Press Release

San Francisco Ballet at 90


 Charles Schuler 
Director of Marketing & Communications 
San Francisco International Airport
(650) 821-5031

San Francisco Ballet at 90
New exhibition celebrates San Francisco Ballet’s ninetieth season showing the breadth of repertoire and design created in San Francisco over the past four decades—from futuristic costumes designed by Marco Morante for Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet (2018) to dark and edgy costumes designed by Christine Darch for Dwight Rhoden’s The Promised Land (2022).

SAN FRANCISCO—Celebrating its ninetieth season in 2023, and its first under artistic director Tamara Rojo (b. 1974), San Francisco Ballet is one of the most influential ballet companies in the world. Founded as the San Francisco Opera Ballet in 1933, the Company separated from the Opera in 1942 and was renamed San Francisco Ballet. Headed by brothers Willam, Harold, and Lew Christensen, San Francisco Ballet made its mark early by staging the first full-length American productions of Swan Lake (1940) and Nutcracker (1944). In 1985, Helgi Tomasson became the artistic director and principal choreographer, marking the beginning of a new era. Tomasson’s emphasis on both classical style and emerging choreographic trends has made San Francisco Ballet a calling card for the city—a ballet company suited to both the old-world grandeur of the War Memorial Opera House and the 21st­­–century innovation of San Francisco’s tech scene. This is largely due to Tomasson’s keen eye for emerging choreographers and his innovative programming of unexpected works, especially in the five choreographic festivals he curated during his tenure. These festivals have introduced emerging and established choreographers to San Francisco and have made San Francisco Ballet one of the premier centers for new ballet choreography in the United States and around the globe.

This exhibition features eighteen unique costumes from ballets created by choreographers who were commissioned for these festivals. A striking Art Deco sheath dress and coat, designed by Emma Kingsbury for Danielle Rowe’s Wooden Dimes, and a ’60s mod bathing suit designed by Mark Zappone for Yuri Possokhov’s Swimmer, are among the many intriguing ensembles on view.

San Francisco Ballet at 90 is located pre-security in the Mayor Edwin M. Lee International Departures Hall, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is accessible to ticketed passengers and the general public from February 25, 2023–January 7, 2024.

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