Baby Girl Born to San Francisco Ballet’s Lorena Feijoo & Vitor Luiz!

Lorena Feijoo, Vitor Luiz, & about-to-be-born-to-the-proudest-parents-in-the-world ‘Baby Girl’! Taken 1 month ago.

She’s here! She’s here! She’s HERE!!!

San Francisco Ballet’s most P.P.P. (Passionate Principal Pair), Lorena Feijoo and Vitor Luiz, are now the proud parents of an 8.5 pound baby girl, born yesterday morning at 10:02 am in San Francisco. Lorena’s Facebook page tells us that Baby Girl was put immediately in her mother’s arms, and that Lorena’s sister, Lorna, described her as “bella”.

Vitor also sent Odette a personal message that they will soon be sending some exclusive baby photos to Odette to share with her readers, so stay tuned!


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San Francisco Ballet Casting & Programming Change for Stern Grove 2012

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All slideshow ^ photos © Erik Tomasson

Yuan Yuan Tan & Davit Karapetyan in Balanchine’s ‘Scotch Symphony’; Photo © Erik Tomasson

San Francisco Ballet Casting & Updated Programming for Stern Grove Performance, 7/29/12, 2pm

Please note the following changes in SF Ballet’s Stern Grove program: Myles Thatcher’s lyrical and undulating Spinae will replace the pas de deux from Tomasson’s 7 for Eight. Odette fell in love with the May 30th, 2012, performance of  Spinae at SF Ballet School’s 2012 Student Showcase and is pleased to report it will again be performed by the SF Ballet School Trainees and Company Apprentices. This is the 2nd year that SFB has decided to share the stage with its own talented pre-professionals (currently on their own tour in Tokyo!) and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Last year’s Stern Grove performance of Thatcher’s Timepiece was proof that these young dancers deserve their hard-won place on that stage. This isn’t just *any* group of ballet students-this is a hand-selected mini-troupe from one of the best schools in the country; most of these dancers will find professional jobs in major companies, if we won’t see them in SFB itself.

San Francisco Ballet Students & Trainees in Thatcher’s ‘Spinae’, 5/30/12 Student Showcase; Photo © Erik Tomasson

Christopher Wheeldon’s Number Nine will replace Within in the Golden Hour. All I have to say about that is this: Though Within the Golden Hour seems to be preferred by SFBalletomanes, I think it is a very wise choice to save it for the Opera House stage this next season. Why? The lighting is so integral to the ballet that my fear, upon receiving the first press release, was that much of the atmospheric quality would be lost in the light of day and I would hate for anyone to see the ballet in less than its optimum conditions. The highly technical Number Nine may not be as poetic, but let’s face it-it’s still Wheeldon, right? And I think this technicolor ballet might shine anew on the outdoor stage. I have nicknamed it ‘The Crayola Ballet’, while a friend often refers to the brilliantly costumed dancers as “Lollipops”. (She happens to prefer the male “Orange Lollipops” best, but I’ll leave you to go scurrying for your cast sheets before I give her preferences away.)

Dores Andre & Pascal Molat in Wheeldon’s ‘Number Nine’; Photo © Erik Tomasson

(Their initials are PM and DDO)

(PM is pictured on this page. DDO is from Brazil).

(Was that bad of me?)


The order and casting of the new ‘Grove’ program for Sunday, July 29, is:

Choreographer: George Balanchine
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Davit Karapteyan
Nicole Ciapponi


Choreographer: Myles Thatcher
Composers: Phil Kline and Mary Ellen Childs

Lacey Escabar, Lauren Parrott, Emma Rubinowitz
Alexander Reneff-Olson, Wei Wang
Jeanette Kakareka, Mimi Tompkins
Aaron Renteria, Devon Carbone, Max Cauthorn


Choreographer: Hans van Manen
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Martin West

Gennadi Nedvigin, James Sofranko, Hansuke Yamamoto

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon
Composer: Michael Torke
Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung, Pascal Molat
Vanessa Zahorian, Garen Scribner
Sarah Van Patten, Ruben Martin Cintas,
Sasha DeSola, Vitor Luiz


^Note that popular Soloist (and one of SFB’s strongest contemporary Artists), Garen Scribner, and the Corps de Ballet dancer (and newlywed!) that wowed us in Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, Sasha De Sola, are strutting their very talented stuff along with some of the company’s biggest stars in Number Nine.

Newbies and longstanding SFBalletomanes will be equally delighted by van Manen’s SOLO as we rediscover that sometimes it takes a rivalry (and revelry) of *3* to dance a solo. This romp of a gala piece features 2 familiar SOLO faces, Gennadi Nedvigin and Hansuke Yamamoto, along with James Sofranko making his debut, and will have you smiling from beginning to end-or Odette will give you your money back!*

*(Did I mention that the fabulous Stern Grove summer performances, including SF Ballet’s program, are FREE?)

