The SF Ballet’s New Works Festival is upon us. I wrote about the preparations for yesterday’s New York Times:

“AS a star of the New York City Ballet, Helgi Tomasson danced in that company?s landmark 1972 Stravinsky Festival, which unveiled more than 20 ballets and a bonanza of masterpieces. He looked to his memories of that festival?s energy as he searched for a way to crown the 75th anniversary of the troupe he now leads: the San Francisco Ballet, America?s oldest professional company.

The resulting New Works Festival, opening here on Tuesday, will present 10 world premieres by 10 wildly different choreographers, from the modern-dance master Mark Morris to classical ballet?s great hope, Christopher Wheeldon. It will do that over just three nights ? a flash flood of what?s happening in ballet now.

?People say now that there?s a creative void,? Mr. Tomasson said of the general perception of ballet since the deaths of giants like George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Frederick Ashton. ?But these creative forces take time to recognize.?

Surely any artistic director would contend that creativity in ballet is alive and well, but Mr. Tomasson is making his case with more gumption than most. His festival would be a staggering undertaking for any company, even San Francisco, the country?s third-largest troupe and generally acknowledged to be among the top tier worldwide. And the pressure can be felt throughout the San Francisco Ballet Building, just opposite the gilt-trimmed War Memorial Opera House where the company performs.”

Click here for the rest of that story.

And the SF Chronicle had me give a quick run-down on who’s who among the choreographers, and who’s doing what. Click here for those profiles.

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