT danced to Tchaikovsky’s famous opera, but rather to other Tchaikovsky works pieced together. I am looking into it, as I have great interest in the music; having played the violin for over 20 yrs. in addition to my ballet training, Tchaikovsky is rather in my blood.
      Scotch Symphony is a lovely Balanchine; I went to Sacramento Ballet with a couple of Balletomane friends about a decade ago (more?), just to see it. My memory is poor, but I remember liking it and wishing to see it on SFB.
      You had some excellent suggestions and I will look forward to playing FADFAD with you next season! Right now, I’m working on the rest of my site, but I will launch asap after Mermaid and bring my readers thirst quenching SFB news, interviews, and photos over our long ‘dry season’ of a summer.
      Welcome Aboard!

      • Herm says:

        Thanks for your reply Odette. Next year looks really exciting. I am very happy about Onegin. I had the opportunity to see it in Paris in May 2009 and can’t wait to see our dancers do it justice. The music is various Tchaikovsky pieces – I knew I should have bought the CD!!! I am sad to see the season ending, so I might have to fly down to OC in the fall. I’ve already told one friend down there and she really wants to see R&J.

Comments are closed.