Hansuke Yamamoto in van Manen’s SOLO; Photo © Erik Tomasson

I have to save descriptive comments about Thatcher’s gorgeous Spinae for my actual review, but here’s a sneak peek; two video clips are from the free City Hall Rotunda Series performance last season (one from my new blogging buddy, Jeff Tabaco of The Music and the Mirror), one video is an interview with the choreographer and SFB Corps de Ballet dancer, Myles Thatcher, on choreographing his ballet on the Trainees, and the photos are from the SFBS 5/30/12 Student Showcase I attended:

Interview with Myles Thatcher
Spinae at City Hall Rotunda Series footage, 1st clip view
Spinae at City Hall Rotunda Series footage, 2nd clip

San Francisco Ballet Students & Trainees in Thatcher’s ‘Spinae’, 5/30/12 Student Showcase; Photo © Erik Tomasson

Balanchine’s odd little gem, Scotch Symphony, featuring ‘Scots in Skirts’ (I couldn’t resist saying that, but will clarify that there are, indeed, a lot of young men in tartan present), a lovely sylph in a diaphanous pink romantic skirt, and a sprightly kilt-adorned female soloist in my favorite RED POINTE SHOES (thank you, Nicole!), features last season’s opening star pair, Davit Karapetyan and Yuan Yuan Tan. See our beloved ‘YY’ in this and you’ll know ‘Why YY Wows’!

Courtney Elizabeth in Balanchine’s ‘Scotch Symphony’; Photo © Erik Tomasson

Yuan Yuan Tan & Davit Karapetyan in Balanchine’s ‘Scotch Symphony’; Photo © Erik Tomasson


 As always: please be informed that in the event of injury or illness, casting is subject to change. Please check the official SFB Casting page for updates here:


For more information about Stern Grove and its 75th Season, please visit their web site here.


A few words to the wise: Come early-really early-for the best spot, if you don’t want to be sitting up in the trees with binoculars (I kid not!); this is one of *the* most popular free (or otherwise) events in San Francisco.

That said, come with friends, a picnic, a comfortable pillow and blankie/towel to sit on (with a waterproof tarp underneath if you come uber-early, as the grass is VERY dewy in the morning) and the time will fly. I used to bring a book and headphones to kill the time before the performance, but found there really is no need. The dancers will soon be warming up on stage for all to see (no curtain!), the orchestra will be rehearsing, and the fireflies will be soaring, so you will be as entertained by the pre-performance activites as by the actual performance. The outdoor air is rife with happy summer feelings and the camaraderie of fellow dance lovers.

I cannot stress this enough: WEAR LAYERS, A HAT, AND BRING SUNGLASSES AND SUNSCREEN! The weather *can* be ‘moist’ (polite Odettespeak for foggy as hell). The morning often begins in a foggy 50 degrees, but you may find yourself sweating in honest-to-goodness summer heat and wishing you were in a tank top before the performance ends.

Then again-the fog may not lift at all. Or it may not even appear. After all, this is San Francisco, peeps!


Finally: I love to reconnect with SFBalletomanes at this event, so please come find me at one of the picnic tables.


