Program 2 | February 3–13, 2022
War Memorial Opera House
- Caprice by Helgi Tomasson
- In The Night by Jerome Robbins
- Blake Works I William Forsythe
Helgi Tomasson’s Caprice, a “clean limbed, articulate ballet” (The Guardian), opens Program 02. Caprice premiered in the 2014 Repertory Season and exemplifies Tomasson’s musical curiosity, set to Camille Saint-Saën’s Symphony No. 2 with an added adagio from Symphony No. 3. The ballet builds upon a string of pas de deux for two principal couples dressed in white by Holly Hynes, with scenic designs by Alexander V. Nichols. Caprice toured to Paris for the 10th anniversary of Les Étés de la Danse in 2014, and to Beijing and Shanghai in 2015.
Jerome Robbins’ In The Night received its SF Ballet premiere in 1985, the first year of Tomasson’s appointment, and is one of 18 ballets by the choreographer in the Company’s repertory. “When I was newly appointed artistic director here at SF Ballet, I let [Robbins] know that I’d be asking for some of his ballets,” said Tomasson, reflecting on his longtime mentor and colleague. “He didn’t hesitate, he just said, ‘You can have all of them.’”
Beginning with the Ravinia Festival in 1985, SF Ballet has toured In The Night throughout the world, notably in Barcelona, Athens, New York City, Paris, Beijing, and Napa, California, in 2018, the same year the company received the Jerome Robbins Award for excellence in dance. In The Night involves three principal couples who dance to four nocturnes by Frédéric Chopin, with original costumes by Anthony Dowell and lighting by Jennifer Tipton.
SF Ballet presents the Company premiere of William Forsythe’s Blake Works I in Program 02. Called “a brilliant expression of purity and modernity” by Vogue, Blake Works I is Forsythe’s 2016 creation for Paris Opera Ballet and sets seven movements of dance to songs from James Blake’s 2016 album The Colour in Anything.
The ballet includes “complexity, speed and changing directions of the choreography” (Financial Times) as a hallmark of its modernity. The choreographer also contributed to the ballet’s stage, costume, and lighting design, in collaboration with costume designer Dorothée Merg and lighting designer Tanja Ruhl. “[San Francisco Ballet] dances Forsythe better than any other American company,” wrote the Los Angeles Times in 2016.