San Francisco Ballet Announces Ballet Bliss for Stern Grove 2012 Program, July 29 at 2 p.m.

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Note: This post has been updated on 7/20/12. However, above^ slideshow preview and associated photos below reflect previously announced programming, which has since been changed. This post is still very worthwhile for the video clips of last season’s Stern Grove performances (including Sofiane Sylve’s Isadora Duncan Dance Award winning Symphony in C!), but go here for the newly announced Casting, programming changes, and a brand new slideshow and video clip (sneak peek!) of Myles Thatcher’s Spinae!

San Francisco Ballet’s free annual summer performance, in the idyllic Stern Grove, is an eagerly anticipated occasion for SFBalletomanes. It’s like a tall, cool, and refreshing thirst-quencher in the middle of SFB’s long dry ‘off-season’, its only performance in SF from early May till the distant Nutcracker run.

Sarah Van Patten & Pierre-Francois Vilanoba in Wheeldon’s ‘Within the Golden Hour’ (© Erik Tomasson)

 This year, SFB’s 2012 Stern Grove line-up offers a sampling of some of our favorite company’s finest ballets-and, unsurprisingly, gives the troupe a bit of dress rehearsal for its upcoming London Tour, as well as encoring some recent repertoire hits. Add a dash of ‘Scotch’, a spellbinding new ballet by SFB Corps de Ballet dancer Myles Thatcher (Spinae premiered on the SFB School Trainees & Apprentices earlier this year), and a sprightly ‘Solo’ (albeit for 3 men) and SFB’s Stern Grove program is a mouth-watering menu of flavors to satiate any dance lover’s palate:

Courtney Elizabeth in Balanchine’s ‘Scotch Symphony’ (© Erik Tomasson)

San Francisco Ballet at Stern Grove 2012

Sunday, July 29 at 2 p.m.
Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and
Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco

Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony


Thatcher’s Spinae


van Manen’s SOLO


Wheeldon’s Number Nine* 

*to have its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells, during the Company’s upcoming London Tour, Sept. 19-23, 2012  

(click link above for Sadler’s Wells’ ^ London programming)

Garen Scribner in van Manen’s ‘Solo’ at SF Ballet Gala 2012 (© Erik Tomasson)

For those of you who haven’t yet experienced a live outdoor performance with some of this planet’s most talented dancers, accompanied by the award-winning San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, amidst dragonflies, in a sylvan grove of redwoods, let Odette explain:  

This is not ‘Ballet Light’. This is ‘Ballet Bliss’. How many of us will never forget last year’s dreamy pas de deux of Sofiane Sylve’s Izzie Award winning Symphony in C performance, with her elegant partner Vito Mazzeo, an adagio every bit as beautiful as anything we have seen on the War Memorial Opera House stage?

Like I said, Ballet Bliss.

Sofiane Sylve and Vito Mazzeo in Balanchine’s Symphony In C (© Erik Tomasson)

(Ballet Bliss)


Tiit Helimets & Yuan Yuan Tan in Tomasson’s ‘7 for Eight’ (© Erik Tomasson)

(Ballet Bliss


Yuan Yuan Tan & Davit Karapetyan in Balanchine’s ‘Scotch Symphony’ (© Erik Tomasson)

(*Ballet Bliss*)


SFB’s 2011 Stern Grove performance featured SFB Corps de Ballet Dancer Myles Thatcher’s Timepiece (with SFB’s Trainees, Apprentices, & company dancers), Tomasson’s 7 for Eight (complete), and Balanchine’s Symphony in C


Myles Thatcher’s Timepiece at Stern Grove 2011


A fan’s 12:40 video clip of SFB’s Symphony in C, with Sofiane Sylve’s Isadora Duncan Dance Award winning performance of the 3rd Movement at 8:01 (a little annoying when he carries her off frame, as the fan didn’t know who to focus on, but there’s plenty to drool over, especially after 11:00)


Words to the wise: Come very early (9:00 will already display a sea of blankets) for the best seating oopportunities, wear warm layers to strip off and carry you from the morning fog to the noonday sun, bring a waterproof tarp to sit on (the grass is wet in the morning), bring sunscreen and your favorite summer picnic fare. Sun hats and sunglasses are a must-and maybe a good juicy summer read and your ipod, if you’re there long before the orchestra starts warming up.


Another fan’s 9:55 clip of SFB’s 2011 Stern Grove performance of Tomasson’s 7 for Eight, beginning with Joan Boada’s’s solo to the end of the ballet


Balanchine’s Symphony in C from on high at SFB’s 2011 Stern Grove performance


  SFB’s 2010 Stern Grove performance featuring Tomasson’s Prism, the daredevil dancing of Vitor Luiz & Lorena Feijoo in Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote pas de deux (it’s ok to scream at 1:07-everyone there did!), Wheeldon’s iconic and lyrical After the Rain interpreted by the incomparable Yuan Yuan Tan & Damian Smith (1:44), and Morris’ bright green and amusing Sandpaper Ballet 


For the rest of Stern Grove’s 2012 *Free* Summer Concert Series, go here.


See You at the Ballet!


About Odette's Ordeal

'Ballet's Head Cheerleader'
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3 Responses to San Francisco Ballet Announces Ballet Bliss for Stern Grove 2012 Program, July 29 at 2 p.m.

  1. Ms. Lolly says:

    Ms Ordeal, you’ve whet the appetite for a divine day in the grove next month. Your post will make it even more difficult to find a spot to throw down a blanket. Everyone will be RUNNING to the grove to see our magnificent ballet company in the most beautiful setting in all of San Francisco. Once again, thank you for sharing the many delights of SFB.

  2. Looking forward to it 🙂

  3. Pingback: San Francisco Ballet Casting & Programming Change for Stern Grove 2012 | Odette's Ordeal

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