The San Francisco Ballet season–one of the biggest perks of my year as a critic–starts this Wednesday with the opening gala. “Swan Lake” begins on Saturday. The Chronicle asked me to give a run-down on all eight programs:

“Helgi Tomasson, entering his 21st year as artistic director, is serving up his usual eclectic mix of classic and contemporary works, starting with that bedrock of 19th century tradition, “Swan Lake,” before offering the charm of Agnes de Mille’s “Rodeo,” the startling postmodernism of William Forsythe and a healthy dose of neoclassical Balanchine.

Those who love the emotional authenticity of Jerome Robbins will be pleased to see Tomasson’s tribute with another all-Robbins evening. This spring is also the first chance to see the three world premieres commissioned for the Ballet’s rain-soaked summer Paris tour in less soggy conditions. Tomasson himself has two new ballets to introduce, while Morris’ full-evening ballet “Sylvia” returns by popular demand.

The company roster — now standing at 70 dancers — includes freshly recruited talent from Italy, Estonia and beyond.”

Click here for my descriptions of each program.

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