28 Oct San Francisco Ballet’s 2021 Season Goes Digital
San Francisco Ballet‘s Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson announced plans to present a streamed, all-digital 2021 Season. With the continuing health pandemic placing restrictions on large public in-person gatherings, Tomasson curated a reimagined season that includes three world premieres by Cathy Marston, Danielle Rowe, and Myles Thatcher fully conceived for film; three story ballets including George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which had only one performance before the city-wide shut down due to COVID-19; Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet and a new digitally conceived film version of Swan Lake; and George Balanchine’s Jewels with a newly filmed version of Emeralds.
“The launch of a digital season has taken monumental effort from every artist and administrator in our organization, and for that, I am very proud of the work we’ve done,” says Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. “For the dancers, it has meant a new level of commitment to keep up with their dancing physicality and has also required paramount discipline with regard to social distancing in order to rehearse according to health guidelines. The choreographers I’ve engaged this season have also been extraordinarily creative and adaptable, from changing rehearsal configurations to working with film directors to present their work in a different format. I am excited for us to be able to reach those across the world to whom we’ve not been previously accessible. For our devoted audiences, watching a story ballet captured on film will be a unique experience, as one can really see the emotions displayed by the dancers. Having said all this, I yearn for the days when we can all be together in the Opera House, but until then, I hope people will find themselves with SF Ballet from wherever they are in 2021.”
“The decision to present a digital season was not made lightly,” says Executive Director Kelly Tweeddale. “We wanted to ensure the health and safety of our audience and artists while reimagining what creativity and reinvention of ballet looks like in a digital world. A digital season allows us to expand on our commitment to access, not just here at home, but around the world. After months of extensive research, we will be streaming our digital season on the Vimeo OTT platform, an industry leader in providing a user-friendly interface and high definition streaming quality. The platform allows for live behind-the-scenes content as well as curated performances, and can be experienced on smart TVs or mobile devices including iOS, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.”
San Francisco Ballet’s Reinvention Campaign was launched in September to support the creative, resilient, and adaptive work our artists are doing in the digital world. Donors and subscribers who donate back their tickets receive reimagined virtual benefits that provide immersive behind-the-scenes access to the digital season. Visit give.sfballet.org/reinvent to learn more.