A previous post here, which addressed SFB’s first 2012 Stern Grove programming announcement, which has since changed, is still worth visiting. Why would you still want to visit it? To view the SIX video clips from 2011’s Grove show, including Sofiane Sylve’s Isadora Duncan Dance Award winning Symphony in C performance!

~~~ See You at the Ballet!~~~

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San Francisco Ballet’s 2013 New Dancer Roster-The Press Release (& Apology)

An apology to my loyal readers: In my haste to get the new SFB Dancer Roster link to SFBalletomanes the very second it posted, I didn’t see the official Press Release, which does go into some detail regarding the new dancers and promotions. I will be back with the deets (Odette’s Translation will cover those departing), but here’s SFB’s Press Release, in the meantime:


SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Friday, July 6, 2012–San Francisco Ballet has announced six promotions, as well as the addition of two new soloists, two new corps members, and five new apprentices for the 2013 Repertory Season. Luke Ingham and Shane Wuerthner have joined the Company as soloists. In addition, Marie-Claire D’Lyse and Emily Kadow have joined the corps de ballet, along with former apprentices who have been promoted to the corps de ballet level: Sean Bennett, Megan Amanda Ehrlich, Jillian Harvey, Ellen Rose Hummel, Henry Sidford, and Shion Yuasa. The five new apprentices joining the Company have all trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and include: Lacey Escabar, Lauren Parrott, Alexander Reneff-Olson, Emma Rubinowitz, and Wei Wang



Born in San Francisco, Sean Bennett entered the SF Ballet School in 2000 on a Dance In Schools (DIS) scholarship. He joined the Trainee Program in 2010, after a year at American Ballet Theater’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, and was named a Company apprentice during the 2011 Repertory Season. Megan Amanda Ehrlich, born in Charleston, South Carolina, trained both at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and at the Space Coast Ballet Academy in Melbourne, Florida. She joined the Company as an apprentice during the 2011 Repertory Season. Jillian Harvey was named an apprentice with the Company in April 2012. Prior to this appointment, she was an apprentice with New York City Ballet from 2010-12. Born in Pennsylvania, she began her training at Allegheny Ballet and then at the School of American Ballet. In 2010 she was a recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award for “Outstanding Promise.” Ellen Rose Hummel was born in Greenville, South Carolina, and trained at the SF Ballet School, first during the 2008 Summer Session and then as a Trainee. She entered the Company as an apprentice during the 2011 Repertory Season. Henry Sidford, born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, first began his training with the SF Ballet School during the 2007 Summer Session. A finalist in the 2011 Prix de Lausanne, Sidford joined SF Ballet as an apprentice for the 2011 Repertory Season. Shion Yuasa, from Saitama, Japan, trained at Canada’s School of Alberta Ballet, prior to joining SF Ballet School in 2009 and the Trainee Program in 2010. In 2011, she was named an apprentice with the Company. 


New Company Members

Marie-Claire D’Lyse, a former demi-soloist with Vienna State Opera Ballet, originally hails from Australia. A semi-finalist at the 2000 Prix de Lausanne, D’Lyse began her training in Australia, before studying at the Vienna State Opera Ballet School. Featured roles have included Myrtha in Giselle, the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, and the Fairy of Beauty in The Sleeping Beauty. A native of Australia, Luke Ingham trained at the Australian Ballet School and then performed with the Australian Ballet from 2004-10, where he was promoted to soloist in 2008. In addition, he performed with Houston Ballet from 2011-12 and with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, for the 2010 winter season.  Ingham’s wide range of roles includes Franz in Coppélia, the Prince in The Nutcracker, and Hilarion in Giselle. A native of Pennsylvania, Emily Kadow’s training includes the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Washington D.C.’s Kirov Academy. In 2008, Kadow won a bronze medal at the Youth America Grand Prix. Shane Wuerthner is a graduate of Washington, D.C.’s Kirov Academy and has performed with the Vienna State Opera Ballet, first as a corps de ballet member and since 2009, as a demi-soloist. Wuerthner has performed a number of principal roles with the company including Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake and the Prince in The Nutcracker.


New Apprentices

Helgi Tomasson has named five new apprentices for the 2012 season. As apprentices, these dancers will take Company class and perform corps de ballet roles in the Company’s diverse repertory. Lacey Escabar, from Fairfax, California has served as a Trainee at the SF Ballet School for the past two years and has performed in a number of Company productions including Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle and Swan Lake, as well as John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid. She first entered the School for the 2006 Summer Session. Lauren Parrott hails from Marietta, Georgia, and first entered the SF Ballet School during the 2010 Summer Session, before becoming a Trainee last year.  She has performed in SF Ballet productions such as George Balanchine’s Symphony in C and Coppélia, as well as Tomasson’s Don Quixote. Alexander Reneff-Olson, from San Francisco, first enrolled in the School’s 2008 Summer Session before serving as a Trainee over the last two years. He has performed with SF Ballet in a number of productions including Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote, John Cranko’s Onegin, and Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces. Prior to training at the SF Ballet School, Reneff-Olson studied at City Ballet School. Emma Rubinowitz, from Mill Valley, California, first entered SF Ballet School in summer 2010 and this past year, though in level 8, she studied with the Trainees. She has performed a number of Company productions including Tomasson’s Nutcracker, Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote, and Balanchine’s Coppélia. Wei Wang hails from Anshan-Liaoning, China and most recently served as a Trainee from 2011-12. He trained at the Beijing Dance Academy and performed with SF Ballet in productions such as Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet and Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote

Subscriptions are currently on sale for the 2013 Repertory Season, January 29 through May 12, at the War Memorial Opera House. For information, call the Ticket Services Office at 415.865.2000, or visit

* * * *


Sean Bennett                        Corps de Ballet

Megan Amanda Ehrlich        Corps de Ballet

Jillian Harvey                         Corps de Ballet

Ellen Rose Hummel              Corps de Ballet

Henry Sidford                        Corps de Ballet

Shion Yuasa                           Corps de Ballet


New Company Member/Level

Luke Ingham                         Soloist

Shane Wuerthner                  Soloist

Marie-Claire D’Lyse              Corps de Ballet

Emily Kadow                          Corps de Ballet


New Apprentices/Training

       Lacey Escabar                        SF Ballet School        

Lauren Parrott                       SF Ballet School

Alexander Reneff-Olson       SF Ballet School

Emma Rubinowitz                 SF Ballet School

Wei Wang                              SF Ballet School

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