The San Francisco Ballet is about to kick off its 2020 season by kicking off one the most famous shoes on the planet.
Nah, not really. There will be no glass slipper in this SF Ballet production of Cinderella, which Christopher Wheeldon (An American in Paris), the English international choreographer, has updated with stunning style, charming twists, and mesmerizing visual effects. This ballet eschews the fairy godmother and talking mice in favor of a delightfully human story with a hopeful heroine, a noble prince, tiny feet, and ill-fitting shoes.
OK, then. So there just might be a glass slipper on stage, after all.
Set to a score by Sergei Prokofiev with colorful sets and costumes by Julian Crouch, magical projections by Daniel Brodie, and breathtaking puppetry designed by Basil Twist, Wheeldon’s Cinderella is a fairy tale for our time, and one that you’ll be able to enjoy when SF Ballet presents Cinderella Jan. 21-Feb. 2.
Next up this season? “Classical (Re)Vision,” a program running Feb. 11-22 and featuring three ballets specifically created for San Francisco Ballet dancers: Bespoke, updated classicism set to J.S. Bach’s violin concertos, by Aussie dancer-choreographer Stanton Welch; Hummingbird, a moving drama set to music by Philip Glass, from British choreographer Liam Scarlett, in his first commission for SF Ballet; and, from Seattle’s Mark Morris, Sandpaper Ballet, a cleverly tongue-in-cheek encore of the ballet set to music by Leroy Anderson and costumed by Isaac Mizrahi that premiered at SF Ballet almost 21 years ago.
Happening almost concurrently, Feb. 13-23, the “Dance Innovations” program will offer a chance to see three different ideas of what ballet can express, in the beautiful poignancy of Taiwanese-born American dancer and choreographer Edwaard Liang’s The Infinite Ocean; the world premiere of American dancer and choreographer Trey McIntyre’s The Big Hunger, and the thrilling display of classical movement that is Études, a one-act ballet choreographed by Danish dancer and choreographer Harald Lander.
SF Ballet’s 2020 season will run through the May 1-10 production of Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by Helgi Tómasson, artistic director and principal choreographer for SF Ballet, and set to a score by Sergei Prokofiev.